Each of us pitches ideas every day. Sometimes we sell our ideas to a small room full of skeptical colleagues. Sometimes we pitch to a boss, or a board of directors, a new organization, or for the contract of our dreams. Regardless, it all boils down to the act of stirring someone to join you—to agree to follow you. Yet we consistently underestimate how critical it is to recognize the needs, spoken and unspoken, of the decision maker. Decisions are made by people, and people have needs and agendas. Understanding these needs and agendas are critical to success in business. Kevin Allen’s approach is not about persuading, but about creating a connection that assures a mutual win.
Through his years of successfully pitching ideas, veteran ad man Allen has seen a pattern emerge: pitches aimed directly at the needs of the decision maker are winners. By recognizing the unspoken need of the decision maker, and connecting the pitch to that need, the likelihood of winning the sell is virtually assured. In The Hidden Agenda, Allen describes in practical terms an entirely new way to compel people to follow you and embrace what you are selling. The Hidden Agenda lays out concrete steps to identify the “who” you are reaching, “what” elements you can connect with, and “how” to connect with your audience with the end goal of simultaneously winning the sell and establishing an ongoing collaborative relationship.
This entertaining book moves at a rapid clip and is full of lively anecdotes of hard-won advertising campaigns. From Mastercard’s iconic “Priceless” campaign to Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral campaign, Kevin Allen has seen first-hand how to effectively find, connect, and speak to the Hidden Agenda to win business unfailingly, every time.
“Kevin Allen is the ‘Picasso’ of the high art of the new business development and he has finally shared his magical techniques with the rest of us. A must-read! .” —Larry Weber, Chairman and CEO of W2 Group, author of Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era
About the Author
A veteran of the Interpublic Group and a “Mad Man” of agency McCann Erickson, Kevin worked with such brands as MasterCard, developing the globally famous “Priceless” campaign, Microsoft, Marriott, Smith Barney, Nestle, L’Oreal, Lufthansa and Johnson and Johnson. At McCann, he created what is arguably one of the industry’s most envied new business programs, which named McCann Worldgroup the number one agency in new business and Global Agency of the Year, two years in a row.
As Lowe Worldwide Vice Chairman he played a pivotal role in the turnaround that named the company Ad Age’s “Turnaround Agency of the Year” in 2009. His unique approach brought the addition of such global accounts as Sharp, Ericcson, Beck’s, and emerging global clients like China Mobile. Over the course of his career, Kevin’s unique approach has played a leading role in bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in new billings to his agencies.
Kevin’s experience extends globally and across a wide range of sectors and situations both in the commercial, government and not for profit fields. He was an early part of Rudy Giuliani’s team that prepared the way for the successful Mayoral election and turnaround strategies for the City of New York.
Kevin Allen is a highly skilled growth professional and is uniquely positioned to teach companies- and individuals – how to “win”.