The Winning Pitch #7: 10 reasons why customers say “yes”
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!
7. Position within your own sector
Your average pitching audience will see 3 of your competitors. Sorry if this is the first time you are about to hear this: from your clients perspective you probably all look the same!
So you must differentiate, and that means declaring your market position:
– What is the one thing that you do differently to everyone else?
– What is the one way that you seek to surpass client expectations?
– What is the main point of difference about your product and your people?
Are you clear about your position in your sector? Are you “100% digital”, or “We come to you”, or “Guaranteed success”?
Do you offer a “personal service”, or are you all about “convenience”, or do you have a “retail speciality”?
At the end of a pitch your clients should absolutely know your point of difference. They should be able to say something like “Oh yes, I really the Content Management System people”!
Whatever you decide, there are a couple of guidelines about positioning.
1. For a position to be viable, then you usually have to be first.
2. And if you’re not first then you need to do it much better!
3. Also a position is usually relative, meaning that you should have X position in relation to your competitor’s Y position.
For an understanding of positioning, there is no greater book than “Positioning, The Battle For Your Mind” by Trout and Ries.
They reasoned that each market segment is like a ladder – for example in the “Cola” category there are 5-6 main players forming the rungs of that ladder. Each cola has a position in the mind of the consumer. For example: diet, upper class, a mixer, the real thing…
The point is one of the key criteria that clients are using to measure you is the difference, the value and the uniqueness you have compared to your competitors. This is one of the key ways to winning a pitch and is worthy of as much time as you can dedicate to it.
Come back soon to our blog for The Winning 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.
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 0207 043 1582 and we will organise for Mary to train you and the team.
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