It’s Not What You Pitch, It’s How #7 – Leave a Leave-Behind

THE PITCH IS UNAVOIDABLE, SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL PERFECT YOURS

Picking up where we left off previously, here we are taking a hard look at the real reason the majority of firms don’t win pitches: it’s not what you’re pitching, it’s how you’re pitching.

Let’s give your brilliant ideas their best shot at winning. In this series of articles on the HOW of presenting your ideas within a competitive sales process (like RFPs, RFQs and the like), we are taking your game to the next level as we examine the Eight Hows of Pitching.

Last week we focused on HOW #6 – Pitch with a Wingman: because without a teammate, at some point you will end up tooting your own horn.

This week, we look at a clever way to add a special dash of magic right at the end of your pitch presentation.

HOW #7 – Leave a Leave-Behind

Remember how Steve Jobs used to say, “So, there is one more thing…”?

Clients love it when you spark their imagination. Therefore, I recommend you design and produce a tangible “leave-behind” that is a delightful little surprise that you present to them at the very end of your presentation.

This leave-behind is a tangible expression of your pitch, an object which the client can touch, smell and feel. It’s an exciting taste of a future reality… that your firm is already bringing to life. The client sees that you are thinking ahead in imaginative – yet real – ways.

The photo featured here on the left is an actual leave-behind that my firm created as part of our pitch to win the launch / rebrand of Velocity network. We also created a cigar holder and svelte metal box emblazoned with a laser-etched Velocity logo.

The clients were dazzled. Finally, someone was bringing their brand to life, right before their eyes.

Leave a leave-behind. Because the client is always wishing, “Don’t tell me. Show me.”

THE EIGHT HOWS OF PITCHING™

The picture of HOW to perfect your pitch is coming together and you are learning how to leverage your team to the greatest effect. Along with the other HOW strategies, you are ready to give your creative – your WHAT – its best shot.

To recap, here are the eight strategies in this series:

  • PITCH IN PERSON: Because passion and trust are more important than ideas.
  • PITCH LAST: Because by the time your pitch presentation is done, your competitors – and their ideas – will be a distant memory.
  • CONTROL THE PITCH: Because you – not the client – should be the one to walk him, page by page, through your amazing ideas.
  • PITCH A STORY: Because the client loves being immersed in a complete narrative.
  • PITCH ONLY FAVORITES: Because if you lack confidence in your ideas, the client will lose confidence in you.
  • PITCH WITH A WINGMAN: Because without a teammate, at some point you will end up tooting your own horn.
  • LEAVE A LEAVE-BEHIND: Because the client is always wishing, “Don’t tell me. Show me.”
  • DON’T STOP PITCHING: Because the client’s greatest fear is awarding to the wrong firm.

See you next time when we dive into our final HOW #8 – Don’t Stop Pitching.

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