Writing the winning pitch or proposal

Be your own heavyweight Champion

How much time do you spend writing a pitch presentation or proposal? Probably a lot – especially if you want to have a chance of winning the work! But how much time do you spend really getting beneath the surface and understanding what the client wants (beyond the brief)? Pitching and proposal writing is fraught with challenges and politics that we often don’t know about unless we are prepared to dig a little deeper before putting pen to paper.

The first thing you need to establish is if you are a good fit for the client and vice versa. There is little point investing a ton of time into the pitching or proposal process if you don’t feel you are a good fit or can deliver what they want. Next you need to go into ‘fact find’ mode and learn as much about the client and what they are looking for BEFORE you start pitching. This is a stage that is often overlooked and businesses go headlong into the proposal process only to find they were wide of the mark.

The price is right

An important point to remember is that the client isn’t usually looking for the cheapest option so don’t lead with this. Instead demonstrate you really understand the client, their market and their challenges. Also establish what their real requirements are – speed of delivery? Creative solution? Empathy with your staff? Experience? And last and often least, pricing.

My final piece advice in this short blog is to only agree to write a proposal when you have qualified the client. Do they have a genuine need? What are their time scales? Do they have a budget? Why now? Too many businesses are excited to get the opportunity to pitch so go blindly into it without proper qualification and end up giving the client some great market research……… for them to use somewhere else!

If you want to learn more about this time consuming and challenging process then come along to the Brighton & Hove Chamber’s bite-sized learning event on June 18th on this very topic. We ran this workshop last year and it was so popular, we are running it again!

Also look out for a new whitepaper I am writing on this topic.


    Rob Da Costa