21 Articles to Help Improve Your Pitch

Sales skills are so important in both freelance and company consulting in order to attract new business. For the clients you have secured, they will expect high class pitches to explain the solutions you are offering. If your pitch flops with a poor performance, you can be sure you won’t be on the recruiting list for the best projects in the future. But if you can make yourself the most persuasive and convincing public speaker with the best structure and control of a presentation, no matter who you are pitching to, you will be an indispensable member of any team that is being recruited.

So have a read of the following 20 articles and improve those all-important skills!

1) To start off, if you can pitch yourself in 60 seconds then you can probably pitch anything. Craft your perfect ‘elevator pitch’ with ManagementConsulted’s 10 do’s and don’ts http://managementconsulted.com/consulting-jobs/10-dos-donts-delivering-elevator-pitch/

2) Following the arc of a consulting project from pitch to strategy to execution, consultant Benjamin Estes offers some good consulting specific advice http://moz.com/blog/planning-for-success-three-essential-consulting-project-plans

3) A really great help sheet from a consultant at Microsoft on how to develop, perform and follow up on a pitch effectively and the questions you should be asking when writing it http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/project-help/develop-and-pitch-project-proposals-HA001171775.aspx

4) How do you give the perfect pitch? This is the most comprehensive yet concise set of sheets on how to do just that, including the Trojan Horse and Pizza analogies. In pdf format to print off easily too http://supplychainventure.info/PDF/WhitePaper.pdf

5) It’s not just your words but also your body that can speak during a presentation. Forbes lists the top 5 ways to improve your body language during a pitch http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2013/10/23/5-body-language-tips-for-pitching-to-investors/

6) The Harvard Business Review offers an interesting article here on how to ensure your pitch is pigeon-holed into the correct corrective box – the key is to make the client feel like a collaborator in the process rather than being dictated to http://hbr.org/2003/09/how-to-pitch-a-brilliant-idea/ar/1

7) Building a rapport with the audience is so important in a pitch. IBM salesman Shamus Brown gives his top 5  Sales presentation tips here http://ezinearticles.com/?Shamus-Browns-Top-5-Sales-Presentation-Tips&id=4076 He has a persuasive way of writing down his pitch on his website to sell his Persuasive Skills CD (for the princely sum of $297) http://www.persuasive-sales-skills.com/

8) A great top 10 list on how to give the best pitch from CNBC’s research taken after talking to investors and entrepreneurs. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/12/10-tips-for-making-the-perfect-pitch-cnbc/4396281/

9) Another list of top 10 pitching tips, though this one includes how appearance can make a difference as well http://www.claretyconsulting.com/it/comments/sales-pitch-top-10-tips/2009-09-30/

10) A short little article by the Institute of Management Consultants USA on how to make your pitch stand out against all the rest with titles that hook you – and this article title ‘Management Consulting is Like Sex’ certainly does it as a good example!  http://www.imcusa.org/blogpost/334056/136001/720-Management-Consulting-is-Like-Sex

11) How do you win more clients to ensure a pipeline of business? Follow these 8 tips http://www.business2community.com/strategy/eight-tips-to-deliver-a-successful-pitch-and-win-new-clients-0142286#!CpDNy 

12) What about the client’s point of view on a pitch? Based from experience as a VP at an ad agency but still relevant for consulting, here are the top tips from the client’s perspective on what they look for in a pitch http://adage.com/article/small-agency-diary/helps-pitching-client-s-point-view/235576/

13) Don’t think you’re selling emphasis is strong enough? Take a look at Selling Power’s sales management top 10 tips http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article/?a=10089/10-tips-to-improve-your-sales-performance  

14) Looking for a simple template for how you can get the important part of a pitch across? The sentence starters for the top 6 tips here will be useful http://www.managingamericans.com/BlogFeed/Sales-Business-Development/Is-Your-Sales-Pitch-Working-6-Steps-to-Open-More-Sales.htm 

15) Are you a consultant branching into freelance work and looking for your first clients? Take a look at this About.com entrepreneur tips page to bag the clients and generate business with your pitch http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/salesmarketing/a/firstclient.htm

16) Although based at website SEO consultants, these detailed 17 tips from the client perspective here can be applied to any sales pitch http://www.globalsources.com/ST/SEO-consultant

17) It’s not about bragging about all the success stories of your past – new clients will want to know how you can help their particular business. Take a look at Rick Conlow’s simple 5 steps to writing a good sales pitch http://wcwpartners.com/sales-2/salespitch/

18) The Guardian offers some good advice on creating a good pitch here and emphasising how important all aspects of it are to the overall performance, from the brief to the goodbye http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2013/nov/08/top-tips-pitching-for-investment

19) Based on the experience of small businesses pitching to investors but the principles remain the same in this New York Times blog post http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/making-your-best-pitch/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 

20) Pitching isn’t just about the presentation but also about the proposal itself and how well written it is. Follow Marketer/Advertiser Brandon Eley’s advice here on how to ensure your proposal and pitch are up to scratch http://www.sitepoint.com/the-pitch-is-as-important-as-the-proposal/

21) And finally, Wikihow actually has some good consultant-specific pitching tips to gain and nurture business http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Clients-for-Consultants

 

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