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 a difficult 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 #4 – Pitch A Story: Because the client loves being immersed in a complete narrative.
This week we tackle the practical question of how many ideas you should present in your pitch.
HOW #5 – Pitch Only Favorites
Novice pitchers get hung up wondering how many ideas (i.e., concepts) they should pitch to the client. They think:
- Be bold: show just one idea…
- Always have a backup idea in your back pocket…
- Good things come in threes…
- Show a range of ideas so the client can pick what they like…
Let me tell you a true story from when my studio was pitching a national spot to a major brand. My team and I presented three concepts and a conversation followed. Read this and then you decide how many ideas we should have shown in our presentation:
Client: “So Joel, which of these three ideas is your favorite?”
Me: “Hmm. I would have to say the first one. It really nails the creative brief.”
Client: “Then why did you waste our time showing us these other concepts?”
Pitch only favorites. Because if you lack confidence in your ideas, the client will lose confidence in you.
THE EIGHT HOWS OF PITCHING™
The picture of HOW to perfect your pitch is coming together and it looks like this: you are pitching in person, you are pitching last, you are controlling the sequence and pace of the pitch as you surround the client with a story.
Now you are equipped to show the client only your very best ideas, the ones you confidently believe in.
To recap, 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 #6 – Pitch With A Wingman.