A good client pitch should be a dialogue, not a monologue.When speaking to an important client, it’s tempting to want to impress them with PowerPoint presentations that have lots and lots of bullet points and complicated graphics. This is euphemistically called a “dog and pony show.” As you will often hear me say, do not make this mistake.
Instead, try a different approach. Take the time to create a good leave-behind that has incorporates everything you had in your PowerPoint presentation and whatever else you want them to know about you and your firm.
Then, put your own material aside and concentrate on your potential client. Research the company or individual, of course, using some of the same techniques we discussed HERE and HERE. In addition, if possible, ask for a tour of the company headquarters, if viewing their facility would help you understand their business better. Try to compile a list of all the individuals who will be in the presentation and research them, looking for recent press or new projects especially.
Engage your client, so they’ll engage you
On the day of your pitch, give the client a brief talk, without PowerPoint, highlighting why you or your firm is a good fit. Then focus most of your time on interacting with the potential client, including asking questions. If you have made it as far as the in-person pitch, they almost always know you’re qualified.
Ask anyone who has been pitched what they are looking for in that “dog and pony show” and most will say they are trying to figure out if they can work smoothly with the person. Will they be easy to work with? Responsive to the client’s particular needs? Will they mind the budget? Will they care about, or pay attention to, the bottom line? Is the firm even a good fit, budget- and personality-wise?
These are the types of questions you want to address during your pitch. A good interactive exchange of information between the prospective client and yourself will be far more productive and impressive than a one-way dog-and-pony show. Besides, as I’ve said before, people like to talk far more than they like to listen … so get them talking.
Remember: A good client pitch should be a dialogue, not a monologue.