Turning up to a pitch with nothing to show enables you more opportunity to explain what you’re capable of doing, and offers the client a better experience.
It’s still common practice for agencies, studios and freelancers to roll up to a pitch and present concepts. Clients revel in this scenario, treating it like an X-factor audition - wrapping up meetings with “thanks, we’ll let you know”.
Pitching concepts might be cemented into your process, but it’s better for the client if you don’t show them anything.
To understand why, put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
The problem with the ‘big reveal’.
Picture this… you walk into a Michelin Star restaurant and the head chef approaches you with a plate of food.
“Here you go, I knew you were coming so I made you this.”
They hand you a steaming plate of Grilled Octopus with braised Giant White Beans, grilled Frisee and a Saffron Aioli (posh sauce).
“I didn’t really know what you wanted, but most people like this dish.”
Now, this Chef is amazing in the Kitchen, they can create anything (it’s why you booked 2 months in advance!), yet right now you’re probably looking at the plate of food thinking:
- This is great! I’ve only just walked in and I’ve already seen/smelt an example of their cuisine.
- Hmm, now that I’ve seen this dish I really want to try it and can’t think about eating anything else.
- Damn, I feel obliged to eat this after they’ve gone through all that effort.
- Ah ha, I wonder if they’ll charge me less if I eat this, it’s only going in the bin otherwise.
- Ergh, Octopus!
It might be amazing food, but has the Chef delivered you the best they could? They don’t know how hungry you are, or if you intend to eat 2, 3, or 4 courses?
Now imagine walking into the same restaurant, being seated at your table and a few minutes later the Chef joins you.
- They spend 5 minutes talking with you about the types of food you like.
- They tell you about the ingredients they use and where they source them from.
- They explain about the specialist cooking techniques they use.
- They bring out some things for you to try.
- They ask what you don’t like eating.
The Chef goes back into the kitchen armed with lots of information about you to create a unique dish to match your tastes.
Wouldn’t you feel like you were getting more value from their skills and expertise?
Make an impression
Pitches aren’t for talking about your process and services (your site should do that), or for presenting a mockup that you spent a day on. They’re opportunities to get to know the client, talk about the project, and demonstrate your expertise.
Go in to the situation confidently, like you’re already working on the project. Ask questions, learn about them and speak about your own experiences. They’ll get more insight into who you are, how you work and what you’re capable of.
Don’t risk serving up the wrong dish. Give them a taste and leave them wanting more.
Food for thought.