Last but not least, I enjoy sending out the follow up questions I get asked on my articles/sessions in the hope it’s useful.
What is the best medium for submitting a pitch?
Double check if there’s any specifications in the pitch itself, if not I would advise PDFs, word and powerpoint. The reason being they are accessible pretty much everywhere and to everyone. Ensuring your pitch can be read is vital.
When should I follow up on a pitch?
I had a client who always used to say “The pest gets the job.” (I think he just wanted to call me a pest!) you should definitely look to pursue a pitch usually within a week. One thing I would say is that when I’ve had tenders out, some suppliers have gone a little overboard in their pursuit of a project past where I think “They are keen go getters” to where I think “that’s annoying.” Don’t be afraid to call a prospect where possible, but always try and make it casual and not a sales call.
What’s a normal hit ratio?
Generally we pitch for anything and everything when we start out, and over time we become more selective. We will also become better at pitching. So the hit ratio will naturally go up. Mine is at 80% at the moment.
What if you’re too busy to pitch?
Then you’re dead in the water. Business development is crucial to your business. Generally if you’re over capacity then you say yes to the pitch and you worry about it if you win. Obviously its important you set up a contingency plan when this does happen which will normally involve offloading the work to a trusted partner/short term hire. This might mean less profit on this project but generally its better to get prospects through the door and on the books because any work further down the line with that client, you are significantly more likely to win.
What do you do after you’ve won?
So begins our next series of lessons…next we’ll cover how to convert that pitch into a final sale, although we’ve covered things like pitch meetings and phone calls I want to discuss negotiation, spec work and contracts in more detail.