The Definitive Business PitchHow to make the best pitches, proposals and presentations
Good ideas don't sell themselves.
In today's business world it's no longer just sales people who are responsible for winning business. Many people, from TV producers to landscape gardeners, consultants to builders, need to employ convincing communication skills to win clients and commissions. Even managers within a business have to sell their ideas, proposals and plans as they compete for support and scarce resources.
With increasingly competitive markets the norm, your customers and clients are almost certain to have a choice. It's not just what your business can do that matters - it's how you pitch your offer that determines success. Poor preparation or presentation at the pitching stage will lose the business to a competitor. Getting the basics right is not enough: you have to get ahead of the competition.
This guide is packed with practical ideas, tips and checklists that will ensure you are ahead of the crowd. It takes you right through the process, from deciding whether or not to pitch, getting to know the client, doing the essential preparation and then pitching for success. Unlike most of the titles available, this book covers both written proposals and oral presentations, showing you how to harness effective business communication skills to make the perfect winning pitch.
The Definitive Business Series will ensure you get up to speed fast with all the business essentials you need to be a success. With their guided step-by-step approach the latest practical business techniques and concepts and their easy-to-read style, The Definitive Business Series cover every aspect of the topic from the business basics to the essential skills needed to progress in your career.
The Definitive Business Series. Your fast-track to business success.
About the author
1 Good ideas dont sell themselves
Persuasive communication a life skill
Building a better mouse trap the basis of competitive advantage
What is a competitive advantage?
What is a sustainable advantage?
The pitch the missing link
Its not my job2 Spotting the pitfalls
The value of auditing
A simple communication process
Roles in the buying process
Understand the decision-making process
Noise and feedback
Troubleshooting3 To pitch or not to pitch
Saying no needs bravery
The facts and the figures
But who do we say no to?
The challenge of profiling
Profiling the successes
Do we want the business?
Manage the volume
How to say no4 Getting to know the market
Real customer focus
The sector context
The role of marketing
Build the big picture
A market checklist
Set up competitor watches
Where does customer information come from?
Digging for detail
The brief the information starting point
Meeting the decision-making unit
Success lies in preparation5 Putting on the customers shoes
A source of competitive advantage
Turning features into benefits
Interpreting research with empathy
Establishing the parameters
About you or about me?
Look and listen
Body language clues
Summarising empathy options6 Preparing to pitch
From building blocks to business
Setting the scene
Setting the strategy
Preparing the team
Who does what role?
Know your team
Briefing the team
Structuring the pitch
Added value and the bottom line
Using support materials
Practise, practise, practise7 Pitching with punch
Just another pitch!
First impressions count
Managing expectations and time
Working alone the salespersons pitch
Choreographing the pitch
Involve the audience
Presenting complex data
Adding the price tag
Watching body language
Dont be surprised
Its a question of money
Remember a strong finish
About that impact
Next steps8 Winning proposals
What are they?
The problem with proposals
Proposals as physical evidence
Start with the brief
Building a persuasion sandwich
The value of templates
Notice the sales message
Written not spoken
Sending your proposal
A legal footnote9 Preparing to present
Scoping your presentation
Factors that make a difference
Technical resources and support
A presentation checklist
About support materials
Presenters and presentation skills10 Presenting with panache
Its the quality that counts
Expertise rather than impact
Nailing those nerves
Supporting each other
Relate and empathise
Dealing with questions
Adding the sales message
Post-purchase dissonance11 Keep getting better
Keep moving on
Test and measure
A final word
- If you are a freelancer, starting up your own business, need to win business, or simply want to gain more budget for your project, knowing the tips and techniques to successful pitching will put you steaks ahead of your competitors.
- Pitching is at the sharp end of business and yet it is 'the missing link' in many people's repertoire of business skills.
- The Definitive Business Pitch will show you how to present and write a winning business pitch every time.
Angela Hatton is a specialist in marketing strategy writing, consulting and training. She has more than 16 years' experience of pitching for training and consultancy for her own marketing and management business; 'Tactics'. Over the years, her core clients have included Lloyds TSB, Norwich Union, IBM and BT. She has facilitated workshops on successful pitching and presentations for clients such as the BBC and IPC Media. Hatton is author of The Definitive Guide to Marketing Planning (0273649329).