Even the most sophisticated pitches, should have that desire to sell as the focus. We want to sell our products and services for cash. We have an opportunity, an audience and we almost always have competition. The overtness of the ‘selling’ might be more muted and more careful, depending on your business, but it’s a sale you’re after still, isn’t it? So why is pitching for business a dark art? Isn’t it obvious what we all have to do, to do well? In my experience the answer is ‘no’. Most people don’t really know what to do. So we spend lots of our time helping some very skilled organisations, and their greatly experienced people do just that.
Whether you have a car, a service or a concept to sell, your skill in understanding your customer and presenting your ‘product’ in ways that are appealing to him or her will help you, not only in every single pitch you do, but in your wider careers too. You’ll have more empathy, a greater understanding of your customers hopes and dream, and you’ll be better at making your thing, more relevant, and your proposition more compelling.
Our experience is based on 25 years experience of selling real products, ideas and services in the real world, to businesses like Ford, Accenture, JP Morgan and Rolls-Royce. The we found that our customers liked what we’d done in our own pitches so much, that our reputation spread. Soon we were being asked to help them in their own sales efforts. So about 50% of our work today helps amazing businesses sell their own stuff to the whole world.
We’ve built and tested our skills, time and time again helping our clients sell cars, finance, consulting, pharmaceutical products and technology in every market you could imagine. Our ideas are practical and theoretically sound. Our job is to help you to sell more and better of your hard-won expertise and your world-class products.
Here’s our approach, based on the fact that building a world-class pitch is a matter of 80% process and 20% genius, and genius is overrated. The basic steps are:
- Get a great story;
- Tell the story in the most impactful, interesting and relevant way for the audience;
- Rehearse the deliver and the questions much more than you write.
And here are some more of our thoughts on pitching for business that might help.