“If they birthed it, they can’t kill it.”
Sam Harrison is the author of ideaSELLING a book for creatives to improve their presentation skills to clients. His session was on how to survive and successfully sell your idea pitch to a client. His ideas were deceptively simple. While they are most relevant to agencies, they still apply to in-house designers.
- Understand your client. What does your decision maker do on Saturday night? Where does he/she sit on the buyer’s bench? Why should he/she care?
- Ask the right questions. Open-ended questions are always better than “yes/no.” Your last question before exiting should be: “What else should I be asking you?”
- Involve your decision makers. “If they birthed it, they can’t kill it.” If they feel like they own it, they’re less likely to be defensive, and more likely to buy in and be excited about your idea.
- Understand the business. It makes for better concepts, and your knowledge will show when you present.
- Know the room. Know where you’ll be presenting. Have a feel for how loud you will need to talk, where to set up, whether people in the back will be able to see you.
- Practice. Practice. Practice.
- Avoid handouts. But have leave-behinds.
Harrison’s 5 Big Secrets
- Have 1 theme or big idea. You should be able to say it in one breath. It will make your pitch more focused, and you more confident.
- Have a strong start. Open with a story, a question, a fact, a quote, your objective, or with a some straight talk.
- Use simple language. Keep it short and sweet. Reduce, round, relate.
- Paint pictures. Help the decision maker visualize your idea, help them see your ideas as reality.
- Add drama. Use drama if the decision maker appreciates it, you understand your decision maker’s wants and needs, and you know you have credibility.
And finally, Harrison recommends you remember to prepare to close your pitch. Don’t buy it back. End it simply, strongly, and firmly.
I have purchased the book ideaSELLING, and if you’d like to check it out, it’s in the Graphics area.