The conversation between a business and its customers is one thing, and regular contact with a client is another but, conjuring a relationship with another business is a different kettle of fish. For one thing, all the informalities can drop aside because you both know what type of game you’re in. Each of your intentions are going to be similarly grouped but executed differently. You both want to better yourselves with the help of the other but also keep a certain distance apart. So what happens when you’re pitching to a business that potentially could be a partner for the long-term future? Want a retail store to stock and sell your product? Do you want a software company to integrate your services into their system so you have access to their customers? Regardless of what your aim is, the sincerity and competence of your actions will be judged when you make a presentation to the top brass. All hands should be on deck when you’re creating a pitch.
One head or several?
Standard practice would say that one person should be the presentation lead and other employees should be his or her web of ideas. One department cannot be center of the presentation as you require all the departments to make their contribution. However, while the daily operations go on, you can’t expect the heads of department to stop what they’re doing at the drop of a hat to come contribute to the presentation. The question is should the marketing, sales or research and development departments take charge? R&D has perhaps the most senior members of your business but they have other responsibilities to attend to. It’s best to have a representative from each department but choose one project manager from any relevant department. It’s better to have one head that takes charge of everything but is surrounded by people who have in-depth knowledge about their area of the business than multiple people all trying to take control.
Central company pitch assets
Sometimes when employees are creating pitches in programs such as Microsoft Powerpoint, they will often use images, slides, videos and documents straight from their desktop. What causes this is when the project manager receives those pitch assets from individuals and then he or she transfers them to the computer they are working on. This means any updated logos, contact details, company pictures and quotes can be left out of the presentation. With office 360 this cannot happen as current standards for your business specific content is at a central access point. It’s also the same in Word, as centrally maintained text snippets and image, along with personally curated documents can be instantly used for a pitch creation. Any department can add their images and documents that can then be placed into the presentation directly from one computer. Essentially it’s a free flow of ideas, creativity and suggestions that make for one big team effort.
Customers and even clients can forgive a little hiccup here and there in your communications to them. But when you’re trying to convince another business to put their faith in you i.e. to spend money to build up a relationship, all hands must be on deck to put your best foot forward.