Sprocket How-To: Perfect That Pitch
December 5, 2018
We’re are getting dangerously close to #NewYearNewMe social media posts. It’s just that time of year — the new year reset gets under the skin of even the most satisfied people. And while it can get to be a bit, uh, much, we get the appeal of seizing the moment to improve on what we’ve already done and built.
As communications professionals at a PR and social media agency, our internal goal is to improve on our new business numbers from 2018. Our internal goal is to ALWAYS BE CLOSING. JK, but we do want to continue to improve on our sales numbers from the previous year—which means bringing on new clients.
And in our ongoing new business quest, we’ve learned a few things. Below, we share three key tips for wooing new clients.
- Prepare. Good pitches don’t just happen magically. No – the best new business pitches come from preparing for the questions your potential client will ask; practicing what you’re going to say so you’re not relying on notecards; and making sure each member of your team knows what portion of the pitch they’re going to speak to. That seems basic, but it’s so important. Also, don’t forget to review the brand’s social media accounts, website, news hits—anything that gives you more background info and that will allow you to make informed comments to the group you’re pitching.
- Sell your experience. Assuming this isn’t your first rodeo, lean on your experience in the industry and your experience as a communicator to bolster your case. Of course, no two projects are the same—acknowledge that from the jump. But lessons learned can be applied across campaigns, across industries, and it’s worth talking about what you’ve learned and the experience you’ve gained. Make sure to note, though, that you’re always thinking of creative new shiz, not just repeating campaign ideas.
- Be flexible. Someone experienced in pitching operates by a guide—the proposal you submitted, perhaps a set of dynamic slides to use as reference—but is able to be nimble and let questions and comments take the conversation to new places. Eventually, of course, you’ll need to get back to the presentation, but demonstrating that you can speak candidly about their industry, pain points, or tactics you would recommend is important and shows that you’re really plugged in to their industry and needs.