So, you’ve been invited to pitch for a potential new client – but where do you even start? Below we share our top tips on how to deliver a successful pitch.
Tackle the brief with a fine-tooth comb
Most businesses will share a brief before the pitch. Therefore, it’s important that you consider every factor the client is looking for.
Cross-reference your presentation with the original brief to ensure none of the important parts are missing and that you’re delivering exactly what the client is looking for.
Do your research
The worst thing you can do is just “wing” a pitch. You need to do your research beforehand on the business you are pitching for and their competitors too.
Look at past and present activity and understand what has worked well and what hasn’t. Are their competitors performing extremely well and if so, why? What can the business do to stay ahead of the game?
Researching their industry is hugely important too. Are there any innovations impacting the industry? What are people’s perceptions of the industry, and what are the media saying? These are just some of the things worth looking into. Once you have this knowledge, it will help form your presentation. Plus, no one wants to work with an agency that is clueless about their business and sector.
Ensure your pitch deck is concise
The presentation is one of the most important parts of a new business pitch. Remember, the main purpose of a pitch is to explain what you will do to meet the clients’ requirements and how you’re going to do it. Craft your pitch so it meets all expectations but is clear and easy to understand should they want to take another look once the pitch is over.
Always include all the important information in the bulk of the presentation, such as background information, ideas, and suggestions. Any other insight you believe is worth adding, but isn’t required, can just sit in the appendix.
If you’re looking for more pitch deck inspiration on how to format and design your slides, then take a look at our other blog from Lou Fraser here.
As the saying goes… practice makes perfect. Once you have pulled your pitch together, get everyone together who will be attending the pitch and run through the presentation.
This gives you the chance to spot any errors, find any information you may have missed and still need to include. Getting the team together and going through the final pitch will ensure everyone is fully in the loop of what’s going to be presented, which will prepare everyone for any on-the-spot questions that may arise.
Confidence is key
We all feel a rush of nerves or excitement ahead of a pitch, so channel these emotions into your delivery.
It’s important to make sure you have a clear head and a confident tone, if you’re not feeling confident, pretend you are. If you’re presenting most of the insights, have a drink and keep taking sips when you start to feel exposed. Also, take breaks when speaking to allow for questions and ensure everyone is fully in the loop with what you’re presenting.
If you’re presenting as part of a team and you notice your colleague is struggling for words, I advise jumping in to help manage the conversation. After all, you’re a team and this will help showcase teamwork at its best.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
In most pitches, the business you’re pitching for usually give an overview into their business and introduce key members who you’ll probably be working alongside should you be successful. This is the perfect time to ask questions you haven’t been able to source answers for whilst conducting your research before the pitch. Never be afraid to ask questions during a pitch, as this showcases that you’re eager to learn more about the business and you’re genuinely interested.
Ask for feedback
Honesty is the best policy, so if you were not successful, ask your contact for honest feedback around why you were unsuccessful and what they liked/disliked about your pitch. Once you have their response, discuss the feedback with the team involved and consider the feedback when planning your next pitch. That way, you’re as prepared as possible to improve your pitch for the next opportunity that comes your way.