Have you ever received a call from a panicked friend late in the afternoon or had a client asking to urgently call them back, with a ‘hint’ of stress, anxiety, fear or desperation in their voice?
The last time I received a call like this was when one my friends, was shortlisted to pitch for a major iconic brand. However, they weren’t articulating their story well, and needed some instant professional input to ensure that they were more natural, confident, authentic and more experienced.
My friend, who was running a boutique Public Relations agency, with some nice credentials and work had made the final round of the pitch. BUT, she desperately wanted to win the pitch, as she believed it would put her agency on the road for even more success and growth.
Importantly, if they won, she was convinced it would get them on the map for greater success, revenue, awards and rewards!
The Short-list and Pitch
THE SITUATION – They were selected as fifth and FINAL agency to make the list of this major account, but getting appointed last, they knew they had to hustle to win. Her competitors were all bigger, more established multinational PR companies and they were considered the ‘long-shot’.
MY ADVICE – Win the chemistry and passion battle. Demonstrate you are committed to listen and help them become even more successful. I spent two days working with them on the structure, process, staffing, storyline and flow of the pitch.
Every detail was worked out, from the brand strategy to the type of glasses and refreshments to be served during the break. (e.g. strong Italian cappuccino’s, latte’s and double espresso’s, always keep the blood, energy and excitement flowing!)
Body language always tells us a great deal, yet we often forget about it when it is our turn to speak. Again, 90% plus of the impact on an audience comes from HOW we say it. Not, what was said and the expertise of the person delivering the message! That’s why chemistry and passion matters!
Body language is critical in our ‘sending device’ and is often more important as what we are saying. Always plan and use eye contact, your voice, facial expressions, gestures, posture and movement with intentional and power to persuade.
So, after reviewing their team and the pitch, I made some adjustments to ensure they projected passion, success, leadership and authority.
As I always say, Passion sells.
THE PITCH – They went in with all these seemingly peripheral details better organized, thought out, and structured and using less technology but more interpersonal relating. The meeting had a good flow, a logic trail, and led to a strong recommendation. At the end of the first hour the team had refreshments brought in with silver and linens. The second hour was used to fill in the details, provide some additional planning discussion and answering any additional questions. Again, they ended on an ‘unexpected’ planned high note – going out strong.
THE WIN – With procurement management and/or procurement managers, calling many of the shots today, after the final agency presented the score sheets were tabulated.
It came out a tie. The boutique agency and one of the big shot multinationals were tied. So procurement put it up to a vote with the marketing people – whom would they rather work with?
Our agency won.
Number one reason given? They made more ‘eye contact’ and were ‘more passionate’ than the others.
In fact, they made more ‘eye contact’ with the people attending the pitch meeting. And, making more meaningful eye contact with the ‘team’ and selectors, they were able to pull more of them into the talk and pitch and got most ‘nodding’ more often.
However, we also discovered, members of the other companies presenting, made some of these fatal mistakes:
- They often rocked back and forth or side to side. By doing this they demonstrated that they had lot of nervous energy. So remember, the more you rock, the more potential clients will pay attention to your movement and not your message.
Hint: Movement is great, as long as it is meaningful movement and not just for the sake of movement.
- Folded arms. Keeping your arms folded portrays you as being closed off, distant or simply bored. It can also make you look like you don’t care too much about what you are talking about.
Hint: Always stand tall, both feet flat and firmly on the ground. You will look more in control and sure of yourself and you make it impossible to swing from hip to hip.
If you want to feel confident, ready to speak, sell, and persuade on camera, on stage, on video, call or email me today.
I know I can help even the most experienced Agency executives develop an even great leadership presence, overcome performance anxiety, rock your next pitch or presentation or maximize your success rate.
Tony Robbins said it best when he stated “80 percent of success is due to psychology—mindset, beliefs, and emotions—and only 20 percent is due to strategy.”
You can’t hit the target, if you don’t know what it is.
Always live with passion! Go that extra mile.
More About Geoff De Weaver:
Since 1985, Geoff has helped pioneer the use of inbound/outbound marketing, content marketing strategies, digital, PR and social media marketing specifically for agency new business.
Geoff can also access hard to reach brands and clients, fully examine and target your exact needs and requirements in all channels. I can even pitch on your behalf and happily be the extension to your company’s new business team.
Give me a call and let me show you a better way, +61 411 224 961 or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org