The pitch is unavoidable, so you might as well perfect yours.
As we take a hard look at the reason the majority of firms don’t win pitches, we discover an unpopular truth: usually the problem isn’t what you’re pitching, it’s how you’re pitching.
Let’s give your brilliant ideas their best shot at winning. In this series of articles on the HOW of presenting your ideas within a competitive sales process (like RFPs, RFQs and the like), we are taking your game to the next level as we examine the Eight Hows of Pitching™.
Last week we focused on HOW #2 – Pitch Last: Because by the time your pitch presentation is done, your competitors – and their ideas – will be a distant memory.
This week’s HOW #3 is one of my counterintuitive pitch practices. If you love serving your clients with lightning-fast responsiveness and a can-do attitude, this HOW will be a challenge for you to implement.
How #3. Control the Pitch
Would Picasso send you a PDF of his forthcoming masterpiece then timidly wait for you to call him back? Never.
Likewise you should never – and I mean NEVER – email your pitch to the client. In so doing, you lose control over your ideas (as the client casually thumbs through your PDF, say, on his phone… while at lunch).
NEVER email your pitch… and devalue your brilliant ideas down to a mere attachment.
When you give over control of your ideas, you lower your position from a leader to a lowly order taker. And devalue your brilliant ideas down to a mere email attachment.
One of my favorite thought leaders rightly states:
The only power you have in a client relationship is to withhold your expertise. – David C. Baker
Control the pitch.
Control the pitch. Because you, not the client, should be the one to walk – page by page – through your amazing ideas.
Naturally, since you implemented HOW #1, you are pitching in person, right? If not – and you must absolutely pitch over the phone – this HOW #3 requires you use technology (like a screen sharing app) whereby you are the one turning the pages on the phone, leading the conversation and conveying your passion.
THE EIGHT HOWS OF PITCHING™
As a reminder, here are the eight strategies we are covering in this series:
- PITCH IN PERSON: Because passion and trust are more important than ideas.
- PITCH LAST: Because by the time your pitch presentation is done, your competitors – and their ideas – will be a distant memory.
- CONTROL THE PITCH: Because you – not the client – should be the one to walk him, page by page, through your amazing ideas.
- PITCH A STORY: Because the client loves being immersed in a complete narrative.
- PITCH ONLY FAVORITES: Because if you lack confidence in your ideas, the client will lose confidence in you.
- PITCH WITH A WINGMAN: Because without a teammate, at some point you will end up tooting your own horn.
- LEAVE A LEAVE-BEHIND: Because the client is always wishing, “Don’t tell me. Show me.”
- DON’T STOP PITCHING: Because your client’s biggest fear is awarding to the wrong firm.
See you next week when we dive into HOW #4 – Pitch a Story.