The Pitch

Did you ask all the right questions? Are you prepared? What do they want to see? AHHHH – the last-minute jitters before the “pitch” (I wonder if baseball is the same way – LOL).

Recently, we pitched to a group of folks we didn’t have much guidance on. It was “show them what you can do.” Sure, we know the demographic and have a general sense of what they’re looking for, but I hate assumptions. However, this type of guidance or approach is my biggest pet peeve. Having previously been on the other side of the table for pitches, it made my skin crawl when agencies came in and pitched ALL the things – it made me feel like they weren’t listening. They were concerned about what they could do for you versus what you want or need.

Anyhoo, during the prep for this pitch, the team looks at me and says – what’s the direction. I smiled WIDELY and said, “Be yourselves.” They KNOW what we can do. The planner prepped for that. So why not show them WHO WE ARE versus WHAT WE CAN DO? The doors opened, and in walked around twenty people.

We had our case studies playing in the background on a loop. A few folks took some photos. In the end, we didn’t pitch – we conversed. I said, “Listen, I think you all know what we do, but cliff’s note – we’re a strategic event company and can support your activation needs from creative, digital, fabrication, and even throw in some custom entertainment.” That was pretty much it. Nothing formal, nothing too wordy. Just a good connection and conversation.

Shortly afterward, we walked around the room, introduced ourselves, and started talking to them about their individual products (these were various sponsors of the larger convention), working to connect with them and their brand. In this situation, the worst thing to do is “assume” you know what they want to see. If their brand doesn’t align with what you visualize, you’ll lose them – they’ll just think about how “this isn’t our brand.”

When are we comfortable enough to ask what they are looking for versus assuming we know? What’s wrong with asking questions during the pitch, allowing the audience to drive? Finding confidence in who we are versus the deck we put together. It’s better not to have all the answers, share a little vulnerability, and follow up with “THE RIGHT STUFF.”

At what point is the pitch a home run from a conversation versus a presentation? How do you guys prepare for a client pitch?

Filed under: 2023, Thought Leadership