Creating a Great Pitch Document – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

June 22, 2013

What Makes A Great Pitch Document?

When you want to win new business, how important is your pitch document?  It may decide if you get to the next stage of the sale.  Whether you are pitching to an investor, raising money from a donor, or selling something, your pitch document is vitally important.

common mistakes in pitch documents for new business pitches

The team at Benjamin Ball Associates identified the eight most common mistakes we see in our clients’ pitches and proposals.


Pitch Document Mistake #1 |  Not focusing on the client

A good pitch document is not about you.  It’s about the client, their needs, and how you can help them.  Anything else is just a brochure.


Pitch Document Mistake #2 |  Failing to engage from the start

Psychologists have shown that our unconscious brain makes decisions faster than our conscious brain.  That means you want to appeal to the unconscious brain from the start.  How does the front page look?  Does it grab attention? Is it clear what you are offering?  What about page two?


Pitch Document Mistake #3 |  Making bad assumptions

A good pitch helps a client with their needs.  If you understand their needs, you can write a well targeted document.  A badly written document makes assumptions about what the client might want.


Pitch Document Mistake #4 |  Talking about yourself too much

The client should be the star of the document, not you.  A client does not want to read about how great you are.  They want to know what you can do for them.


Pitch Document Mistake #5 |  Not having a clear story

Stories are a powerful way to communicate. They link facts together into a logical sequence and they have a natural rhythm that makes them a pleasure to read.  Even the driest pitch document can be told as a story.


Pitch Document Mistake #6 |  Confusing features with benefits

The second rule of sales (after ‘know your client’) is stress the benefits.  Where features are listed it shows either laziness or that you do not understand the client well enough.


Pitch Document Mistake #7 |  Making it hard for the client

Is the document a pleasure to read?  Is it summarised well?  Does each part push the story forward?  If not, you have not made it easy for the client.


Pitch Document Mistake #8 |  Using too many words

It is easy to say too much.  It’s tougher to be succinct, engaging and compelling.  People like reading short, pithy, powerful documents.  Your writing should make it easy for the client.

“Moved our presentation into a different league and undoubtedly improved the outcome and offer we received.”

Liz Warner CEO, betty

> Help Me Improve Our Pitch Documents

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we support clients in creating more persuasive pitch documents.  We do with with coaching and advice.

If you have an important pitch coming up and want more powerful pitch documents, call us today. Speak to our Client Services Director, Louise Angus on 020 7018 0922.  Discuss how we may be able to support you with advice and coaching.  

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Review our top coaching, advice and training programmes. All these are in-house and tailored training programmes. (Not ‘open’ training courses.)

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What Our Clients Say

“The new presentation properly represents the institutional quality of our fund. It has been a step change of us.”

Erwin de Kleijn Head of IR, Saemor Capital

“This training has contributed directly to new business – including a new FTSE100 client.”

Michelle Elstein Head of Business Development, Olswang LLP

“BBA transformed our pitch into a compelling investment narrative. They undoubtedly helped us secure Sky TV as an investor.”

Gerry Bastable  Director, Blast Films