Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The 'ethical pitch'

Don't panic this is not a post about sustainability or recycling etc but rather on some of my musings on pitch ethics based on personal experience. Having been a consultant for the last seven and a half years I rarely find myself in straight pitch situations, I have found myself on the selection panel a fair few times or reviewing proposals for work as well, so not sure if I am the best man to comment, but here goes.

I know you have heard this before but people buy people, never mind the tender, brief, or scope of work required, it comes down to a simple match, can you do what is asked? And for that matter is this a client/company/person you wish to work with? There have been numerous times when I have asked myself that question and in some instances walked away from the business.

Then there is the question about what about my existing clients and if we take on the work will they be compromised in any way. I have had a number of situations where there were great revenue opportunities for me but in the back of my mind I knew that the risk of conflict of interest was great and again walked away. Why? It has to feel right or else it won’t work.

Then there is the trust issue - either it is there- or lets pack up and go home. Some like the focus of payment by results, I have not explicitly worked in that way, but I make sure people know what they are getting and if not why, as there may well be issues that the client overlooked that my significantly hinder generating results.

One other point is reputation, what goes around comes around and in my view ultimately the truth will out. It is the backdrop to any new business situation, it will get you to the pitch table and in some instances will protect you if the presentation performance is not what it should or could have been.

While all of the hygiene factors are important for a pitch - answering the brief, good presentation style, good listening/people skills etc... Ultimately it’s a people thing as after all business is done for people by people. Now back to that proposal.....

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