Pitching your services to another business can be daunting. Even the most experienced professionals worry about pitching processes. Indeed, there’s no way of saying whether your solution is going to win the day. More importantly, it can be tricky to meet the expectations of the business when, more often than not, most treat open pitches as the opportunity to explore new ideas.
For hundreds of professionals who have done their research for the pitch, only one solution will be chosen. The selection process, however, doesn’t always reflect on your hard work. Indeed, businesses choose a pitch winner on a variety of factors, including costs and existing partnerships. However, there are subtle methods you can use to influence their decision and give your solution a chance. Indeed, making a memorable and positive first impression can help to tip the scale in your favor.
#1.brand everything you are going to give them
You can’t leave the pitching stage without giving a potential client something to remember your proposal. In the age of digital communication, it can seem foolish to consider printing out your pitch deck. However, most professionals prefer to approach the thinking process with pen and paper rather than using a digital screen. Therefore, printing out your presentation deck can be a game-changer. Packs can get messy, especially if you’ve got a lot of slides. Make sure to keep everything in place with a branded folder – professional print shop services are an excellent address to get your business name and address on top of your pitch folder. A little branding can go a long way in making your name known and noticed during the decision process.
#2. have a visual mockup
How do you best present a new idea? Words can only go so far. When you introduce a new product, service, or design, the best way to wow your audience is to show rather than tell. The mind can comprehend further information more rapidly through the help of visuals. It’s especially vital if you’re pitching technical solutions, as customers need a mockup to get everyone on the same page. Your mockup designs should also be part of the printed pitch deck. Whenever possible, include relevant images that are directly lifted from their branded imagery and their website or products selection, as this facilitates the visualization process. Indeed, the easier you make it to decision-makers to picture your solution within their business culture, the more you boost your chances.
#3. always keep your portfolio accessible
You can include many examples and testimonials on your pitch slides. But you might come across questions and requests on the pitching day that might make you wish you had displayed more of your portfolio. Unfortunately, for the sake of pitch clarity, you need to choose between what is relevant and what is necessary. However, keeping your other case studies in the cloud can be a blessing during the post-pitch Q&A. Indeed, keeping your portfolio secure in the cloud gives you the opportunity to be flexible, and show only what your potential clients ask to see. It’s ideal for tackling last-minute queries, making you appear professional and helping you to make your point in real-time. You can be sure that promising to send further documentation after the pitch will not help your case.
#4. tailor your PPT to their brand palette
Each brand has a specific palette that is displayed on their website and other marketing materials. You can use the colors of the business to personalize the pitch deck to their brand. Both PowerPoint and Keynote allow users to create customer theme colors, which means you can easily complement your presentation message.
#5. train yourself to speak slowly
Speaking in public can be a source of stress, even for the most experienced professionals. Unfortunately, you can’t afford to let your nerves get the best of you. You need to learn to control your speech pace. Speaking quickly can not only make your presentation difficult to understand but also forgettable to the audience. The ideal speed to introduce new ideas to an audience is to slow down your speech pattern to 140-160 words a minute. It is an unnaturally slow pace, but it will work wonders during your pitch. You can practice with a metronome to keep time – most people can say as many as 400 words in a lively conversation, so you will need dedication to speak slowly!
#6. nobody wants your branded pen
Should you end your presentation with a business gift? While it might be tempting to give a token of your appreciation, you need to be careful about your choice of branded gift. Indeed, the traditional business pen and notepad present don’t impress anymore. If you’re going to bring gifts to a pitch, you have to be creative. Ultimately, you won’t be the first person distributing freebies at the end of a presentation. Embracing your creativity can, however, make all the difference. Think of your business present as an extension of your pitching deck; it should be meaningful and inspiring, such as a free online tool sample, for instance.
#7. prepare your summary
It’s good practice to send a thank-you email after the pitch. However, if you’re going to do it quickly and effectively, you have to prepare the work first. Create a draft of your email with a brief synopsis of your presentation. Then, all you need to add a personal touch before sending the email. Additionally, keep your text short and sweet; you don’t want to waste their time.
#8. dress to support your brand
Last but not least, you are in control of your outfit. You can use subtle notes to refer to your brand colors, such as using blouse or hair accessories to showcase your color palette. The key is to keep is low key. In other words, if your brand uses vibrant colors, try to focus on accessories. On the other hand, pastels and neutrals can be used as clothing items.
Creating a pitch that impresses your leads is a difficult task. When you are one of many to pitch in front of them, you have to maximize the chances of being remembered and appreciated throughout your presentation. Be smart and subtle, but, more to the point, make yourself visible.