Preparing to pitch – what should you consider?
In the majority of cases pitching for new work often involves a fair amount of time and preparation. So it’s important to make sure your hard work pays off. Here are a few things to consider when preparing to pitch for new work.
Present a solution to the client’s problems:
In most cases, a potential client will be looking to employ the services you (or a company like yours) has to offer because they have a problem that needs solving. So the first place to start when preparing to pitch is to identify and then present a solution to the client’s issue. In order to do this, you will need to have ascertained enough information and asked the right questions during your initial meeting.
Know what you’re up against:
If you’re asked to pitch for new work, it can be useful to know how many other companies are also pitching for the business. Being involved in a multi-way pitch is usually quite a different process to simply putting together some thoughts and discussing them informally over a coffee. Consequently, the two scenarios will necessitate a different approach. In an ideal world, you will be the only company in the frame, which means you can really focus on getting to the heart of finding solutions for the client rather than having to dedicate time to talking through your credentials and why your business is better than any others in your field.
Make sure you know who will be in the meeting so you can ‘match up’ the right members from your team. If the Managing Director is going to be there, make sure you have someone equally senior on your side of the table. Equally, take members of the team that will help to demonstrate the appropriate skills you are trying to portray. A word to the wise though – don’t overdo it by turning up mob handed! In the majority of cases there will be one member of the team that leads the presentation so unless a team member will have something to add, don’t take them!
Prepare, prepare…and then prepare some more:
There’s rarely a worse feeling in business than turning up to a meeting feeling under prepared. Whilst it can be tempting to leave your preparations to the last minute, this is exactly when errors occur. Prepare your presentation and any printed materials at least the day before your meeting to allow for any issues that may crop up. Check you know where you are going and leave plenty of time to get there unflustered. If possible, have someone else read through your materials to check for any typos or errors and have a read through it yourself 10 minutes before you are due to present to refresh your memory.
There are many more elements to successful pitching – too many to cover in a single post! If this is an area you would be keen to discuss in further detail, please feel free to contact us.
In addition to business development consultancy, we also offer sales coaching – perfect for helping team members across your organisation to sharpen their pitching skills!