Posted in Presentation skills by Mary
November 29th, 2011
So, the golden question – what do clients look for when you pitch to them? What defines success – and a win for you?
This is a difficult question to answer in just a few words. The reason is that clients alter their priorities across industries.
For example, in relatively immature industries such as Web Design, a proven track record of success, plus a financially robust balance sheet, are both essential elements that clients will look for.
In mature industries, such as Logistics, it’s quite the opposite. Clients know that the top logistics companies are on the whole successful and financially robust. Instead, clients might be looking for freshness, energy and innovation in this mature industry.
But there are loads of other considerations too. Your job prior to the pitch is to find out which of these points are right up the top of the client’s assessment notes.
If you get them right, and focus your pitch in those areas, then you will have much more chance of success!
So here’s the list – keep it handy while you’re preparing for your next pitch!
8. Creativity of your solution
People are creative, companies are creative and solutions are creative. If you think you are in a totally non-creative company, then you are wrong. Creativity doesn’t just belong in an advertising agency. Creativity dictates the effort, the skill and the approach required to solve a problem.
In a pitch you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You might have the same commoditised solution as your competitor – for example a bag of wheat – and you might think there is little you can do about it. However, in the right hands even a bag of wheat can win over an audience.
Pitch creativity is about presenting it in a way that moves audiences to feel something about the solution. It could be the way you present it in the pitch: you could make the solution the hero and the real focal point of the pitch. You could have certain visuals to support this. You might include the client in a session to help you actually arrive at the solution in the pitch – demonstrating both your creativity and giving the client a first hand look at how simple it is to work with you.
You might twist the solution around and look at the problem from a different angle (maybe the customer angle, or the media angle). You can be creative with how you structure account service, how you order your logistical solution and how you present a contract.
There are all sorts of opportunities to demonstrate “out of the box” thinking.
The London Olympic bid was a prime example of this. The bid team were up against 3 cities that were all considered front runners – Madrid, Paris and New York. The team had to find a creative solution to position London against these three, and chose a core message around youth, heroes and the future of sport. It was a creative solution that won.
Come back soon to our blog for The Winning Pitch #9 – “Chemistry of the team!” When your clients are watching your pitch, there is a portion of their attention (albeit at times subconscious) that is directed towards your teamwork. Chemistry is defined in Wikipedia as “the science of matter and the changes it undergoes”. Note that there are two dynamics here – the original form, and then change.
Make your next pitch a winning one!
A pitch is a high energy process – often fun and sometimes frustrating. It is usually a time of great uncertainty too. From the outset you are never 100% sure that you are going to win, which makes it a nervous process full of guesswork.
Your aim throughout the pitch preparation process is to bring as much certainty to the process as possible. While not conclusive, this list of criteria should go a long way to helping you get that certainty.
Give us a call at Natural Training if you would like us to show you why we are considered a sure thing by many of our clients looking to win their next pitch.
Would you like Mary to run some training for you?
Simply call 020 7613 7830 and we will organise for Mary to train you and the team.