Are You Pitching To Win or Pitching To Lose?

Posted on Apr 20

Now that may seem a daft question…… who pitches to lose?
but if you regularly pitch for business what are your results like?

Do you win every contract you go for?

because if not then sometimes you are pitching to lose.

I was recently working with a company who were pitching against 9 other companies for a contract that would be worth     £ 3 million to them over the next two years.

In the present economic climate it is becoming increasingly competitive with more and more companies going for fewer and fewer contracts.
Whereas in the past some contracts would just be given to an existing supplier now more and more are going out to competitive tender and many are put off the whole process.

I liken being involved in the tendering process to being in an olympic athletics event- especially when it goes to interview. The PQQ and ITT stages are like the qualifying rounds with the interview/pitch being the equivalent of the olympic final.
And when you get to that final, when you get invited for interview, then it’s yours to lose.

You have proven that you have the project/product/service that the procurer/client is looking for  and the interview is your opportunity to stand out from your competition and convince them that you are the answer.

But the thing is many bid teams actually pitch  to lose rather than pitch to win. Now they don’t do this on purpose but that’s the end result.

How does this happen?

Here are just some of the reasons:

  • They don’t distinguish themselves enough from their competitors
  • They assume that reputation is enough
  • They deliver the same sort of presentation they’ve always done
  • The presentation is not customised for the individual client using cut and paste from previous presentations
  • The presentation is bland and boring
  • They use PowerPoint in a way that actually switches off their audience
  • They give an average presentation
  • The information is given in the wrong way and in the wrong order to win
  • They give off mixed messages, where their gestures are unconsciously conveying something different from what they are saying
  • Their lack of confidence affects the way they present

If you have an outstanding product or service or idea then you have to be able to give an outstanding presentation about it otherwise you run the risk of pitching to lose.

What could it be costing you if your competition is better at pitching than you?

So how can you ensure that you pitch to win?

  • You make sure that you stand out – for the right reasons!
  • You customise the presentation specifically for the client
  • You give the information in the right way and in the right order to persuade and convince
  • You connect and engage the interviewers (with or without PowerPoint)in such a way that they just have to do business with you
  • You learn how to use PowerPoint is such a way that it enhances your presentation rather than detracts from it.
  • You learn the skills to become an outstanding presenter

because pitching to win is the key to winning business.

Why be average and pitch to lose when you could be outstanding and pitch to win?

Until next time,

with best wishes for your success,

Cath           :)

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Posted on Apr 20 in Business Pitching, Business Presentations, Communication skills, Presentation Skills

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