Spark the Connection: Must-Ask Chemistry Questions for the Agency Pitch

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During most agency pitches, emphasis is typically placed on the functional capabilities of the agencies you’re evaluating:  Size, scope, capabilities etc., balanced against strategic and / or creative proof points – all weighed against an acceptable financial model.

So, how do you discover if the presenting agency is truly your creative soulmate? Here are some insightful questions you might like to include:

Describe your ideal client. Do we match that profile?  This should open a discussion about mutual expectations and fit. Understanding their ideal client profile helps you assess compatibility and whether your values and communication styles align. It also gives you the opportunity to address any gaps and clarify your expectations.

When was a time you disagreed with a client and how did you navigate it? Collaboration needs to thrive on healthy debate and open dialogue. This question reveals the agency’s communication style, conflict resolution skills, and their ability to defend their creative vision while maintaining a client-centric approach.

What’s your biggest internal challenge, and how are you tackling it? No agency (and no marketer) is ever perfect. This question assesses self-awareness and the agency’s commitment to improvement. Their response shows how they address internal issues, which reflects their ability to handle yours with open communication and a problem-solving mindset.

What cultural, social, or technological trends excite you, and how could they impact our brand communication? Agencies with teams at the forefront of industry trends bring essential insights to the businesses they work on, and this question should help reveal their understanding of today’s of what’s going on the world and how and why that’s meaningful to your audiences and your brand.

Tell us about an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of that isn’t in the case studies you’ve shared. This should be an opportunity for your prospective agency to showcase hidden gems without missing a beat.  It’s should also give you a deeper understanding of what truly excites them and motivates them as a team.

What question haven’t we asked that you wish we had? Sounds overly simple perhaps but it’s a question that should empower your prospective agency to showcase their unique selling proposition and address any concerns you might have missed. It will also demonstrate their confidence, transparency, and eagerness to make a lasting impression.

But the reality is agency pitches aren’t just about dazzling presentations – they’re about finding the perfect partner, one that resonates with your brand values, understands your challenges, and shares your team’s work ethic. 

Remember, asking insightful questions is a two-way street:  You need to observe the agency’s team dynamic and how they answer  questions.  They need to demonstrate they’re really listening to your needs. And whether you ask some, all or none of these questions, chemistry sessions are no more complicated than being able to answer:

  • Do we like them?
  • Do they like us?
  • And do they like each other?

Which begs the question – do you like your agency?  And does your agency like you?  What questions would help you better understand each other?


Stephan Argent is Founder and Principal at Listenmore Inc offering confidential advisory to marketers looking for truly independent insight and advice they can’t find anywhere else. Read more like this on our blog Marketing Unscrewed / follow me @StephanArgent

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