Nothing happens in business until someone goes out and sells something.
It could be your product, a service or your professional advice. Whatever it is, you need to articulate how both you and your product are much better than similar offers being made by your competitors (even if they're actually not). Remember, it’s not necessarily the best product or service that wins - it's the best pitch.
'It Started with a Kiss...' or more likely, a meeting
In any sort of business this process inevitably starts with a meeting. Pulling up a chair in front of a potential client is often a hard-won opportunity and therefore your ability to make the very most out of that initial encounter is critical. On most occasions you've only got a few minutes before the client has already made their mind up: If you get it wrong, then you'll hear those familiar words: 'Thanks for coming in, we'll get back to you..'
So put yourself in the client's seat. Think about it. Yours may well be the third or fourth sales pitch or presentation they've heard this week. If you all sound the same, say the same and offer the same, how can the client possibly slide a sheet of paper between you? How can they choose? Well the answer is they will choose on price and that's a bad outcome for you and it's a bad outcome for them.
In tough market how you pitch, how you sell your capabilities and how you differentiate yourselves from competitors is crucial to success or failure. If you just rely on your brand or previous reputation to get you through then, frankly, you're toast!
The uncomfortable truth:
'In any competitive pitch, the best product or service offer doesn't necessarily win… the best pitch wins'
Your ability to demonstrate your differential (as opposed to claiming it) is fundamental to your success. Unless you can demonstrate why your product or service is better and how you will provide additional value and benefit over and above your competitors, then you demonstrate no differential at all. None. Zero. Zip. So your client will simply pick the cheapest.
To beat your competition you need to make certain your people differentiate themselves in the way they pitch and perform in front of potential clients. Whether you're selling professional services, hardware, software or even Tupperware, your pitch presentations need to be exceptional. You need to engage naturally, demonstrate leadership to the client and articulate real value and vision. You need to be able to encourage, persuade and convince. You need to articulate your ideas and offerings with clarity, brevity and personal impact. Above all, you need to stop selling and allow the client to start buying.
Emergency Surgery on Your Pitch & Presentation!
If you've got an important pitch or client presentation coming up but it's looking a bit flat and ordinary then get the team together. My team at The Executive Performance Academy will come in and work with you often at very short notice. It's never too late to make changes and polish performance and if necessary, even turn the whole pitch around. We'll look at your key messages, the overall structure, the delivery styles and the team dynamics. We’ll look at how you're using visual aids such as Power Point and we'll focus upon the whole impact and take-aways demonstrated both by both the pitch content and the performance of the delivery team. We will help restructure any areas where you are demonstrating little or no differential, we will coach individual team members on their skills and we will ensure that you present a powerful and persuasive presentation that just oozes clarity, brevity and impact.
In short, we’ll rip out the flabby bits from your presentation and transplant something that's alive and kicking. Then we'll do our absolute best to ensure that you win. It's what we do!
The Bottom Line!
You cannot afford to risk the time, effort and money put in to pitching for major contracts unless you have ensured that your actual presentation is first class. Otherwise all those months of hard work and preparation could be lost in the space of just 15 minutes.