Why the Average Professional Service Client Pitch Fails

Posted by: Pitchly

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and when you’re trying to win new business, a client pitch is your opportunity to make a great one. 

An average pitch produces average results - the average sales win rate after giving a proposal is 47%. On the other hand, a great pitch can boost the sales of your services – possibly producing a 62% or higher win rate. Think about how much an extra 15% could impact your overall revenue.

Since client pitching is so vital to your marketing and business development strategy, it’s essential to understand what comprises a lukewarm pitch, and what your professional services marketing team needs to do to produce a winning pitch that rises above the rest.

Below are five reasons why the average professional service client pitch fails - and how you can do better than them.

You're cutting and pasting pitches from one perspective client to the next

A client pitch is definitely not one-size-fits-all. If you’re reusing your pitches, you’re missing out on the impact personalization can make on your proposals. 

According to McKinsey, companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from their activities compared to average players. And, if you’re not customizing your pitches to the client, you could actually be alienating them. 

In fact, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen.

Professional services firm marketing works best when you have a laser-focus on your target audience. Your prospective customers have very specific and pressing needs to address, so make it clear that you not only understand these needs, but are the perfect solution to solve them. 

Customizing your pitch is the only way to give them the confidence they need. Getting granular into industry, demographic, or client-specific considerations shows them that you’re the perfect firm for the job.

Include relevant research, testimonials and tombstones in the pitch. Using technology that connects your data to content can help your professional services marketing team quickly customize your pitches. This gives your clients effective, personalized pitches, and your team doesn’t waste valuable time looking for relevant resources, ultimately boosting your productivity.

You haven’t prepared for pushback

It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert at how to market professional services, if you’re not prepared for the inevitable “buts” that come during a client pitch, you could be wasting your time.

The decision to sign on with a new service provider is a big one that often involves more decision-makers than those who are listening to your pitch. Plus, there’s the fact that 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes. If your pitch doesn’t state your value proposition clearly or doesn’t address pain points or ROI, your audience will be even less inclined to see your services as a solution.

Featured Resource

Learn the 5 Steps to Delivering the Pitch that Seals Deals


You’re not providing social proof in client pitches

Social proof, like reviews, testimonials and even media coverage, can be a huge determining factor for clients. Omitting social proof in your pitch is a big “what not to do.” According to Sprout Social, 83% of consumers recommend a brand they follow on social media to friends and family. And 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.

This type of persuasive power translates to professional services marketing. It’s been found that 68% of legal consumers rely on reviews and 42% on recommendations when scouting potential options.

Include social proof-boosting content in your client pitches that align with the customer to give some fuel to your sales enablement marketing strategy. Share links to case studies for companies in industries that are similar to the prospective client, add tombstones of well-known clients and insert customer reviews.

Your client pitch gives potential customers information overload

Being thorough is one thing but giving your audience a headache from the amount of text you’ve packed into your client pitch is another. 

Text-heavy presentations often go far too in-depth too quickly for prospective clients. According to Alejandro Cremades, a pitch deck should be no longer than 20 slides with a maximum of three bullet points per slide. 

Following this rule means you automatically only add valuable information while leaving room for potential clients to ask questions if they want to know more.

Plus, pitch decks that are full of text miss out on an opportunity to connect visually with the audience. The human brain transmits visual messages faster and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Adding images to your pitch decks will help make your proposals more memorable, letting your audience to retain more information.

Follow these PowerPoint tips and tricks to quickly produce high-quality pitch decks.

You’re ignoring your competitors

Everyone has a competitor and if you fail to acknowledge yours, you could inadvertently make their case to your client. 

A potential client might choose a competitor over you for a number of reasons including brand, cost, services, value and even customer service. Address the elephant in the room by spelling out to your prospective clients why you’re a better solution.

According to the American Bar Association, you should research your competitors to know who else may be bidding for the client’s services. Your research can help guide you in addressing how your firm can deliver more value than your competitors.

Now you know what not to do…

You’ve learned the ins and outs of what can go wrong with a client pitch, so you are able to avoid anything that could potentially sabotage the valuable time your prospective client has given you.

Next, it’s time to learn what to do.

We put together an in-depth, informative eBook to help you learn exactly that. Start improving your client pitches today by downloading our eBook, The 5 Steps to Pitching Your Services, to learn more. Whether you’re in a law firm or an accounting firm, we custom created a guide just for you. Click the button that fits you below to take the first step to building a client pitch that seals deals.

5 Steps To Pitch Your Services - Law Firm 5 Steps To Pitch Your Services - Accounting Firms
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