Some team pitches look like they’re been fronted by The Three Stooges. Each one does a fine job of messing up for the others.
If you have to pitch with at least one other person, it’s vital you look like a team and not a bunch of individuals from different departments, blindly patching it all together.
Actually, that isn’t fair. Sometimes teams get to patch it together on the 30 minute taxi ride to the client.
So here we go with top 3 oversights in a team pitch:
1. Guessing games for the customer
One person often ‘does an intro’, then you get other members of a pitching team standing there like skittles.
During a monologue about how John Mcdougall was inspired to start up Dynamic Dynamos from staring at a bevelled paperweight in 1952, the client is pondering who that bloke is with the red brogues. While the audience is wondering who does what too much of their attention is left behind.
The team needs tie that curiosity up at the top, by saying right upfront:
i) who does what;
ii) how they help with the end product / service
2. Not referring back to others
Brynne from Business Development talks about her department. Jake then discusses IT. Neither of them reference how they interact with each other. So is there a commercial view of the technology? Who knows. Let us try and play ‘fill the gap’ with the content. No, let us not, because it’s too much effort.
To look as if you’re cohesive, picking up on what someone else in your team has said gives the impression to the potential client that not one but several of you have got their back. You’re a project that a collective has deemed worthy of their attention.
It takes just a few touches to give the client that warm glow of a customised solution but this is one often overlooked.
3. Not knowing what the members of your team are going to say
Naturally, this ends badly. No one needs curve balls from their own team mates. Here are the 3 manifestations of these nasties:
you thought someone else was covering that point. Since that point may deal with the customer’s doubts about scalability, that’s going to be lingering in the air and it needs to be dealt with sooner or later.
Probably the least awful as repetition can be used to emphasise a point.
The worst. Contradicting team mates in front of potential customers is a form of psychological pugilism. This is not good for harmonious relationships back in the office although it is excellent for perpetuating distrust from the client and between the team. If that’s what you want, way to go.
If you care not for this kind of disharmony, a mind map or list of content for everyone to cover, could save some shame.
Not only can you validate each others’ content but you’ll also be able to cross sell services and increase the likelihood of a buy.