I spoke to Katie from Word on the Street about how to pitch smarter. Listen to the episode:
What makes a good pitch process
It’s all about the process! You need to have a process in place that is really instilled in everyone in the agency who is involved with the pitch. Rebelling against the process, however, is ok but you do need to have the process there in the first place. The process starts from the moment you get the pitch and everyone who plans to work on the pitch needs to be involved in this process in order to win it. The team should sit down together to organise and understand who will be doing what for the pitch in order to be successful with it. Do you know the client and have a relationship with them? How much should you be nurturing that relationship? Having a dedicated team working on the pitch, and having a relationship with the client before going in to pitch to them will give you an advantage.
Building relationships is a huge competitive advantage. Going out of your way as part of your pitching process to build relationships by picking up the phone, booking in time to ask questions, going to see them in person to ask questions and have some face time with them is something a lot of people forget to do but is so important. We are selling services (not products) delivered by people, for people. Always think about what extra things you can be doing, are you doing deep and insightful research that shows you care and understand their audience? Are you showing up in a way that is stand out? Show up in a memorable way by doing things slightly differently during your pitch like running a workshop with outputs from the session, rather than just showing up to deliver the pitch like every other agency. How can you be extra at every stage of the pitching process? There is so much more that we can be doing, go the extra mile and think of ways you can stand out and make an unforgettable impact!
There are lots of really important ingredients that go into creating and delivering winning pitches. One of the most important parts of a pitch is your process – if you put a really good pitch process in place and make sure you’ve met every requirement and not missed anything out, then your conversion rate will be higher. Another important element of pitching is the research side of things – who’s your audience? Spend time working out who that is and then go and talk to them to find out some first hand experiences, what do that audience really want? Strategy is also very important, getting strategic insights, brain storming ideas with everyone – even the less creative people. Another important step in the process is client tissue meetings – if the client doesn’t want to make time for a tissue meeting then that can be a bit of a red flag! Tissue meetings are a great opportunity to find out more about the brief and build relationships. How are you going to deliver your pitch? This is something you need to work out. You can do things to shake up your pitch and stand out from the other agencies pitching, do something quirky or different like taking them into virtual reality, sending them a coffee or pastry to enjoy whilst you are pitching, etc. Sell your story whilst you pitch and think of ways to stand out!