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Prospecting.Pitching.Proposing.

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by

Remi Preez

on 15 October 2013

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Transcript of Prospecting.Pitching.Proposing.

Prospecting.
Pitching.
Proposing.
Closing.

Prospecting includes the process of qualifying
valid leads that are converted to proposals
and ultimately sales.

The process involves looking at certain internal and external factors first to determine the success rate of trying to pursue a certain company.
WHAT IS IT?
Lets first look at some of the basic internal variables and capabilities one has to understand before looking externally.
INTERNAL

It is important to understand our own products and capabilities first.
Product

We offer billboards and transit finish en klaar...




Benefits

Mass communication
Support medium to other platforms
Relatively inexpensive
Local environment
Geography

Western Cape - URBAN
Eastern Cape - URBAN
Kwa-Zulu Natal - URBAN
Cost

Priced in line where SME's can afford local promotions all the way to major conglomerates running yearly marketing campaigns.

And now for a look at the external markets

EXTERNAL

The main aim when looking at the external market is to put yourself in the decision makers shoes and answer a few questions about the company and problems they may be facing
THIS IS BRUTALLY IMPORTANT AS IT WILL SET THE TONE AND QUESTIONS YOU ASK THE CLIENT
WHY

Why do we want to engage with the client? Do they have a new product launch, increased competitor activity/entry, standard yearly marketing campaigns...
HOW

The how looks at the affordability of fixing the problem. How much money does client have to market the new product, defer losing market share or running yearly campaigns...
WHEN

When is the activity due to start. Is it premature to contact the client now, are we possibly too late or do we have a fighting chance...
WHERE

Will the client focus on local or national advertising. It is important to not only analyze where the offices are, but also where the distribution of their product or service occurs...
RESEARCH IS VERY IMPORTANT

Make notes on all the assumptions that you make regarding the company to clarify these when you start pitching.

The idea is that the better you qualify your prospect, the less cold calling you will make and the more you will convert
THE ART OF PITCHING...

The purpose of pitching is to discuss the assumptions one makes regarding the company's problems and see whether they are in fact true.

If they are, the client needs to be made aware of our products and HOW THEY CAN SOLVE A PARTICULAR PROBLEM!
Wise man say, "First seek
to understand, then be
understood."
PITCHING BASICS

Conversation is about asking questions, listening and responding to those questions either with fact or another question to gain further clarity.

Here are some helpful basic tips before we start delving into some examples of pitching.
Do you question Open or Closed?

Open questions stimulate conversation where Closed questions are used to confirm understanding.

Used properly, rapport is developed and pitching success increases. Used incorrectly you could potentially open yourself to getting a door in the face.
Open questions allows the client to expand on their answer.

Why didn't your last billboard campaign work for you?
What are your plans for the launch of your new product?
What are your thoughts on outdoor advertising?
Do you have any plans in response to the new competitive threat?
Closed questions are used to confirm understanding or an opinion which will end with a Yes/No answer or allow a once off answer.

Have you used outdoor advertising before?
When do you start planning for your next fiscal?
Can we go on a date?
The 80/20 rule or Pareto Principal in sales must apply if you wish to be successful.


Ask questions to stimulate the 80% of the conversation. Remember telling isn't selling. Get the client to talk and when they do, shut the f-up.
The basis of this rule is to ask questions that are intelligent, empathetic and stimulate conversation.


The client should be doing 80% of the talking with you listening and taking notes


Psychologically humans build rapport by talking about themselves not finding out about others.
"Hi, Im Pac Man and I have lots of friends because I love talking about myself"
Think about it...
How many times after you've met new people at a braai and spoke mostly about yourself do you think what awesome people they are when you leave
Before the Call
It is important to have a brief list written down as to what you want to discuss.

Remember the Why, How, Where and Why.

This forms the basis of your conversation. We have assumptions about the company and we want to verify it with the prospect.
Now that you have a few key tips into the art of pitching, we will look at an example of a pitch and the different approaches one could use with our new understanding of Open and Closed Questioning.
Opening Lines
At this phase you are just introducing yourself and the company with a brief statement of what we do.

There is no point in jumping straight into the pitch as you still don't know what the needs of the client is.

We can dig deep into a few examples quick...
OR

I noticed that you had a billboard going up on Gramadula Road and wanted to know a bit more about your campaign?


OR

I wanted to find out more about your company but more specifically what you are currently doing to market your products and services.
Hi Mark. My name is Pac Man from Tractor Outdoor.

We specialize in billboard and transit advertising for the Western and Eastern Cape.
I recently read an article stating that your company is due to launch a new product.

Im interested in finding out a bit more about that product and the target markets you are looking to reach.
I noticed that you had a billboard going up on Gramadula Road and wanted to know a bit more about your campaign?
I wanted to find out more about your company but more specifically what you are currently doing to market your products and services.
Hi Mark. My name is Pac Man from Tractor Outdoor.

We specialize in billboard and transit advertising for the Western and Eastern Cape.
I recently read an article stating that your company is due to launch a new product.

Im interested in finding out a bit more about that product and the target markets you are looking to reach.
Overcoming Objections
Right. So the conversation is moving in a direction. You haven't had the phone slammed in your ear yet.

The prospect is listening and opening up and then all of a sudden they drop those tricky little questions that just seem to make the conversation derail.

What sort of objections are they and what can one do...
We used outdoor in the past and it didn't work for us.
Don't respond with, "OK no problem. Can I pop you an email in case you change your mind and take it from there?"
Perhaps answer by saying, "Why didn't it work for you?
This way you are giving the prospect a chance to elaborate on previous issues they may had and which you may be able to solve or avoid next time round.
I looked into outdoor advertising in the past and it's way too expensive.
Start blabbering on about our billboards and what the prices are.
Rather ask who they got their pricing from and what the general ballpark was.
Waiting on the question gives you the opportunity to gather more information on what they were likely charged. Responding only after the fact is advisable.
We only use TV and Radio for promotions.
Don't give in to a simple objection.
Instead ask why they only decide on sticking to certain mediums.
Asking open questions allows you to get more information and understanding as to why clients do things the way they do or feel the way they feel.
Moving the Conversation
As you start uncovering more problems and better understanding about these problems through Open questioning, acknowledge your understanding with a Closed question.

This helps confirm that you understand the need properly as well as showing empathy and professionalism from the prospects point of view.

Take notes of these issues while discussing with the prospect.
These basic introductions set the foundation for your fact finding mission.
Selling the Dream
OK, so the client has given you quite the shopping list of problems and needs through your "Super Power of Open Questioning"

It's time to address them...
PROSPECTS NEEDS/PROBLEM AREAS

Previously had issues with outdoor.
A campaign was run in the past but the ROI didn't work for them because of wrongly identified areas.
Furthermore flighting images were delivered late, site was flighted late and no recourse was allowed.

SOLUTIONS TO ISSUES

For the ROI, we can determine upfront what the impact of a campaign will have before it even starts. We can work backwards to determine what level of impact is required to break-even.
As for flighting, we have a robust system in place where we always deliver proofs on time.
If we do the print and flight late, we will reimburse the client with additional time at the end of their campaign. They will get what they pay for.

Last stages
So the conversation is drawing to a close and you've:

Ignited interest and defined problem areas with the prospect. CHECK

Confirmed the problem areas and how we can solve them. CHECK

Established the next steps leading to the proposal phase. CHECK
WILL YOU MARRY ME...

The proposition is crucial in this stage of the sales cycle. As a female will way up the pros and cons of a particular life by saying "yes" to a man (even though these should be well established way before the proposal), so a sales proposal needs to address the needs and preferences of a client.

If in the pitching phase, the correct needs weren't addressed, the outcome will most likely be negative in your proposal.
We will look into the needs of our previous client where ROI and measurement systems weren't clearly defined and look at the systems and how we use them to establish this for clients and prospects. We will just briefly summarise our conversation with the prospect.
Client Business: Product related
Industry: Telecommunications
Target Market: 18+, M/F, LSM 1 - 10
Reason for Advertising: Brand Awareness illustrating various products over a period of time.
Budget: Undetermined
OOH Media Type Preference: Transit or Billboards
Fair split between reach and frequency factors
Besides having the required information to generate a proposal, we need to identify and understand what type of personality we are dealing with to make sure our proposal has the right visual appeal, sufficient information and human approach when dealing with them.
Firstly we look at our universe
or total market we are looking to cover
1.2m
79.2% reach (AMPS)
15 media units
950, 400 reach?
BS!
If all media units available were used then yes, we would reach 950, 400 daily...
In our universe, only 220 units exist...
This means that we only using 6.8% (15/220) of all media units...
Which in effect means we are only targeting 64, 627 peeps each day (950, 400*6.8%)
PERSONALITY TYPES

There are 4 generally recognized personality types that majority of humans can fall into. Each one has different traits that could either help or destroy your proposal if you don't handle them correctly. These characteristics should also be remembered when Pitching. They are...
Directors AKA - The Boss

"The Boss" does not necessarily need to be the boss perse however they are task-driven, assertive, decisive, aggressive and will let you know whether they like something or not. When putting together a proposal for The Boss, make sure that it is has a specific results driven outcome based on the problems you identified. Keep documents to a minimum and speak straight. Don't fluff proposals...

Extroverts AKA - Socialite

Socialites are great and easy to get along with. The main thing is not to bore socialites. Keep analytical information to an absolute minimum and make it very visual and enticing (bright & shiny). Mockups could also work well with this class. Feedback will generally be verbal. A downside to socialites is that they generally do business with people they like. This is just a negative as competitors can easily take work away.
Analytical AKA - Thinkers

Thinkers tend to do a lot of research before making any decisions. They are price conscious and need all the info before making a decision. Testimonials are a great way to beef up proposals. In-depth analysis can also generally sway this type of prospect. Expect long lead times before getting an answer.
Introverts AKA - The Follower

Followers are generally one of the most difficult to deal with at first however over time with trust, loads of business can be generated. They generally appear lazy and slow in their lead times. They tend to focus on themselves thus with your proposal, try to assist in getting all the tough bits done for them as well as making them look good with your proposal.
"Get to the point"
"Amaze-balls!"
"I need to think about it"
"I need to consult my colleagues"
We will now look at some of the analytical information we deal with to appeal to those that require in-depth analysis.
This is the basis from which we work on when dealing with our pre-campaign planning tools. Billboards are slightly different with some added variables however the basic principles remain the same.
In the billboard universe, we focus on the cars that travel past each day, week or month
1.6m
300, 000 traffic hits p.m
300, 000 views?
Not really
The 300, 000 traffic hits are purely the likelihood-to-see (LTS). The visibility adjustment index (VAI) needs to factor in too.
VAI looks at various factors in a billboard namely:
Size
Distance from Road
Angle to Road
Side of Road
Illumination

Each of these factors determine the visibility of the billboard
If the VAI determines that only 68.74% of people will notice a particular billboard...
That means that realistically only 206, 220 vehicles (people) will be exposed to the billboard (300, 000 x 68.74%) or LTS x VAI.
Certain variables make a billboard more or less visible
Now that we have our head around some proposing ideas, the last step is to close the sale.
CLOSING TIME...

Closing the sale is the most crucial step in sales. At this late stage of the cycle obstacles still may creep up.
This part of the sales cycle includes signing the paper and starting with delivery on the work promised.
In very unlikely circumstances do clients actually directly state that they intend on going to the next stage which is signing.
Subtle clues may be dropped however you have to have to have to ask for the sale. If it appears that all the needs have been met and acknowledgment of the proposal has been received, it is important to guide the sale to the next stage.
Obstacles may still creep up at this late stage in the cycle. If you receive any objections, there is certainly some doubt that needs to be cleared up.
Go back and run through the deliverables and issues that were discussed in the pitching phase. Clarify each statement made by the client and solution you presented and put the client on the spot to identify whether you had misunderstood or whether there was clarity on that particular point.
As you trawl through the list, you may encounter that you may have misunderstood certain requirements. Take a step back and start again.
Go through the motions of asking open questions and clarifying points you understand and wait for acknowledgment.
This may also entail going back to the drawing board and putting together a new proposal based on the new communication.
If at this stage you battle to find common ground with a solution, perhaps it may be best to walk away from the deal. Never ideal, but it does happen.
If not then well done! Get the paperwork done and get onto the next one.
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