Pitching – the coup method
There are many ways to approach and deliver a pitch. All good approaches focus on the clients’ reality; their circumstances, their aims, needs and constraints.
The best sales pitches will:-
- Speak to the client’s emotional drivers in their language
- Be succinct and compelling
- Ask for the order.
- The pitch is not the conversation. The pitch is the climax of the conversation.
- Don’t pitch until you have done the preparation:-
- Have you learned enough about the client’s business?
- Have you developed genuine insights into their circumstances?
- Have you established credibility?
- Are you trusted?
- Does this person have the authority to accept your offer?
- Are you ready to move into action should they accept your offer?
- Know what you are pitching for. A deep business relationship is the result of many pitches, each moving the relationship to a deeper level:-
- The first pitch may to be have a meeting
- The second may be to authorise fact finding and discovery
- The third may be for a meeting with an colleague with expertise
- The fourth may be for the entry level solutions
- The fifth may be for the whole-of-business solution.
Recommended Structure for the Pitch
- Lead with INSIGHTS that show that you:-
- Have a superior understanding of the client’s business; their aims, their constraints, their financials, etc
- Have a superior understanding of their operating environment; industry conditions, and relevant psychological dimensions. Remember – businesses are about people and relationships
- Can articulate a compelling and genuine need using the client’s own language.
- Follow with the IMPACT of the unmet need:-
- Bring the costs to the client’s attention; make their pain overt
- Show you care about the client enough to think about the impact on them; demonstrate your desire to alleviate their pain.
- Project an achievable AIM – the desirable future when the needs are met
- Encapsulate a credible vision for a better future
- Display confidence in your capacity to improve on the current situation.
- Present the SOLUTION
- Be succinct, precise and deliberate, as this communicates mastery over your solution
- Don’t rush it.
- Ask for the ORDER
- By now the offer on the table should be very clear
- Establish purposeful eye contact
- Be calm and practical
- Ask a clear question about the deal, not the product
- Use variations on:-
- “Do we have a deal?”
- “Do you want to proceed?”
- “When would you like to get started?”
From Structure to Performance
Ultimately, success in pitching will come down to a range of factors, not the least of which is how you perform your pitch in the moment.
Timing is critical. Go too early – before you’ve earned trust or credibility – and you could damage the relationship. Go too late, and the client may have moved on.
Your performance will be supported by a solid structure that tracks the client’s thought process; their growing attraction to your solution.
However, the benefits of structure begin long before you deliver your pitch. Structure provides the prompts to trigger your own thought process, so that you do the preparation and your value proposition is a genuinely good one.
If it is important to win the client, it is important to practice. Learn how to practice in ways that do not stifle authenticity and spontaneity. Our tip for this is to keep your focus on your audience rather than yourself.
If you’ve got an important pitch coming up that would benefit from strategic advice, performance coaching or practice, contact us and we’ll help you win it.