The approach is this:
You simply do whatever you need to, present the kind of work you suspect they will like and then get the client round to an idea you like once they are through the door and you are fully appointed.
So why Justin Bieber?
Think of it like dating.
If you want to woo a girl (for the sake of this blog) and she likes Justin Bieber you say you love JB too – how amazing! and you buy two tickets for his next show because, you know, you are sooo all about the Biebs.
You go to the concert, put up with the music and the screaming girls, but woo her with the whole ‘we have so much in common’ pitch, and as she gazes in to your eyes longingly, you kiss her to the sound of ‘As long as you love me’ in the background and then, theoretically, you live happily ever after.
Until the next time she suggests Justin is in town and she has got some tickets.
Greeeeaaaat. Can’t wait.
You can’t now say you actually can’t stand him, she would consider you a complete fraud, so you go and keep going and buying the albums and listening to him on long car journeys and then one day it all gets unbearable and you get very drunk and admit, in a slurred yet frenzied mental breakdown, that you always HATED him and if you have to go to another concert of his or listen to one more bar of his you will literally cut off your own ears and stuff the remaining ear-hole with parts of disused flip flops!
In floods of tears she can’t believe she has been so stupid as to fall for this sham of a relationship and she storms out leaving you heartbroken.
That’s one way to pitch.
So it might have just been better in the first place if you’d just explained that actually Ed Sheeran is more your cup of tea and risked not winning her over.
Or maybe she actually had never heard Ed Sheeran and actually quite likes him now that you made her a playlist.
So, fellow pitch losers, when you receive that ‘you came a close second’ call or email, maybe it’s ok.
Maybe you just dodged a bullet.
Sooner or later you would have cut your own ears off and had no flip flops.
Real success, both creatively and financially, comes when both parties like Ed Sheeran or led Zep, or Beyonce or whoever.
If you think what you are presenting is right – whatever the outcome, then losing a pitch is actually winning if you look at it the right way.
And when you actually win that pitch, well, it’s all the more sweeter.
Plus, as the Biebster would say, there’s one less lonely girl.