I was recently invited by a potential client to meet and answer some questions on a tender response we had submitted.
As I entered the amazingly designed, purpose built building that was their head office, I was greeted by a waiting room in a flurry with well dressed, sharp and shinny suppliers (just like me) waiting for our call up to meet with someone who would decide our fate as their future supplier, or not. Sitting in that room it was hard not to feel intimidated, even though they weren’t competing against me. There were groups of fresh faced, vibrant people, laughing and running through ideas and scenarios they might be presented with by this client. Some had goodie bags of gifts/samples and all had laptops which no doubt contained well-rehearsed presentations with out of this world graphics.
As I thought about the last minute nature of my meeting request (less than 24hours notice) and the flurry I had to re-arrange meetings and planned work, book flights and offload my children for the day, I was quietly relieved when told there would not be an opportunity to do a presentation – just answer questions. I had completed the thesis size tender response and even though I submitted it at 2am on a Monday morning, I had written every word and knew all the information within it.
I was greeted by the clients’ HR representative, who had to identify herself on the phone by what she was wearing because of the number of people entering and exiting that room, and then had to confirm that is was just myself meeting with them today. Again it was hard not to be intimidated as we walked through this enormous building past double height glass fronted conference rooms filled with groups of suppliers dressed in suits delivering their pitch.
In my Q&A meeting with HR my answers were sincere, honest and truthful because as the MD of boutique relocation agency I have my finger on the pulse of every heart beat in our company. I can tell you how every process is conducted, what the transferee experience is like and how our clients experience our service. Our flat organisation structure means I know all this information and I can change, improve or adapt all our processes when it is needed quickly and efficiently. This is why our transferees and clients love our high level service and choose us.
As I left the meeting feeling confident, I started to question what is a perfect pitch? As a boutique agency we don’t employ a business development manager, let alone a team of sales representatives. We let our track record do the selling for us by providing honest accounts of our client experiences. But is that what potential clients are looking for? Do they want to see an amazing presentation by well rehearsed and experienced sales people? Or do they want to hear from the people in the company who are working close to the ground and can provide a truthful account through experience of what the company can provide?
What is your experience? What is your Perfect HR Pitch?