Ask yourself why you want to win this pitch. Will the project help you scale your business? Does the client have similar values to your team?
The answer will help you focus and find the motivation to do your best proposal yet. Figure out how you can solve a problem for them, and add real value to what they do.
1. Be clear on the brief
First up, you need to understand what they want, and why. Delve a little deeper and find out who worked on the account before and what challenges they faced. Also ask why the potential client is looking to move to a new agency or service provider, and what they need more or less of.
Be in the know about what’s happening in their industry, identify trends and possible concerns and also figure out whether this brand is a good fit for your company. It’s ok to walk away at this point!
Tip: create a check list or client matrix with a few key factors to consider each time to decide whether it’s worth putting the time and energy in to this pitch.
2. Speak their language
When it comes to creating the pitch, find a way to present it in a way that they can relate to and will resonate with. Yes, a slick presentation is key, but so is the right tone, length and type of content you include.
What will really get their attention? Maybe it’s video clips, mini interviews with their target audience, industry statistics and what they mean for this brand specifically. Or maybe it’s the way you introduce your team. The bottom line is that you need to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression.
3. Play open cards
Authenticity wins every time. Be real and open about your approach, your skill set and make sure they understand your values as well as your product or service.
Mutual respect needs to be established upfront, and be the foundation of your relationship going forward. Welcome questions and feedback, and make it easy for them to do their homework about your business too.
Tip: make sure your website and LinkedIn profile are up to date, as these are the two places they’re likely to look (after Google, so make sure there are some recent reviews from clients or customers there too!)
4. Be strategic
Demonstrate your team’s strategic and creative ability, without giving away too much IP. A simple way to do this is to find a problem that they need help with, and suggest how you will solve it.
Teach them something they didn’t know about their brand or the industry they’re in and back it up with statistics. Also ask strategic questions to show that you’re interested to learn more, and have grasped the essence of what they do or are trying to achieve.
5. Close the feedback loop
Once the pitch is done and dusted, make sure you have a task or reminder to do a follow up email or call a few days later. Ask them when you’re likely to hear back, and plan your follow up strategy around that – you don’t want to nag them, but you don’t want to fall off the radar either, so it’s a fine balance!
And lastly, whether you win or lose the pitch, ask for constructive feedback, so you can continue to improve and attract the clients that will be a game changer for your business.
Related: How to Write a Funding Proposal