The Vendor-Client Relationship – in Real-world Situations

I found this video as torturous as it was funny, for various reasons, but figure that most of my colleagues would get a good kick out of it. Especially on the heels of the Win Without Pitching manifesto—which friends and [d]online readers replied in unison ‘In a perfect world…”—these two posts have really made me stand back and think about how our industry differs from many others.

That’s all I feel comfortable saying on the subject, in such a public forum, though.

Win without Pitching

I happened upon Swiss-Miss‘s site, which occurs regularly when I’m seeking inspiration of biding a 5-minute break between projects or calls, and fell upon/inlove with “The Win Without Pitching Manifesto“. Here’s a sampling, but you’ll need to read the full twelve proclamations to truly appreciate it:

The forces of the creative industry are aligned against the artist. These forces pressure him to give his work away for free as a means of proving his worthiness of the assignment. Clients demand it. Industry associations deride it but offer alternatives that are just as costly and commoditizing. Agencies resign themselves to it. Search consultants, business development consultants and out-sourced business development services firms all earn their living by perpetuating it. And business development conferences put the worst offenders from all sides on stage and have them preach about how to get better at it.

It is a mistake to look to the industry to deal with this issue. Speculative creative – free pitching – will only be beaten one agency at a time, with little help and much loud opposition from the creative industry itself. This battle is but a collection of individual struggles, the single artist or creative services firm against the many allied forces of the status quo.

But while collectively the battle may seem lost, some individual firms are fighting and winning. What follows are twelve proclamations of a Win Without Pitching agency – a manifesto for firms that have made the difficult business decisions and transformed themselves and the way they go about getting new business. These firms have resisted the industry-wide pressure to tow the free-pitching line; they have gone from order-takers to expert advisors and then forged a more satisfying and lucrative way of getting and doing business.