As the old saying goes ‘you never get a second chance to make a good first impression’ and that’s never truer than in business. When you are one of many fighting for the attention of your prospects you need to make sure you put your best foot forward if you want to stand a chance of creating an ongoing partnership. Whether you’re pitching your business or a proposal for a new project, you should ensure that you are well prepared and have a killer presentation that will win their interest and their business. Here’s some tips to ensure you take home the prize:
Hook, line and sinker
What makes you unique as a business? What amazing credentials does your company hold? Maybe you have a number of projects for big name brands under your belt or have won some industry awards for your work. Start your presentation by talking about these. Spike their interest at the beginning of the presentation and you will hold it throughout, meaning they will pay attention to everything that follows. Best foot forward.
A problem shared is a problem solved
After you’ve shown them you mean business it’s time to focus on what you can do for them. You should know your prospects frustrations before you attend the pitch so you can create bespoke solutions for them. They should leave that pitch thinking that your business provides all the solutions to their problems and the only way they can know this is if you find out what their problems are first. For example, you’re a business that builds websites so if you are pitching a new website to a client, make sure you understand the reason they want a new website in the first place, maybe to drive more leads or to improve load speed. Highlight in your pitch regularly how your new website will solve that problem and do much more besides.
This time it’s personal
Clients, like everyone else, like to feel special. They like to feel as though people have worked hard to impress them and to win their approval. If you turn up with a standard proposal that is clearly the same one that everyone else receives they are not going to feel this way about you. Make an effort to stand out from the crowd and personalise your proposal to include details about the client and the potential project you may be working on. This could be really simple things like adding your client’s logo throughout the presentation or changing the colours of the decks to match the companies brand. Using images from their website or directly referencing their products are also good ways of showing that this a bespoke pitch.
The proof is in the pudding
Use the sales pitch as a way of showing off your skill set. If you are a creative agency, make sure your presentation looks the business and consider using something other than Powerpoint, like a quirky video proposal or smooth presentation software like Prezi. If you are company that claims to be forward thinking, don’t turn up with an old laptop that sounds like a Boeing 747 when you turn it on. Use up to date technology and methods, e.g using you tablet to take notes. Don’t just tell them what you are … show them!
Give to receive
People like to feel as though they are getting a good deal and that their money is going to go far towards getting the results they want. Give them something for free, whether that’s some advice, a free consultation or a free trial period to use your service. This makes the prospect feel as though you are not just driven by money and that you are so confident in your product that you are happy to let them try some of it for free. Also, when people receive something for free, they feel as though they owe you something back, like a debt unpaid. Which means they may feel more obligated to put their business your way.
Fail to prepare…. prepare to fail
Finally, don’t leave anything to chance and make sure you are prepared for the meeting. Practice, practice, practice your presentation. Consider some of the objections that might come up and have answers prepared. Get a good nights sleep and a good meal the night before so you feel in fighting form and leave plenty of time for bad traffic on the way there. You need to feel in control and relaxed to give your best performance, so don’t let avoidable issues be the reason for losing a pitch.