As part of our Jumpstart campaign, we offer some pointers for making a great pitch. Today, we talk about attention to detail. When you craft anything, build it with care. Present it with strength, capability, passion and pride, and it will grab attention. Real beauty shines through and it’s memorable. It commands respect for the craft of what you do and shows a potential client the level of energy you can bring to their business. Pay close attention to these 5 things to make your pitch pop.
1. Written presentation
Reduce clutter in your words on screen and in print. Go for fewer words and more meaning. Your pitch should be written concisely to communicate with impact. Along with great writers and editors, professional proofreaders rule! This week, a contestant was eliminated from Season 2 of “Ink Master” on SPIKE because she misspelled “Corinthians” as “Cortnthians” and thought it was no big deal. No worries—it’s just A SPELLING ERROR INKED ON SOMEONE’S SKIN! You don’t get a do-over in a pitch. If you want to be taken seriously, don’t make mistakes.
2. Oral presentation
Reduce clutter in your spoken words. What you say has everything to do with how you say it. Eliminate the “uh’s” and “um’s”. Stay focused and on topic. Don’t go down a rabbit hole. Keep the conversation flowing with purposeful pauses and pithy questions. Also, be mindful of time. If you were given an hour, be sure you finish with enough time for questions. There’s nothing worse than showing a potential client that you don’t value their time right out of the gate.
3. Level of insight
In a pitch, base-level understanding of a potential client’s audience, competition, and opportunities goes a long way.
Who do they market to? What gets the audience excited? Spend a bit of time getting to know the people who use the product or service. The customer is the key—see their perspective.
What does the landscape look like? Where does this company stand amongst competitors and what are people saying about them? Research the industry.
What differentiates this company? What are the potential opportunities for them to do something unique? Have an idea of where opportunity may lie to demonstrate true interest and attention to a detailed level of insight.
Follow the client’s guidelines, structure your presentation logically for ease of use. Design for simplicity and impact. Be sure to use current brand identity elements. If you show up to the pitch and your first page shows an old logo or brand colors, you’re in trouble and so is your Art Director.
5. Level of Engagement
Remember, the first component to a great pitch is chemistry. Put time into preparing for a client’s questions, not just rehearsing the pitch you’ve prepared. An integral part of pitch preparation should be thinking ahead, around all the angles and possible challenges and solutions. Pay close attention to the vibe in the room. Are the people engaged and excited? If what you’re saying right now isn’t clicking, think on your feet and be ready to refocus on the fly.
Crafting your best pitch requires practice and refinement. Plan ahead and put in the time.
Attention to detail is just one component of a successful pitch, so stay tuned for more pointers. Ready to put these tips to use? Submit your best pitch to JumpStart by October 26, 2012, for your chance to win $100,000 in agency services. Check out JumpStart for details.