The Definitive Business Pitch

How to Make the Best Pitches, Proposals and Presentations

Angela Hatton

Publisher: Prentice Hall, 2007, 197 pages

ISBN: 0-273-70826-0

Keywords: Presentations

Last modified: Aug. 7, 2021, 8:21 p.m.

First impressions count. Make yours a good one.

Need to make a presentation to an important client? Want to increase your hit rate in winning new business? Have to submit a proposal to secure a contract or get more resources for your department?

Clients — and senior managers — have shorter attention spans and higher expectations than ever before and you need to be exceptional rather than just competent to make an impact. It's not only what you or your business can do that matters — it's how you pitch your offer that determines success. In The Definitive Business Pitch, Angela Hatton tackles the core problem of persuading the customer that your solution to their problem is the best. Whether you are making a spoken presentation or submitting a written document, this means capturing your audience’s attention right from the start, addressing their needs and requirements head-on and demonstrating clearly what you can do for them.

Mastering a few simple, proven techniques can make all the difference and The Definitive Business Pitch is based on tried and tested marketing and sales principles, to enable you to make your message memorable and to get your offer across effectively, impressively and convincingly. Whatever you want to win, Angela Hatton's guidelines and techniques for perfect pitches, proposals and presentations will make sure you come out at the top of the heap. Can you afford not to read this book — what if your competitors do?

  1. Good ideas don't sell themselves
    • Persuasive communication — a life skill
    • Building a better mouse trap — the basis of competitive advantage
    • What is a competitive advantage?
    • What is a sustainable advantage?
    • The pitch — the missing link
    • It's not my job
  2. Spotting the pitfalls
    • The value of auditing
    • A simple communication process
    • Roles in the buying process
    • Delivery format
    • Understand the decision-making process
    • The message
    • Noise and feedback
    • Troubleshooting
  3. To pitch or not to pitch
    • Saying 'no' needs bravery
    • The facts and figures
    • Metrics matter
    • But who do we say 'no' to?
    • The challenge of profiling
    • Profiling the successes
    • Screening opportunities
    • Do we want the business?
    • Manage the volume
    • How to say 'no'
  4. Getting to know the market
    • Real customer focus
    • The sector context
    • The role of marketing
    • Build the big picture
    • A market checklist
    • Set up competitors watchers
    • Where does customer information come from?
    • Digging for detail
    • The brief — the information starting point
    • Organising your research
    • Meeting the decision-making unit
    • Success lies in preparation
  5. Putting on the customer's shoes
    • A source of competitive advantage
    • Understanding empathy
    • Turning features into benefits
    • Interpreting research with empathy
    • Establishing the parameters
    • About your or about me?
    • Look and listen
    • Body language clues
    • Summarising empathy options
  6. Preparing to pitch
      • From building blocks to business
      • Setting the scene
      • Setting the strategy
      • Preparing the team
      • Who does what role?
      • Know your team
      • Briefing the team
      • Structuring the pitch
      • Added value and the bottom line
      • Timing
      • Using support materials
      • Practise, practise, practise
      1. Pitching with punch
        • Just another pitch!
        • First impressions count
        • Managing expectations and time
        • Working alone — the salesperson's pitch
        • Choreographing the pitch
        • Involve the audience
        • Presenting complex data
        • Adding the price tag
        • Watching body language
        • Tackling questions
        • Don't be surprised
        • It's a question of money
        • Remember — a strong finish
        • About that impact
        • Next steps
      2. Winning proposals
        • What are they?
        • The problem with proposals
        • Proposals as physical evidence
        • Start with the brief
        • The proposal
        • Building a persuasion sandwich
        • The value of templates
        • Notice the sales messages
        • Written not spoken
        • Sending your proposal
        • A legal footnote
      3. Preparing to present
        • Communicating
        • Pitching — selling
        • Scoping your presentation
        • Factors that make a difference
        • Technical resources and support
        • Selecting strategies
        • Structuring presentations
        • A presentation checklist
        • About support materials
        • Presenters and presentation skills
      4. Presenting with panache
        • It's the quality that counts
        • Expertise rather than impact
        • Nailing those nerves
        • Supporting each other
        • Relate and empathise
        • Troubleshooting
        • Handling disruptions
        • Dealing with questions
        • Adding the sales message
        • Post-purchase dissonance
      5. Keep getting better
        • Keep moving on
        • Metrics matter
        • Comparative performance
        • Test and measure
        • Debriefing performance
        • Feedback
        • Continual improvement
        • A final word


      The Definitive Business Pitch

      Reviewed by Roland Buresund

      Very Good ******** (8 out of 10)

      Last modified: Aug. 16, 2009, 3:02 p.m.

      A very good book about making presentations and proposals, which is focused on you, the reader, and not something else. It is an easy read, albeit a bit dis-organised from time to time, but it covers all important bases and have lots of tables and illustrations, that for a change are useful!

      It may not suit everybody, but I enjoyed it and will continue to use it in my day job :-)


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