Whether you're just starting out or have been in business for decades, there's no better thrill than landing a big client. Every entrepreneur understands the struggle of finding clients. From real estate to consumer goods to public relations, every industry is extremely competitive. Your portfolio can easily end up getting lost in a sea of similar firms. So how can you make sure that your pitch stands out and you continually land the clients of your dreams?
There's a key mistake I see companies make when they're trying to develop business: They focus on themselves. They pour all of their attention on flashy PowerPoints that list their qualifications and experience in an attempt to secure a job. While it's necessary to show what you can do, have you ever considered how it feels to be on the receiving end of this type of pitch?
Put yourself in the shoes of the potential client you are trying to sell. Would you want to hear about what makes a product or business great, or would you be more interested in hearing what that business will do to directly benefit you? If you really want to expand your client list, focusing on concentrating on their needs at all stages is the way to win them over.
Here are a few tips for preparing your pitches in order to address a potential client's specific needs.
Give them what they're asking for.
You've probably heard about the old trick of repeating keywords from a job posting in your application to appear like the perfect fit. It may seem obvious, but when you base your pitch on what they want and are asking for specifically, you show your potential clients that you're listening.
You also demonstrate that you're detail-oriented, and that you care enough about their business to pay close attention to what they need. Always make sure you're clearly explaining how your unique set of skills can help them to achieve their goals, and outline the exact step-by-step process on how you're going to get there.
More important, don't compare them to previous clients. Everyone wants to feel different and unique, so treat them as such. Would you tell a first date that they remind you of your ex-girlfriend? Case studies are one thing. Copy and pasting what you've done in the past is another. Show them how you'll approach their business differently.
Consider the client's pain points.
Here's the thing: Your potential client is unlikely going to come right out and tell you exactly what elements of their business aren't working for them. Instead, they'll ask for a specific job to be done. It's up to you to see beyond what they're saying and put some time and energy into researching their company.
For example, are there customer service questions that have gone unanswered on their social media? Are there influencers or celebrities using their products that they are not aware of? Identify new areas of growth by pointing out ways you can support where their current efforts are falling short.
Solve the problems they didn't know they had.
Once you're demonstrated the ways in which you will address all of the issues your client is looking to solve, take it even further by offering more value than they knew they needed. Use the research you prepared about their company, and anticipate the issues they might not yet have considered.
Once you've established that understanding, craft it into your pitch. This will show you're going above and beyond from the get-go, and you're able to analyze and research even when it wasn't asked of you. These are two very attractive features that could quite literally set you apart and get the contract signed.