How to not ruin your pitch, by knowing your audience intimately
A client was pitching for the construction of a government building with a high degree of complexity. There was only one engineer who had done this specific type of work before, and they were based in England. My client was able to successfully engage this engineer to be part of their bid team. This was a real coup for my client.
Unfortunately, they lost the bid. They conducted a debrief with my client and were surprised to discover that one of the reasons they were unsuccessful was that the government didn’t really believe that my client would be able to engage the key engineer. The reason for this was that they had tried and failed!
What could we have done differently to overcome this?
In the final presentation we could have
- Played a recording of the engineer saying how much they were looking forward to working with the government.
- Done a live cross in the presentation to demonstrate commitment.
- Flown the engineer out to be present on the day.
So, it is vital to understand what drives an audience on a rational and emotional level.