Thursday, April 19, 2012

Delivering a Successful Pitch

From a network of fellow colleagues, I am pleased to share 8 tips to delivering a successful pitch to potential clients. Those tips include:

Understanding Your Client's Objectives

  • A very wise mentor shared with me one day in my early stages of training, "There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth." I asked why and she simply replied, "You need one ear to listen and one ear to hear."  The moral of the story, be sure to pay close attention to what your client or potential client is saying to you and what they hope to achieve.  It's wise to ask clear questions during the inquiry. It helps to review WHO the client is and who they are trying to reach, WHAT the client wants done, WHERE will the work be done, WHEN does the work need to be done helps you to set a clear timeline with deliverables, WHY is this project being launched or proposed, and finally HOW will you do it.
  • It's also important to be honest with yourself and with the client if you feel that you are unable or unwilling to work on the project or contract. It's always better to stay focused on what you and your company does well.

Be Thorough in Your Research

  • Research starts immediately after scheduling a consultation with your client. It's your responsibility to learn as much as possible about your new client. It starts by reviewing their website starting with their mission statement and purpose, their successes and the overall look of the site. You may not be a web designer but you certainly will be able to get an impression of how their message is being shared with others, is it user friendly, are the colors soothing or irritating and can you tell what the product.

Think Outside the Box

  • Every client, if they have been in business for any length of time has an understanding of basic public relations and marketing techniques. Clients are looking for something that may allow them to appear on the cutting edge of reaching their target audience or market with a twist to make them  be noticed. It's also fun to brainstorm with your colleagues and friends to develop a wish list of ideas that could be implemented. Next step, review and sort through those creative ideas. The process will assist you in developing your plan of action.

Start Global, Zoom in for Details

  • As you plan your presentation, always start your presentation globally, sharing broad ideas. Start with clear strategies on how you would accomplish their goals, then move into the tactical details to be used in reaching those goals.

Speak with Confidence

  • Confidence in yourself and in what you are saying is reflected in your voice. Your voice is the primary vehicle for conveying enthusiasm, interest and setting a conversational tone. If you are genuinely interested the client will pick that up by your level of excitement, responses and well thought out questions.

Wow the Client with Your Presentation Deck

  • It's always helpful to have a presentation deck ready to be presented about you or your company before and after meeting your client.  The initial presentation is a time to introduce the client to your great work and services that you can provide. The post meeting presentation could be submitted to the client with strategic ideas and concepts to address information obtained from your client meeting. After meeting with one of my clients interested in a new logo for their organization, the Promotions West team created a powerful presentation deck and sent it off to the client for their review. Shortly after receiving the deck, the client called with an order to move forward with the idea. The presentation deck helps the client to see the big picture or can nudge them to also think out of the box visually.

Put Your Best Game Forward

  • After a successful presentation to the client, remember to present the most important piece of the puzzle -- the close.  So often we forget to ask for the job, contract or project.  Most people will go around and around as it may feel uncomfortable  or pushy. One simple way to close  using your same professional tone is to say, "This is exciting, how would you like to proceed or what are the next steps? This will allow the client to respond.

As always, the most important tip is to remember to have fun. If you love your work the way I do, it will come naturally.