A Great Pitch Document – 8 Mistakes to Avoid

June 22, 2013

What Makes A Great Pitch Document?

When you want to win new business, the quality of your pitch document is critical. It may decide if you get to the next stage of the sale.

common mistakes in pitch documents for new business pitches

These are eight common mistakes we see in our clients’ investor pitch decks along with tips to create winning pitches.

Pitch Document Mistake #1 |  Not focusing on the client

A good pitch is not about you.  It’s about the client, their needs, and how you can help them.  Anything else is just a brochure. So, go back through your pitch and work out if your client will feel as if they are the centre of your universe.  If not, re-write it.


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.  For example: How does the front page look?  Does it grab attention? Is it clear what you are offering?  What about page two? If your reader is not sold on you by the time they read page 2, then your pitch needs more work.


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 pitch document makes assumptions about what the client might want. So, stop assuming and start reflecting what you know your client wants to hear.


Pitch Document Mistake #4 |  Talking about yourself too much

The client should be the star of your pitch, not you.  A client does not want to read about how great you are.  They want to know what you can do for them. Check your pitch and see how many times you have written ‘we’ vs. ‘you’.  How many ‘we’s can you replace with ‘you’s?

Help Me Create A Great Pitch

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. Have you found the story in your pitch?


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.  Turn every feature about your offer into a benefit.


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

Is your pitch 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. Re-write, re-structure and re-edit until your document is as easy to read as a newspaper.


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.  So keep re-writing until it’s all very easy for your client to read.

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

Liz Warner CEO, betty


Help Me Create A Great Pitch

If you have an important pitch coming up and you want a powerful pitch document, call us today.

Speak to our Client Services Director, Louise Angus on 020 7018 0922.  She’ll be happy to explain how can help you win more pitches.



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Our Most Popular Coaching Programmes

1. Improve Your Investor Pitch

2. Public Speaking Coaching

3. Presentation Coaching

4. Media Training

N.B. All our coaching is in-house (Not ‘open’ courses) either 1:1 or in small groups.
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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 for 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

To Learn More…

Contact our
Client Services Director
Louise Angus
+44 (0)20 7018 0922