As part of our Jumpstart campaign, here’s some quick pointers for increasing your “Know-How” for a big pitch by effectively using partners.
Today, we talk about “know how”. Winning the pitch might mean brining in some more “Know How”. When you’re trying to land the bigger business, sometimes your potential new client or customer is asking for a whole lot more than what your company can currently deliver. While some companies bow out and stick to safer waters, the bold venture forth and take risks. Meeting this challenge will often times mean enlisting help from outside of your firm. By partnering with those who will round out your current service offering, you will bring the expertise and experience needed to win, and then execute, on the bigger jobs, thus leading to great work and even greater rewards.
Here are 4 tips to ensure that you are making the smartest decision when finding partners to brave those uncharted waters with.
1. Knowing what you are NOT good at.
It’s hard to admit that you don’t know something. It takes a level of maturity and personal insight to freely admit you’re not really qualified to take on certain business. After some reflection, take that list of services you don’t do well, but can compliment your work and go find the best providers in those areas. Having your weaknesses covered by your partner’s strength will enable you to focus on what you’re good at, and be confident during the pitch. Confidence, clients love confidence.
2. Don’t wait till the last minute.
If that big pitch is a week away and you currently don’t have relationships with potential partners, you have already lost. Creating a network of contacts with partners prior to any pitch opportunity is essential. This is tangential to tip #1; always be seeking out and networking with potential partners. If it’s possible, work on some smaller opportunities with them to build trust, so when that big whale client comes along, you can both execute brilliantly.
3. Set boundaries.
Once you have found a partner, you will need to set boundaries for each firm in the beginning. All members of your new team should know in black & white terms what they are responsible for and also what they are not allowed to touch. This will combat most trust issues, allowing all parties to focus on their specific work and preparation for the pitch, without worrying about getting stabbed in the back on a grey area that was open to interpretation.
They key to any well-functioning team is respect for one another. If you are respecting your partner and the feeling is mutual, your pitch will be great and all of the partners business will grow because of it. Remember, in the end you are partnering with another firm, they are an extension of your company now, and when one does great, all parties will see the rewards.
Crafting your best pitch and winning the big business requires guts and “know how”. Go out there and find a partner you can trust and get some BIG wins.
Ready to put these tips to use? If you are a business owner in need of a JumpStart, submit your best pitch by October 26, 2012, for your chance to win $100,000 in agency services. Check out JumpStart for details.
Good luck! And Happy Pitching!
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