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 #3 – Control the Pitch: Because you – not the client – should be the one to walk him, page by page, through your amazing ideas.
How #4 – Pitch A Story
If you’re like most firms, you present your ideas from a beautifully printed book, which is certainly better than presenting on a screen. But this week’s HOW #4 reveals why both of those are a mistake.
Naturally, a good pitch has a beginning, middle and end. But a great pitch tells a complete story.
A good pitch has a beginning, middle and end. But a great pitch tells a complete story.
Don’t present your pitch using a book format. Those formats limit you and your client to seeing one page at a time. And any one page – no matter how brilliant – lacks the context of what precedes and what follows. How does the page you’re currently looking at relate to the beginning, the middle or the end?
When you pitch a story, here is what it looks like:
[ In our pitch to rebrand / launch Velocity network, my studio – Impossible Pictures – presented a story. We won the project.]
Pitch a story. Because the client loves being immersed in a complete narrative.
THE EIGHT HOWS OF PITCHING™
The picture of HOW to perfect your pitch is now starting to come together and it looks like this: you are pitching in person (HOW #1) and in the order of the competition, you are pitching last (HOW #2). You are controlling the sequence and pace of the pitch (HOW #3) and now you know to surround the client with a story (HOW #4).
We are halfway through our journey to perfecting your pitch. Here are the eight strategies we are gradually 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 #5 – Pitch Only Favorites.