|Small Biz Articles » Starting a Business »||Rate/Review - Recommend|
by Terri Langhans, Certified Speaking Professional
Congratulations! Your firm made it to the short list and you've been invited to the new client interview. That's what they call it, anyway. In reality it's a new business pitch that could be a shoot-out between you and "the other guy" or a line up of back-to-back, dog-and-pony, show-your-credentials presentations where the client parades you and the competition in and out of a conference room all day.
Regardless of the staging or format, one thing's for sure: It's your make or break chance to win the business.
* What will you say in your business presentation that will set you apart?
* What will you show that proves your expertise?
* How do you hit the prospect's hot buttons without stepping on a land mine?
Here are some traps, tips and tools you can use to make your new business pitch or interview stand out and win more clients.
New Business Pitch Trap #1: Too much stuff.
You know your stuff, and you want to share it. We all do. We figure the more stuff we share, the more credible we'll be and the more likely we are to get hired. Wrong. It bores people into a stupor or frustrates them into belligerence.
True story: I recently worked with a client who had more than 100 slides for a 30-minute interview! They whittled it down to 23, and still came off as harried and rushed. The rule of thumb is about two minutes per slide. Whether you have 30 minutes or an hour or more, picture your audience extending you a thimble's worth of interest. Don't fill it with a fire hose.
New Business Pitch Trap #2: Failure to get to the point.
Instead of thinking about all the stuff you want to say, that you hope you get time to say, think about this: When you leave the room, what is the single most important thing you want remembered and repeated by the client? What do you want them to say when someone asks, "So, what do think about Acme Engineering?"
A: "Well, they talked about this, and they showed us that, and they're located there, and they were pretty easy to talk to..."
B: "They've got the experience we need and can hit the ground running."
Obviously (I hope it's obvious), you want B, or something like it. That's the point of your presentation, and everything you say, or do, or show needs to support, defend, prove, demonstrate or bring to life that point.
HINT: Your point is NOT "hire us." That's your call to action. It's what you want them to do as a result of being convinced of your point. Don't confuse the two.
New Business Pitch Trap #3: Making the presentation all about you.
No one cares about you. Even though they put you on the short list, invited you to present and specifically said they want you to talk about your firm, they don't mean it. Prospects don't care about you. They care about themselves, their work and what you will do for them.
So here's how to convert your credentials and capabilities to something your new clients will care about:
1. Before you create your presentation or pitch, go ahead and describe your firm, the team, your qualifications or experience. This is an exercise; don't do it in front of the prospect. Not yet, anyway.
2. Now, isolate at the most three or four key attributes that you think are the most important to the specific decision makers on this project.
3. Now that you have the features, look for the benefits—the need or the want that is satisfied by those features.
4. Go beyond the benefit and drill down even further. Look at those features and benefits and fill in the blank: "Why is your company's experience important personally to this decision maker?"
5. Look at your answer and ask it again. "Why is that important personally to this decision maker?" Or, "What is it about your answer that is important, personally to this decision maker?"
6. Ask it again. "Why is whatever you just answered important personally to the decision maker? "
7. Keep going and you will have a list of want or need words and phrases that are all about the client. Save money, maximize budget, higher trust, no surprises, more flexibility, more confidence, less stress, better communication. These are the words that not only help you connect to what clients care about, they set you apart, increase your credibility and help convince clients to hire you.
Once you complete this exercise you'll know your point, as well as what's important to your prospect. From there you'll be able to decide which facts, features, stories and benefits will prove that point. Which case studies or examples will make it clear? Remember the thimble and choose you content wisely. Make it more about them, less about you, and you'll have greater success.
You'll find this information, plus much more in my free "Help Them Hire You" new business pitch and presentation tip sheet at: http://www.BlahBlahBlah.us/presentationtipsheet.html. Grab it for free , get to the point, and get more business coming your way.
Certified Speaking Professional Terri Langhans is the former CEO of a $30 million national ad agency and marketing firm that she grew from scratch. Now she works with entrepreneurs and small business owners who want their marketing and presentations to stand out and get better results. Download her free Help Them Hire You! tip sheet at http://www.BlahBlahBlah.us/presentationtipsheet.html
|This article was submitted by - Terri Langhans||Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends|
Investor Ready Business Plan
An Investor Ready Business Plan Is A Document That Has Been Professionally Prepared To Meet The Needs Of Both Venture Capitalists And Angel Investors. Your Plan Must Be Able To Answer The Concerns Of An Investor.
10 Tips For Starting A Home Business -
If You Are Like Most People Who Want To Start A Home Business, You Are Overwhelmed And Don't Know Where To Start Or What Will Make You Successful.
Running a Home Business is not always a Bed of Roses
Challenges And Obstacles That An Entrepreneur Must Consider Before Starting A Home Based Business
|Disclaimer: Making the New Business Pitch: How to Get More Clients by Avoiding 3 Deadly Presentation Mistakes & Starting a Business related small business articles and small business information provided on this web site is not to be construed as business advice from the website Small Biz Articles.com - or from the corresponding author who posted this article on our website. Starting a Business articles on our website were submitted by various small business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, business experts, accountants, lawyers and other business professionals, but we do not verify the authenticity and the accuracy of information submitted and we are not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies. Please consult with one of the small business administration or small business development officers in your local SBA-SBDC centers, or with an attorney, accountant, a small business expert/advisor, to obtain proper business advice and accurate information for answers related to any specific questions you may have with regards to your small business issues.|
Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the site
Terms & Disclaimers.
Copyright © 1998-Current, Smallbiz ArticlesSM and affiliates. All rights reserved.