The maddening thing is, this mistake is obvious.
What is this obvious pitching mistake and why do people make it?
The big mistake is talking about yourself too much.
For example, if I have invited you to pitch for a bit of business, the last thing I want to hear are your other big clients and the awards you have won. I want to hear about me, my problem and what you are going to do to fix it. Yet, we see this pitch-winning mistake over and over.
Our theory is that poor pitch presentations happen because people are lazy. When asked to put a new business pitch together people usually start with Power Point. And more often than not they start with the last pitch they did – whether it was successful or not. This is quick, easy, and it does not need you to think about your client or their problem.
On the other hand, a good pitch is focused on the client and their issues. It is highly tailored to the particular situation, it shows a real understanding of the subject and it lays out how to address the things that bother that client.
When you next have to put a pitch together, forget Power Point for now. Instead, pick up the telephone and start talking to the client. Ask lots and lot of questions. Get to the heart of what really matters to them. Only when you are certain you understand all this, should you begin to construct your new business pitch.
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Mick May CEO, Blue Sky
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Erwin de Klein Head of IR, Saemor Capital
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Michelle Elstein Head of Business Development, Olswang LLP
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Paul Farrow Director, Fishburn Hedges