04. Have belief
Believe in your pitch, and believe in your team," says Rockpool Digital's client services director Matt Connolly. "Believe in what you are pitching and who you are pitching with. Passion and confidence are difference-makers and they can only happen when the pitch team trusts each other and the concept it has created."
"And whether it's a win or loss, get the pitch team together and explore what worked well, and what could have been done better. Trust your team's opinions and believe in their ability to keep improving."
05. Research your client's business
User experience director at Delete Agency Tom Dougherty comments: "Demonstrating a commercial understanding of your client's business and the impact you believe your work could have on it will instil confidence that you are able to operate beyond just producing pretty design work.
"Most businesses will be measuring their digital activity on a set of objectives and KPIs that are typically established early in the pitch phase. Extracting these from your client and referencing them throughout your presentation will convey a sense of business acumen that clients are always encouraged to see."
06. Deviate from your pitch
Art director Owen Shifflett says: "People spend a lot of time preparing and practicing their pitches, but the reality is that it's the deviations from the script that create early trust and excitement.
To invite meaningful participation, treat the pitch as a kick-off, rather than a sales endeavour. Be ready to evolve the conversation on the fly to adapt to the flow of the discussion. Bring your deck, but let it be your ideas and interactions that drive your pitch.
07. Recipe for success
Managing director at Si Digital, Steve Pipe comments: "Here's my recipe for success:
- Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and practice. We do at least one dummy run to the team before pitching to the client.
- If you can, call the client to ask questions beforehand – this helps build a rapport.
- Do your research. Understand the problems facing the client, its competitors and the industry as a whole.
- Encourage questions. The pitch should be more of a discussion than a monologue.
- You won't win every pitch. Don’t get disheartened."
Words: Martin Cooper
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