The Win Without Pitching Manifesto - Deepstash
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What is the Win Without Pitching Manifesto?

What is the Win Without Pitching Manifesto?

Author Blair Enns highlights what he believes are the 12 proclamations every professional creative firm should follow when they want to start running a successful practice. 

The 12 Proclamations:

  1. We will specialize 
  2. We Will Replace Presentations with Conversations
  3. We Will Diagnose Before We Prescribe
  4. We Will Rethink What it Means to Sell
  5. We Will Do With Words What We Used to Do With Paper
  6. We Will Be Selective
  7. We Will Build Expertise Rapidly
  8. We Will Not Solve Problems Before We Are Paid
  9. We Will Address Issues of Money Early
  10. We Will Refuse to Work at a Loss
  11. We Will Charge More
  12. We Will Hold Our Heads High


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I | We Will Specialize

I | We Will Specialize

"If we are not seen as more expert than our competition, then we will be viewed as one in the sea of many and we will have little power in our relationships with our clients and prospects."

We Must

  1. Choose a focus.
  2. Articulate that focus via a consistent claim of expertise.
  3. Constantly work to build the missing skills, abilities, and processes necessary to support our particular focus. 

What does this mean:

Creatives often want to provide their services to every potential customer that comes their way. This is wrong. Focus on specializing in a particular service and industry segment. 


29 reads

II | We Will Replace Presentations with Conversations

II | We Will Replace Presentations with Conversations

"We will break free from our addiction to the big reveal and the adrenaline rush of putting ourselves in the win or lose situation of the presentation. Until we break ourselves from this addiction we will never get rid of the pitch."

We Must:

  1. Establish the rules of collaboration before every engagement.
  2. Never present creative work without an agreed-upon strategy.
  3. Encourage client input on strategy.
  4. Always review strategy before any creative work is shown.
  5. Have fewer options of better quality.
  6. Always present our work to decision-makers.

What does this mean:

Avoid one-sided pitching or presenting.


28 reads

III | We Will Diagnose Before We Prescribe.

III | We Will Diagnose Before We Prescribe.

"Well it is common practice in the creative profession to prescribe solutions without fully and accurately diagnosing the problem. In almost every other profession such a sequence would render the professional liable for malpractice. Too often we are guilty of this flawed process and our clients are guilty of trying to impose such a process through the pitch."

We must:

  1. Diagnose the problem
  2. Prescribe the therapy
  3. Apply the therapy
  4. Reapply the therapy as necessary.

What does this mean:

A doctor will never start operating based on a self-diagnosis from a patient. Treat your clients the same. 


18 reads

IV | We Will Rethink What It Means To Sell

IV | We Will Rethink What It Means To Sell

"The first thing we must understand if we are to approach selling properly and respectfully, is that the client's motivation and by necessity our role as a salesperson evolves as he progresses through the buying cycle."

To sell we must:

  1. Help the unaware.
  2. Inspire the interested. 
  3. Reassure those who have formed intent. 

What does this mean: 

Many clients are unaware of bottlenecks within their business. Our job is not to sell a solution but to help them discover new opportunities, and inspire them to take action all through a careful and articulate demonstration of our expertise. 


4 reads


As I continue to reread this book I will add more proclamation summaries and interpretations. Stash this if you love the book! 

Erick Leon is a creative director and brand strategist at Evolv Branding Advertising & Marketing. 



52 reads



We watch business leaders fall in love with their brands by helping them learn, strategize, and execute better brand experiences.


Blair Enns takes a deep dive into what it takes to make a name for yourself as an agency or creative firm. Explore the 12 proclamations with me as I reread the book!

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