The procurement process in the commercial property management sector has got more complex in recent years. Historically, many instructions could be won by knowing the right individual and submitting a simple fee proposal. However, these days the vast majority of tenders are run by procurement professionals and include any combination of the typical PQQ / RFI / RFP / pitch route.
Which is why this opportunity for our client was unusual. No qualification process, no written submission, just a single presentation to a mixed panel at a (luke) warm lead. There were a couple of existing relationships with their buying committee but most were unknown. It would have been easy to feel it was purely to make up the numbers.
Yet from this unpromising position our client won a significant instruction off the back of a single presentation for which we had 10 days to prepare. These are the lessons learned;
Follow the brief, religiously – ‘don’t bother with any corporate sell’ was the message, we didn’t. Fearing our client had a lot to do to convince that they were the right partner, it would have been easy to default to the safety of the usual corporate sell. Instead, we ticked the corporate capability box before the pitch by sending them a brief video to simply demonstrate our client had the scale to be considered for the instruction. That left us free to focus the content for the pitch entirely on how they would approach the instruction.
Its all about them – we focused all the content on the prospect and their portfolio. How it would be on-boarded effectively, who they would be dealing with, what positive changes could be made to their portfolio. No-one wants to listen to someone talk about themselves. However, clients do want to know what you would do for them and how you will address their issues.
Let your experts shine – the presentation team were pretty inexperienced at pitching for new work and feared they lacked the slick sales skills to convince. We made sure the presentation gave them the platform to talk about what they do best. We allowed their expertise to shine through and enabled them to be more comfortable and natural. No gimmicks, spin or sell, just knowledgeable professionals that the prospective client could trust and see themselves working with.
It’s their pitch – some people still expect the marketing team to just create the presentation, give it to them the day before and they’ll deliver it. Wrong. We collaborated with the pitch team so they were involved in the creative process throughout. Structure, content, delivery were worked on jointly throughout. By the time they came to pitch it was their presentation, making it more authentic and convincing.
Fundamentally, there’s only two things prospective clients are asking themselves when suppliers pitch to them. a) will these people solve my problem / deliver my brief and b) can I see myself working with them? We made sure the pitch enabled our client to answer those two questions convincinlgy.
If you need help with bid management and improving your pitches for converting leads into clients, please get in touch.