Pitch for success in 6 steps

If you’ve ever watched shows like Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den, you’ll know that the perfect pitch is make or break to win new business. You pitch to new prospects on a daily basis but perhaps you have a particularly big presentation coming up, such as pitching to a business with specialist insurance needs (e.g. a multi-million rand construction project)? Or maybe you are suggesting commercial insurance to a large corporate or a franchise group of small business owners? Sharpen your presentation skills with these 6 steps to the perfect pitch.


Step 1: Define the purpose of the pitch


Features tell but benefits sell. When you are pitching a product or service, don’t neglect the fact that you are also presenting yourself and what makes you unique. Start by thinking about why you are pitching to this prospect and what benefit you will provide. Study competitors to spot opportunities to bring something different to the table.


Step 2: Do your homework


It’s important to get to know your prospects as best as possible. Ask about past experiences with suppliers, why they are switching suppliers and previous examples of claims that were successful or particularly challenging. If you have a good relationship with a client in a similar industry, pick their brain on the challenges and risks they face. Do an online search for big industry news stories, whether it’s around natural disasters, cyber crime incidents or reputational damage.


Step 3: Tailor your pitch to your prospects


After you’ve done your homework, create a proposal that makes your audience feel as if it was created just for them. Build your narrative around what a prospect needs, and demonstrate how your offering can solve their specific problems.


Step 4: Design an impactful presentation


Think about how you can freshen up your trusted PowerPoint presentation with graphics and contemporary fonts, or get a graphic designer to set up a template for you. If you want to collaborate on your proposal with colleagues, try Google Slides. Like Google Docs, it lets you upload an old presentation or create a new one, and saves any changes in real-time. What’s more, you can get impactful free presentation templates from Slides Carnival – just pick a theme and customise it straight in your Google Slides account. You can also try Powtoon – which promises a professional-looking, attention-grabbing presentation or video in just 20 minutes.


Step 5: Deliver your pitch with confidence


Once you’re in the room and start talking, remember to think of a presentation as a conversation. It’s not supposed to be completely one-sided where you are doing all the talking and racing to get to your last side.


Aim to speak less and listen more – the more you let a prospect talk, the more you’ll learn about them and what issues need to be addressed in their business. Welcome questions and comments as opportunities, not interruptions.


Step 6: Answer questions and reinforce your value as an intermediary


The end of your presentation is also when you will likely talk about price. Never try to seal the deal on price alone. It’s a good idea to focus strongly on the value you add as an intermediary. Take the time to define what makes you stand out from the crowd.


Now is the time to ease their worries, whether it’s the in-depth business audit you’ll do, training with staff or personal attention during the claims process. Our articles on how to sell on value not just price and on how to find your value proposition have some good ideas on how to highlight your experience, your customer service and your expertise. Build a rapport with prospects and a trust that you have their best interests at heart. This is best proven through positive client testimonials so be sure to add those to your presentation.


Best of luck with your pitch! If you have any queries about Santam products or processes, get in touch with your relationship manager or visit our intermediary advice section.