Another pitching secret: Imagine success for them

Imagine success for them

If you’re pitching for a new piece of business, especially in a competitive situation, ask “What will happen for them [the people who’ve put the business out to pitch] if everything goes to plan?” Knowing that enables you to plan an approach to make that level of success happen.

Articulating that goal to the company gets them excited about what could happen and links you squarely with that outcome. You inject surety into your pitch. You already feel like part of their team. You’ve become a proponent. You are associated with something desirable – and something desirable is likely to feel much more tangible.

So many companies don’t do that, and as a result the company that has put out the pitch must battle uncertainty to hire you.

There are other benefits as well. By working this through:

  • You think about the project from their point of view and with their priorities in mind;
  • Knowing the outcome enables you to plot a clear and deliberate path from where they are now to that end point that you have articulated. You approach the project with the obstacles they will face firmly in mind.
  • Defining success for them is a great way for you to check your understanding of the project and even to extend the goals.

So why don’t more companies pitch this way? They’re afraid it will be construed as a guarantee. But what you’re really looking to do is agree/negotiate an end point and to encourage the tenderers to define that more clearly for themselves through you.

Most people write a pitch brief to get a project started – not to get it finished. That’s why it often remains somewhat unformed in terms of possibilities in their minds. They recognise success though when they see it. And they’ll be much more inclined to hire you if they see what the project could mean through you.

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