Do you know who you're pitching to? If not, use this template...
I recently recorded a podcast with the brilliant Katie Street, owner of Street Agency and Tanba (the agency new business academy). When she asked me ‘what makes a good pitch’ my answer was ‘a good pitch is one where you know who you’re pitching to and who makes the decision in the end’.
Yes, dozens of success factors make a successful pitch, but if you know your audience, then most other things will fall into place.
Creating leads and winning work is one of the most important, if not the most important, topic for most of my clients right now. A great starting point for improving your pitch process is mapping it out, identifying the gaps, and filling them. This takes some effort and a willingness to change.
One simple but significant step agencies can take without any major preparation is to pay more attention to all the stakeholders involved in the pitch process and decision making. I collect post-pitch feedback on behalf of my clients and one common trend and a key reason for losing a pitch is that agencies don’t know who’s involved and don’t tailor their proposal and pitch to the right people. Your contact throughout the pitch process is very likely not making the decision alone, and it is your job to get buy-in from all stakeholders.
I’ve put together a simple pitch stakeholder mapping template to help you start this process.
Keep in mind that there are direct/visible stakeholders and indirect/invisible stakeholders:
- Direct/visible: those people who are directly involved in the pitch process. They are visible to you and you communicate with them throughout the end to end process.
- Indirect/invisible: they may not be part of the pitch process or speak to you, but they have decision making power. Your proposal or pitch deck may be passed on to them internally. They might be more senior than your pitch contact. They might hold the budget.
A good pitch is one where you understand the decision-making dynamics and you tailor your proposal accordingly.