Winning New Business Pitches - 'Beauty Parades'
Pitching is more about avoiding elimination than trying
to come first, putting down the competition, or even having
points of differentiation.
Most professional people have had little or no training
in how to pitch effectively. They have been able to rely on
their professional training and expert abilities to attract
customers and clients. They used not to have to go into
their marketplace to find clients for themselves.
Those traditional markets have all but ceased to exist
now, with clients switching their investment banking,
stockbroking, accounting, legal, advertising and PR advisers
with alarming regularity, and solely on the basis of a
We do not believe that this is the best way to choose
such an adviser, but it is the way that most large
corporations do so. We advise pitch teams on how best to
increase their chances of winning pitches in these expensive
and hostile environments.
It is an area where many clients
have asked for help. In a 'beauty parade', a number of teams
from short-listed potential advisers are asked to pitch in
turn. Our advice recognises that rarely is the playing field
level for these pitches. We have helped these teams to
improve radically their chance of success, even ending up
with wins when we knew that our client was only there as a
stalking horse to unsettle the incumbent or opposition. Some
of these pitches have been for mandates of several million
Areas of Advice
Our advice covers a number of areas: understanding that
winning is more about avoiding elimination, where the areas
really are for differentiation, how to work best as a team,
and when to withdraw from the pitch.