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UK leaders must improve pitching skills to win new business

When it comes to showcasing your business with pitching skills, you may want to be aware that 90 per cent of firms use Microsoft PowerPoint.
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An infographic has outlined the presentation patterns of UK companies, and it seems leaders need to kick their pitching skills up a notch if they want to fend off competition and win new business.

Presentation agency Buffalo 7 is behind the research, which showed that the pitching skills of UK firms are underwhelming, as it said businesses are “not properly prepared to win.”

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Indeed, just one in four have had formal training over the past year, while 61 per cent of companies do not have presentation specialists in house. That’s at odds with the fact 76 per cent of firms have pitched for new business over that period.

And despite this eagerness to secure more partnerships, the pitching skills don’t seem to be doing the companies justice as 54 per cent said they lose half or more of new business campaigns.

“Pitches are a key part of the business acquisition process and yet companies are not investing to prepare for them as they do for other marketing or sales activities,” said Lyndon Nicholson, CEO of Buffalo 7.

“There is no doubt that companies are losing pitches, business and money by turning up with badly designed slide-decks and staff who are not properly trained.”

Elsewhere, it was shown that 75 per cent of businesses do not provide any formal pitching skills training to staff. Buffalo 7 cited findings from advertising bodies that noted the cost of pitching can be more than expected if pitching skills used do not bring in new business.

Traci Dunne, consultancy manager at advertising body ISBA, added: “The Buffalo 7 survey into pitching habits suggests that many companies are unprepared for what we know can be a very costly part of winning business.

“This is an area related to our own research on Pitch Alternatives that launches later this month, which will identify trends and patterns to help both clients and agencies make better pitching decisions.”

Oh, and you might want to ensure your presentation is going to stand out if you’re using Microsoft PowerPoint…

Pitching skills infographic

 Image: Shutterstock

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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