Friday, 25 October 2013

Anatomy of a new biz pitch gone wrong

Thought I would share an experience that did not go so well recently ( other than me - I wont share the names of those involved). Genuinely you do learn more from the things that don't go right than you do when all goes swimmingly and you think you are the Zen master of business. So.......

we did a competitive new biz meeting recently and were unsuccessful - here's why

1. Commitment - we umm'ed and aaah'ed about whether to do it at all as it was a bit speculative (we did not know the people but had been recommended) and we are very busy. But we did it but if I am being honest not in a fully engaged and enthused way. And you know what - you end up doing all the work required but feel very grumpy about it as you do and that maybe shows. So lesson 1 is - If you going to do something - throw yourself in - aim to dazzle - do it brilliantly - otherwise don't do it and wait for project that you do love.

2. Chemistry - (as in lack of) we messed this up a bit (possibly due to the above). Too many people were involved in it - it was a bit of decision by committee on our strategy and approach. Pitches are a dictatorial process - one person owns it - builds some form of relationship - directs the resources and delivers their vision.

3. We forgot the sizzle, it was all steak - We really knew what they needed and how to help them - but a lot of this stuff was really dry to present and as we all know these things are beauty contests - and you have to stand out with cool stuff that will never see the light of day probably, and most people want to have their heads turned rather than a clinical analysis of metrics and improving CPA rates

4. It was a long hour for everyone. If I am being honest, we were dead in the water 5 minutes in (I can assure you we flapped about for another 50 minutes like a fish on the shore) - a bolder person would have packed up their stuff and said our goodbyes much earlier.

as ever - there is much black comedy around these types of things - and the mournful lift journey down from the meeting - where we soundlessly looked at each other, shook our heads and slowly exhaled was almost worth the bad experience.