The secrets to nailing a perfect pitch

How do you get a potential client to see how fantastic you are? Industry professionals give their guides to perfect pitching.

You might be the world's finest designer but if you can't sell your work, concepts and ideas to clients then you're never going to make a living.

We asked seven top industry professional for there tips, techniques and strategies for ensuring they emerge intact from the pitch process.

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01. Three golden rules

Head of client services at Forward3D Supriya Dev-Purkaystha says: "Winning a pitch is about three things. First, credibility. Do you deserve to be there? And could anyone in the room look foolish for having chosen you?

"Second, engagement – is the pitch a monologue or a dialogue?

"Third, commitment. What exactly is the client going to get? Vague claims of 'betterness' or revenue uplift aren't convincing. Credibility gets you in the room but alone it won't win pitches. It's the other two that you need to focus on, with engagement being the more critical."

02. Show your personality

"Remember the client is buying from you, and your personality is what will set you apart," says freelance designer Dan Edwards. "Put yourself in their position: avoid buzzwords, be patient and take the time to understand what the client really wants. Above all, show you are passionate, be honest and don't be afraid to ask tough questions."

03. Know when to say no

"First things first, make sure you actually want to do it," says strategy director at Think, Lea Simpson. "A successful agency is usually one which knows when to say no to the wrong pitch. Make sure your team is close and has rehearsed a lot – you can't fake chemistry.

"It's important to behave as any good host would, which means being attentive to all of the team, not just the most senior person. Remember that a pitch works both ways – this is an agency's chance to see whether the client has the right ambition and culture for them, too.

"Show interest by asking questions, and challenging some of the preconceived notions within the brief."

Next page: four more secrets to nailing the perfect pitch