How to present the perfect pitch
Often regarded as the 'million dollar question', many business owners will, at some stage, ask: how do you win a pitch?
Whilst the answers may vary slightly depending on the nature of your industry and the type of contract, there are a few common themes that, if followed correctly, can help you present the perfect pitch.
Do your homework
Thoroughly research the company you are pitching to and find out ways in which your services could benefit them, and make a list of suggestions that could help their business grow. Whilst your pitch may not change vastly from client to client, you will need to tailor it to make it more relevant to the company you are pitching to, and highlight areas you can add value. Don't be afraid to write down a list of questions to ask them; this can help you conjure up on-the-spot creative ideas and shows you are keen to understand more about their core proposition. Also wise-up on your own business; they may ask questions relating to income splits, staff turnover and other clients.
Choose your language carefully
Ensure your pitch is to-the-point; waffle and lengthy statistics - otherwise known as an "information dump" - are unlikely to impress, and if your client fails to grasp your concept quickly, they're likely to switch off. Use the terms 'you' and 'we' to subtly bring yours and their business together, allowing them to think of you as a team and showing confidence in your offering.
It's all very well saying that you can deliver value for their business, but such words will make much more of an impact when backed up with examples of previous work. Use success stories to really sell your business, and prove how you have helped other clients to grow.
Be proud of your USPs
Every firm has their own set of unique selling points; these are your strengths and what differentiates you from your competition. If you have a particular skillset - tell them about it. Do you specialise in a particular industry? Do you have an accreditation other competitors dont? If you're unsure what gives your company value, do some research on similar businesses to yours.
Images can often be more memorable than words. However, this doesn't mean a bombardment of PowerPoint slides; instead, inspire and engage your audience by using pictures to demonstrate your narrative.
Anticipate questions they may ask
Avoid being put on-the-spot by preparing answers to questions you think the client is likely to ask. They are looking for reassurance that you are the right person for the job, so make sure you are prepared.
Finish on a lasting impression
Invite questions and feedback at the end of your pitch, and remain enthusiastic and passionate. Make sure you smile and thank them for the opportunity. If they have requested further information, send it to them as soon as you can. Keep your eyes open for any news or whitepapers relevant to their industry in the next few days, and if you find something interesting, send it over. This is an approach often used by salespeople and demonstrates a strong understanding of their industry, as well as giving you an opportunity to open dialogue.
And remember, if you win the pitch, keep the momentum going by arranging a follow-up discussion as soon as possible to propose how you will proceed and what you intend to do.
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