Why everyone who attends a pitch to a client needs to be there for a reason

Why everyone who attends a pitch to a client needs to be there for a reason

Taking a client team to a pitch can mean going mob-handed, but it can also make the difference, and win you the work.

Client teams are a blend of skills and experience. Members are selected (in an ideal world) because the needs of the client require their contribution and knowledge. Meeting and presenting to the client is a clear demonstration of knowledge and expertise and, after all, if the client likes and feels they can work with you, it is a big advantage that could get you over the line.

So should everyone attending also present?

The simple answer is it depends. If the client has provided ample time to go through the detail of your proposal, then the each team member should present, definitely.

If time is short (or too short) distributing the speaking parts across the team will make the presentation disjointed. After all, one of the attributes of a speaker is passion, and passionate speaking only happens if there is enough time for the speaker to get going. Handing over from one member of the team to the next in a rapid-fire procession is disruptive, and will stop the flow of the presentation in its tracks.

If time doesn’t allow for everyone to present, the job of the presenter is to make sure the client understands what each team member is there for. What is their expertise and experience? What is their role, and what questions are they there to answer?

The problem for this team member is preparation. In some ways they have the hardest job, because unlike the main presenters, they cannot prepare verbatim beforehand. Instead, preparation (in spades) is what they must do, because they must be ready to respond to any questions, so their preparation must be thorough and detailed, because “if” the technical experts get it wrong, it is likely to spell disaster for the entire pitch.