Inspiring Creative Professionals from Vendors to Expert Practitioners Since 2002

Win Without Pitching is a training company dedicated to changing the way creative services are bought and sold the world over. Through our multi-format programs we help creative professionals build deeper expertise and leverage that expertise to change the path through the sales cycle to better engagements for clients and agencies.

Blair Enns, Founder

Blair Enns is a 25-year veteran of the business side of the creative professions. He spent 12 years in account service and business development roles for some of the world’s largest advertising agencies and some of its smallest design firms. In 2002 he launched Win Without Pitching as a consulting practice and has worked with thousands of creative professionals in numerous countries through direct engagements, seminars, workshops and webcasts. Enns has over 30,000 hours invested in the question, how does a creative firm win new business without first giving its ideas away for free?

“I’m not so much an expert in selling as I am in the peculiarities of the creative personality that makes selling difficult for people in an ideas business.”

Enns started building formalized Win Without Pitching training programs in 2012 and dropped consulting services to focus exclusively on training in 2014. Enns is the author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and lectures widely. He lives with his wife and family in Kaslo, British Columbia, Canada.

Testimonials

Below are some reviews from my consulting & mastermind clients. Many are excerpts from more than 50 written recommendations on LinkedIn.

There are few true experts in the field of agency business development; Blair sits at the very top of that short list. He transformed my firm with his expertise. He transformed me and my staff with his teaching. And, crucially, he was a joy to work with through it all. If you’re charting a new course for your agency, I can recommend Blair as your guide.

- Agency Principal
   New York, NY

I think Blair is nothing short of superb when it comes to helping design businesses figure out how to sell their services effectively to clients. You can look far and wide and never find someone as knowledgeable, smart, articulate and dead on correct 100% of the time as Blair. [He] has a really wonderful direct style of communication where he tells you exactly what you should you do in an actionable, complete manner — down to the exact language you should be using to get results. His approach is fresh, logical, and reasonable and gives you the confidence to tackle business development in a way that focuses on communicating your expertise — not convincing anyone of anything. Hire Blair, do to what he says, and you’re business is going to flourish.

- UX Firm Principal
   San Francisco, CA

I had the pleasure of hearing Blair speak at [a conference, and] I left firmly believing he was insane. His ideas defied every business development convention and their implementation seemed impossible. Two years later, I decided to hire [him] and I never looked back. Blair is leading the charge that will forever change the creative business sales model. Hear him speak or attend one of his webinars, and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

- Design Firm Principal
   Philadelphia, PA Area

Blair’s expertise has been invaluable for our firm. He’s a true master at understanding how to create a win-win for both clients and agencies during the business development process. I highly recommend Blair to any agency looking to take the next step with their biz dev program.

- Agency Principal
   Orange County, CA

Blair’s program is already where professional sales needs to go. If you want your business to avoid the trap of commoditization, you should use his services to help you extract yourself from the typical and be seen the way you would want to be seen.

- Consulting Practice Area Leader
   Chicago, IL

Blair Enns’ approach to helping creative firms is like the path to his world HQ in Kaslo: it’s challenging and long, but well worth the journey. Blair will help you figure out and articulate what you know best. He will point you down your own path to becoming a specialist and expert in your design practice. He will disrupt your thinking, and push you to apply what you know in new ways, with insights and wry humor from his experience and practice. If you’re willing to reinvent yourself and your design practice, Blair is a worthy guide to follow.

- Design Firm Principal
   Cleveland, OH

Jedi-Trainer, Force-Channeler, Dead-Poets-Society-maker are 3 ways I frequently describe Blair Enns. In truth, Blair is much more like the Charlie to my Angels. Always dialed in, always in the background, secretly running the mission. He has saved my Republic, my Death-Star and my bacon on several occasions. I highly recommend him.

- Design Firm Principal
   Seattle, WA

We’ve twice had the pleasure of working with Blair. His intelligence and insight have provided great value to our business. I would strongly recommend Blair to any business that wants to be more effective and make more money. Simple.

- Agency Principal
   Sydney, AU

It was difficult to find time to write this recommendation — because we’re busy. We have Blair to thank for that. Re-positioning ourselves was an incredibly difficult thing for us to do, but it was worth it and we cannot imagine anyone else better to lead us through the gauntlet than Blair. He’s incredibly knowledgeable, and thankfully, patient. Also, for us, he brought another quality to the engagement that we really valued… he was as committed to our success as we were, and that meant a lot to us.

- Agency Principal
   New York, NY

I consider Blair to be among our company’s most trusted advisors. Blair’s expertise, insight and coaching helped launch [our firm] to a new level. His methodology has proven itself consistently helping us increase revenue and expert positioning. We’ve continued to engage Blair and his resources time and again with great result. Few understand our industry as well as Blair. He has my highest endorsement.

- Agency Principal
   Raleigh, NC

Blair's training has fundamentally changed how we think. His Win Without Pitching [mastermind] has helped me rethink how we talk about what we do. But it wasn’t just the course, it’s the wealth of training material Blair’s built up that gives his teaching so much depth. He’s boosted my confidence in our expert positioning, and helped us structure our business development as a team. And that’s helping us win more work that’s the right fit for us – the work we do really well, and enjoy most.

- Agency Principal
   London, UK

… the first time I hired Blair was without a doubt the best decision I have made since starting my ad agency 12 years ago. Since that first engagement I have been working with Blair on and off and I rely on his advice and the robust content on his website as an invaluable part of my career building program. If you don’t like honesty and hearing what you need to hear even if it hurts you won’t like Blair, but if you want to get better and improve in life and biz then you need to hire him right now! Every time I work with Blair my game goes to a new level. I recommend Blair to anyone who has aspirations to play in the big leagues of new biz development in the marketing world and beyond.

- Agency Principal
   Calgary, AB

With more than 27 years as a brand strategist and the principal of a successful design consultancy, I thought I knew how to best position our brand, engage clients and build relationships. Blair changed all that. He has opened my mind to a new and much more effective approach. We are transforming our business as a result. I attended his workshop last year solo and I brought my partner and key management team back again this year. It’s changed the way we work. In my mind there is no better business-building advocate. Stop whatever you are doing now and talk with Blair.

- Design Firm Principal
   New York, NY

Blair’s advice has helped shape the way we run our consulting practice, which has made us both more profitable and more sane. He’s also a great speaker, the material he presents is always clear, engaging and actionable. I’ve recommended him to many agency principals as a great resource that can make a substantial difference.

- Consulting Firm Principal
   New York, NY

The most impressive thing about Blair is that he clearly practices what he preaches. He runs his own business in the same manner he advises his clients. Blair has deep expertise in how to position, market and promote creative agencies. I would highly recommend Blair and his services to anyone in the creative services industry who is looking to improve their business development strategy.

- Partner, Marketing Firm
   Peoria, IL

We first met Blair when he was speaking at a forum for design firm owners… it was obvious that he grokked our industry and the challenges we face as owners. He has subsequently become a trusted advisor… His advice is always sound and enlightened. He has become a major voice in the design industry where business development is concerned. Friends at other firms refer to him not by his business name but simply as Blair, and we all know to whom they refer.

- Design Firm Principal
   Seattle, WA

After working with him, if I could give any one piece of advice to agency principals based on my 22 years of experience in running my firm, it would be this: hire Blair. Expensive? Yes! And for us it was worth every penny; we have more than made back his fees in higher profit. The things he teaches are not something you can get anywhere else – unless you are willing to spend years synthesizing the very best bits and pieces from all over. Blair’s coherent methodology and his teaching/coaching/consultation assisted our firm in climbing out of the sea of undifferentiated firms. This didn’t come easily; it took a lot of work, but the payoff has been huge. We are now getting inbound calls from the entire U.S., and competing nationally for work that we had no chance of hearing about, much less winning before. From the first conversation with prospects to the way we consult with them once they sign the contract, Blair has helped us rework our processes.

- Marketing Firm Principal
   Raleigh, NC

We are huge, HUGE Blair Enns fans. Blair has not only been a mentor for us, but a guiding light. During and after our engagement, not only were we finally able to put our stake in the ground and tell the world why we’re different, but we were able to completely blow up our broken new business process and rebuild it with his guidance. Since then, life has become so much easier. With Blair’s method, we can easily decide what we should do, who we should work with and when we should walk away from a bad deal. We constantly refer to the materials Blair wrote and it’s not uncommon to hear someone say “What would Blair do?” in our halls. Simply put, the guy rocks and we don’t hesitate for a second to recommend to any and everyone who needs help.

- Public Relations Firm SVP
   Austin, TX

Win Without Pitching is literally a Win Win for agencies and their clients. The traditional agency new business pitch is an addictive adrenaline rush, kind of like slot machines are in Vegas. Sometimes you win, Thrilling. Sometimes you lose, Deflating. Sadly, most times winning wasn’t in your control. With Blair you’ll learn how to get control of the client relationship (without pitching), get your great ideas off the ground, make your clients successful, and get paid what you deserve while doing so. For me, the real success is seeing my clients’ win. Big time.

- Agency Principal
   Tulsa, OK

I was introduced to Blair when I sold my brand company to an innovation firm – they said I ‘had to meet him’ and that his Win Without Pitching would ‘change my life’. They weren’t kidding. After 20 years in advertising, I had my perspective on success in the business turned upside down. Win Without Pitching has become the guiding force in my business – with the innovation firm, and now that I’m consulting on my own. I have religiously followed Blair’s advice (from his coaching and his excellent ‘Win Without Pitching Manifesto’ book) to become an expert. The results are encouraging. It’s not an overnight fix, but rather a life change that starts to pay dividends that amplify with every year. I have recommended Blair to dozens of colleagues, and will continue to recommend him fervently to everyone who wants to make a change, get out of the ‘commodity’ trench, and behave like a thinker instead of an automaton.

- Consultant
   Vancouver, BC

Of ALL the money that I spent on new business, no other was even close on ROI then what I spent on Blair. Our close rate when I started in my last position was 17%. By the time I had completed the WWP training and implemented it, we were at a 70% close rate and our average project size grew from $100K to $300K. [Now over $1m.] His methodology gives business development professionals a whole new way to look at the sales process. WWP gave us the tools and techniques to change the power structure in the buy/sell relationship, which in turn, gave us the upper hand vs. the competition. If you are looking to significantly increase your close rate, not only would I HIGHLY recommend Blair but I would say you would be foolish not to work with him.

- Consulting Firm SVP Business Development
   Chicago, IL

I am thrilled with [Blair’s] insight, presentation and thoroughness of process. He has provided me and my firm with tremendous information and processes on how to approach business and win. He is pure inspiration and also presents his approach and concepts with clarity, humor and panache. I love the Win Without Pitching approach. We have implemented a number of his suggestions and are finding them very effective. We are becoming EXPERTS in our field with Blair’s insight and guidance.

- Design Firm President
   Philadelphia, PA

When I first hired Blair, I was struggling to figure out which new business opportunities to invest time in. Specifically, I struggled to move potential clients toward becoming clients- the right kind of clients- efficiently. Blair’s Win Without Pitching process was exactly the solution I needed, and his candid, high-value advice and coaching helped me integrate the system and make it my own. He also made a number of suggestions about how we communicated about our work that were invaluable. Within months, I felt much more in control, effective and efficient in our new business process. I’ve since asked Blair to consult on more sophisticated aspects of marketing my business, and he’s consistently delivered. He’s a super star.

- Design Firm Principal
   New York, NY

The results of [hiring Blair] were and continue to be outstanding. We were able to close on two significant new business opportunities almost right out of the gate at a higher margin for our front end thinking than we have every charged before. Additionally we were able to use Blair’s process to close on an opportunity with a Fortune 500 company. To this day, almost three years later, we are still finding new ways to add value to our clients work by leveraging the tools and processes that Blair taught us. Simply put, we are not only using Blair’s methods to gain new business at a higher margin, we are also using that expertise to add consultant level value to our clients. Blair is a tremendous resource to any creative agency, so much so that we don’t want my competitors to find out about him…maybe that is the highest compliment we can give.

- Agency Principal
   Merritt Island, FL

Blair was a featured speaker at a conference for owners of creative services firms I attended. I found myself hanging on every word. I remember thinking “not only does this guy really get my business but his strategies can help me grow it”. After the conference I began implementing some of the positioning and business development tactics he discussed and, very simply, they work. Since then I’ve attended his seminars and hired him as a consultant. I keep his book on my desk and refer to it frequently. I consider Blair’s advice an essential part of my business development plan.

- Design Firm Principal
   New York, NY

Blair is engaging, relevant and inspirational. His approach challenges the conventional wisdom around business development and if you are brave enough to commit to even a few of his golden rules, you will reap the rewards in a very short space of time. You may even contribute to ridding the world of the evil blemish of free pitching.

- Consulting Firm Principal
   London, UK

Blair is changing the way that creative industries work, his advice has played a key role in making my business a success.

- Design Firm Principal
   Newcastle, UK

Blair unlocks the potential of the creative movement. For decades (or more) creatives have been coughing up ideas and chasing carrots. His Win Without Pitching concept has been instrumental in sparking the change our firm has needed. I attended a seminar put on by Blair, and it was beyond enlightening. His guidance regarding process and positioning have been invaluable, and on the mark.

- Agency Principal
   Richmond, VA

I attended one of Blair's keynotes at [a conference] in Scottsdale several years ago. His profound thinking and provocative insights made an instant and lasting impression on the audience. Since that time, I’ve attempted to implement many of his uncompromising, cage-rattling ideas on agency positioning and business development into my firm’s operations. In fact, much of our growth over the last four years can be attributed to Blair’s recommendations, which are grounded in behavioral science, supported by deep, first-hand experience and delivered with near-surgical precision. The reward has been consistently favorable win-rates against much larger agencies and increasingly sizable engagements with more profitable clients. I only wish I had hired him sooner.

- Agency Principal
   Washington, DC Area

I sent some of my staff to Blair’s workshops. They came back and told me how we needed to dramatically change our approach to new business. I politely dismissed their suggestions. They then convinced me that I had to get Blair in front of me. I called Blair and starting with our first phone call, I stated learning lessons about the right way to do new business. Blair told me how much it was and I had a “Holy Shit’ moment. I then thought about whether or not I was serious about the growth of our business and decided to make the investment. I am so glad I made that choice. It has had a profound effect on my approach to new business. Clients now come to me. I do not compete for their business. I name my price. The relationship is now on my terms and not theirs. I get paid up front. Hiring Blair was one of the smartest things I have ever done. You have to be open to changing a few things that you have held sacred. Trust Blair and you will be amazed at what happens.

- Marketing Firm Principal
   Denver, CO