07 Sep The art of winning pitches
The coronavirus pandemic has decimated many industries, including large parts of the PR and communications sector. With many specialist agencies (especially those in travel and hospitality) needing to generate revenue to stay afloat and keep people employed, there is a renewed pressure on winning new business.
New business pitches can be intense environments. But is there an art to winning them? Here are my top three tips for mastering the art of the pitch:
1 – Do your research
This sounds straightforward but you would be surprised how many clients remark about horror pitches they have sat through where the consultant was either not clued up on them as a business or struggled to demonstrate a clear understanding of the market. In our recent COVID 19 & PR: 2020 Impact Survey, demonstrating relevant experience in the industry was the number one asset technology companies look for when selecting a PR partner.
Do your research, understand the latest market trends and you will quickly find you are much more comfortable in the pitch scenario.
2 – Be yourself
Potential clients are not just using the pitch to see who can deliver the best functional PR support. They are examining if you and your team would suit their way of working. Yes, being able to deliver on your PR promises is important but so too is your personality. Do not be afraid to show off who you are and connect with your potential client on a personal level. Those that do often stand out.
Some clients are not just looking for agreement – they want honest, open and evidence-based consultancy. Often, the hardest part of our job is advising clients whom we disagree with – but if you cannot be honest in the pitch about where they are going wrong, why should they trust you?
3 – Be creative
Anyone who has ever worked in an in-house marketing department will know that often you are over-stretched and under-resourced, with little time to think creatively. As a result, PR campaigns can fall flat and run out of steam quickly.
This is where your pitch can shine. Spend time coming up with campaign ideas! Push the envelope and do not be scared to suggest ideas – often these are where the most memorable PR campaigns come from.