This question – will give your pitch a winning edge
If you’re involved in a competitive business pitch, in addition to:
a. Knowing the customer very well – and from that understanding.
b. Staging and planning your Pitch-day presentation,
there is a key question you and your Pitch team should be repeatedly asking yourselves, during the undertanding, planning and staging process – up to, and even beyond the Pitch-day presentation.
The question is this: ‘What Else Could We Do?’ (WECWD). This simply means, what else could we do, that our competitors won’t do, to win this piece of business.
Small behaviours, little things that you could do, can be the difference that separates you from others on the short list. Many times the client is unsure about whom to give the business to. Many times there is no obvious choice.
Through repeatedly asking WECWD you’ll come up with ideas that can tip the business your way. Some of the ideas won’t be useful – but through the repetitive WECWD process, your mind and the minds of your Pitch team colleaugues will unearth a stream of ideas. The repetitive process is the key. Don’t ask the question just once or twice – keep asking it over and over. Persist, even when you think you’ve exhausted all possibilities.
A story from the 1990’s illustrates the power of a small idea, identified through the WECWD process, that helped win a large piece of business.
In 1995, a competitive pitch was won by a firm. The firm’s director asked the client why his firm won the business. The customer said something along the following lines.
“There wasn’t any real difference between you and your competitors. You each seemed equally capable of delivering the work. However, when you emailed us your PowerPoint slides before your Pitch-day presentation, we were impressed with your technical expertise. That was the deciding factor.”
Through the WECWD questioning process, this small action emerged, and was the reason the firm won the business. At that point in time emailing PowerPoint slides was viewed as novel and technologically savvy.
An important point to note about the story is this. The other firms on the short list could have easily sent their PowerPoint slides to the customer. But they didn’t think of doing it. Perhaps they didn’t persist in asking the WECWD.
Your CALL to action/HOW to apply for this post: In the next seven days try out WECWD questioning process prior to a meeting with a potential client. Ask yourself,What Else Could We/I Do (ie. to make this meeting/presentation have more impact/be more positively memorable). Notice the numerous ideas your mind generates for you.