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Leading the pitch – 10 top tips for getting the pitch over the line

10th October 2023

So, you’ve fist punched the air, danced around the kitchen (in virtual times) and called the CEO. You’ve just received an RFP from a prospect client who needs your full suite of services, in a sector you know inside out! You’ve nailed it, but in truth the way you respond NOW is what really counts!

As the guardian of the relationship, you have probably been speaking with the prospect for months, maybe years, so you know more about that person, their challenges and business needs than anyone else. Therefore, you need to step up and lead the pitch team. That doesn’t mean you deliver the presentation or lead the project, your role may differ, but you make it happen!

I’ve been in this position many times, it’s a responsibility so I hope these tips, will help you and the team get the pitch over the line.

1. Set out a project plan from the off, including timelines and dates for key deliverables such as; agreeing the team, collating questions, the client’s responses, schedule internal meetings, proposal structure, developing content and uploading final document. If it’s a procurement portal it can be a nightmare. Highlight gaps in your capabilities early so solutions can be put in place.

2. Set up a shared file, template and communicate the process. The worst thing possible is to lose or duplicate content, it’s happened!

3. Gather the right team and make sure they are prioritising the response. If you need specialists, bring them in from the off. Agree R&R and when content will be available. Timing is key for content. For example, agreeing the process and team is required before you can create the pricing matrix.

4. Continually review the RFP, agreed & play back to the team the key client deliverables. Think about how to structure the response to answer their questions and make it easy to follow.

5. Identify early on what your USP’s will be and where you can really add value. It may be specific “tools”, data/insights or a process that you adopt. Showcase your IP.

6. Show a granular understanding of consumer trends and how you can help them harness trends and innovate to connect better with their consumers.

7. Remote pitching makes it even more tricky to maintain the attention of the audience and demonstrate your business culture. Try to reduce words and introduce other forms of comms such as video’s, infographics and animation that is relevant, short and reflective of your culture.

8. Be clear about your commitment to the prospect client and how your input will truly benefit their business in 1yr, 2yrs and 3-years’ time.

9. Invest time and money to make the document on brand, accurate, engaging, consistent, formatted beautifully so the content SHINES.

10. Make sure you are part of the final document sign off and attend the presentation. You have built trust with the prospect and you must make sure that all your knowledge is reflected in your response.

GOOD LUCK!

This is in no way an exhaustive list, every pitch you do you learn something new. I’d love to know what you would add to the list?

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