A really useful book by American business author, Kevin Allen, asks the following question about pitching for business: Your potential client has wants and needs, not to mention values. Once you’ve worked out what you think they are, how do you respond?
Allen believes you should think about:
- Your ambition (to supply them with something they’ve never had before)
- Your core abilities (the something special that you have, which separates you from the others)
- Your values (your credo or belief system)
Say you own a cafe which also produces special, mini, baked cheesecakes. Your potential client has a chain of high quality, rather quirky deli-restaurants. They are always looking for something different.
You can supply them with a completely new and attractive line.
Your core abilities
You make cheesecakes with extraordinary flavours which no-one else has ever produced and you can supply them in numbers and at a price that others would be very hard pushed to match.
Quality and originality are your watchwords – the same as theirs.
We make all sorts of decisions based on our values, from whom to hire to decisions about whether or not to buy fruit from a country on whom trade sanctions have been imposed.
When you understand the values/ the hidden desire of the potential client and the values and desires of their customers and when your values tally, it can mean a marriage made in heaven.
“We’re ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”