Winning The Business Pitch Regardless Of The Economy!
In today’s tough economic environment, having the reputation of being a top class company with a successful track record is not a guarantee of winning a business pitch or of renewing an existing contract.
The extremely competitive nature of the current market is challenging specialist service providers in industries across the board, such as Mining, Engineering, Finance and IT, to question the way in which they go about securing new business opportunities.
What is evident is that technical expertise and product knowledge alone is no longer sufficient to gain market share. “As we are faced with intense competition today, it takes more than a good company reputation in order to compete. Businesses need to adopt a more engaging and personable approach,” says Beth-Ann Galvin, MD of Business Communication Skills Holdings, the recognised leader in the specialised field of interpersonal communication enhancement.”
Often in a highly competitive, evenly matched market, where price is always an issue, a high calibre business presentation can be the key differentiating factor. Whilst in the past price has usually been the ultimate deciding factor, it has been demonstrated in many more recent cases that price isn’t the only factor that comes into play in securing a business pitch. Why, because decision makers recognise that the lowest price doesn’t guarantee that your offering is necessarily the right solution for their need, nor does it guarantee the quality and reliability of the offering.
The opportunity available to specialist service providers is to request that the written proposal / tender document are supported by a stand-up business presentation. The presentation offers an opportunity to position your offering as different and to make a personal connection with the decision making team.
Your desire to establish a strong relationship with different levels of people within the organization and a commitment to meeting and exceeding client goals can be highlighted in the presentation, and this ultimately can be the key to success. Present the business pitch in a personable, yet strategic and concise manner, always keeping the clients ideal outcomes in mind. The objective is to offer a business solution that will result in a win/win outcome for both parties.
In the event where there is a short-list scenario and the playing fields are level with a similar price offering and service, the victorious company is often the one whose business presentation stands out head and shoulders above the rest. ‘‘Yes, there is no question that technical competence, expertise and price will play an absolutely critical role in the decision making process, but ultimately people-buy-people and trust, credibility and relationships are very often the final factors in cementing the deal“ she says.
Having the ability to develop and deliver a polished and effective business presentation ability is not just a critical skill to have when pitching for a tender, as there are so many other scenarios where a managers communication ability can impact the outcome of the engagement; be it justify a budget increase, explain why the project won’t meet the deadline or simply to update and report back on progress of a specific project. The successful outcome of all of these scenarios will be dependent on the manner in which your communication is delivered. A natural, easily understandable yet precise and meaningful communication is what will achieve the best outcomes.
The importance and development of critical “soft skills” i.e. communication, business presentation skills and interpersonal skills has been long overlooked in many industries. As one Managing Director put it, “I want my engineers to be business people and to understand the dynamics that go into winning tenders and cracking new business. Being a competent engineer isn’t enough.”
The development and mastering of these vital skills is achievable. “Once Management recognise and understand the power of interpersonal communication they never look back,” says Galvin. “With effective business presentation skills training and coaching this is easy to achieve. With the help of a specialist professional presentation coach and highly practical exercises, managers can be inspired and groomed to prepare and deliver their message in a sincere yet professional and persuasive fashion.
Capitalizing on techniques to structure a technical presentation message in an audience-orientated, meaningful manner that is goal directed, will aid in achieving their business objectives!”