Pitching to new clients, or even pitching new ideas to existing clients, can be a daunting process at times – This takes skill and insight.
Ultimately, pitching is necessary in order to grow your business and build meaningful working relationships.
So to break it down, let’s look at it like you would any relationship – what are the key characteristics you need to perfect?
Well, we can start with a basic foundation of core values, such as a genuine interest in the other party, constructive sharing of ideas, and mutual benefit.
From here, we can build on these values, and develop a deeper level of understanding.
Meeting New People
Before you even consider the pitch, it is important to get yourself and your brand out there. Through networking and meeting new people, you are already beginning to grow your potential client base.
Much like socialising as a singleton, the more people you meet, the more chance you have of meeting the right one for you. And this is not strictly limited to face-to-face networking.
Selling yourself as a person and as a brand is key to drawing people in – it’s all about personality and a personal approach.
Tip – Identify brands, products, and services that you are passionate about. This will make your ‘genuine interest’ truly shine through. Make your passion palpable and your enthusiasm will be infectious. By cultivating a genuine passion, you can come up with interesting angles and ideas driven by this, beyond what your competition may explore.
Do Your Research
In the same way, you would want to get to know someone well in any relationship, knowing key information about your potential client is paramount.
Except, unlike in romantic relationships, business relationships should be researched thoroughly in advance of the first meeting, and of the first pitch. If you are pitching for a brand new client, make sure you know your stuff.
Tip – Research the company thoroughly, explore their competitors in the space and have a clear understanding of their goals. Equally, if you are pitching for an existing client, but for a new project, make sure you are clear on the aims of the project, in order to tailor your pitch accordingly.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Preparation is key – It is a cliché, but it is true. If you go into a pitch blind, you are sure to fail. Not only do you need to research the client and their goals, but you need to be completely clear on how you are going to meet their needs.
Tip – Outline how your company and its offerings are directly suited to the client’s brand, and what you can do, specifically, to meet their requirements. The more preparation you do, the stronger your pitch will be, and the stronger your case for a business partnership.
Be Clear And Concise
Ensuring you meet all the goals of a brief does not mean it is necessary to waffle on about all of your experience. If you adequately meet the needs of the brief, your skills will speak for themselves, without having to prove yourself through all your past experiences.
Of course, if they are relevant, it likely won’t hurt to bring them up as a case study, but the key target here is to meet the brief.
Presenting a concise pitch will enable the client to clearly understand your points, rather than having to find them among a lot of excess information.
As in any beginning stage of a relationship, you want the conversation to run two ways. You want to ensure both parties are compatible; there is no opportunity to establish this if one party does all the talking.
Tip – Leaving the client with something tangible that they can refer back to is a great practice to get into the habit of. Whether this is an outline of your pitch, in the form of a physical handout, or a soft copy, or even just a branded item to keep your company at the forefront of their minds, all can prove beneficial in the long run.
Don’t Be Afraid To Give Out Incentives
Perhaps this is where the dating analogy should take a back seat, but, in business, giving things out for free is not a bad thing.
By offering a taster of your company’s offerings, not only are you demonstrating your faith in your services, but you are also positioning yourself in a good place for brand trust and returning clients.
Tip – If you are able to offer a taster of what you bring to the table as a company, combining any client pitch with this kind of trial may stand you in good stead for winning the project.
The Elevator Pitch: Tried And Tested
Much like speed-dating, this form of selling yourself and your company in a short space of time forces you to hone in on the most important and relevant aspects of your offerings.
This should be something that you always have to hand, so to speak.
By whittling down your company’s key selling points to just what you could fit into a mere 2 or 3 minutes, you essentially form the basis of all pitches. It can exist in its simplest, purest form, but can also be expanded upon to create a full and detailed pitch.
This is an essential tool, enabling you to pitch to anyone you meet, anywhere, and at the shortest notice.
Tip – Always carry business cards with you. You never know when you might find yourself in conversation with your next big client. Being prepared leaves you safe in the knowledge that you can always put your contact details in the hands of the most influential of chance meetings.