Pitching for Business


Exploratory Questioning and Modelling by Lynda Russell-Whitaker

-constructed questions are essential in successful business development. We need to pay close attention to the language we use in our questioning and the language used by the client in response to these questions.  They can give valuable clues.   As mentioned in my article on Active Listening in SpeakUp! #62, questions and listening are […]


Strong Starts. The Hook by Alistair Grant

We were all taught somewhere that we should “tell’em what we’re gonna tell’em then tell’em and tell’em what we told them”. But….   Whilst that old chestnut seems sensible enough advice, there is a flaw! There is strong evidence that people’s commitment to listen depends on how you start, and this bureaucratic, traditional and predictable […]


Nudging Noel Numpties by Ewan Pearson

Thaler was particularly lauded for his work on Nudging, which has provided a much more scientific understanding of how people think and behave when making economic decisions. Whether it’s how to tax the Brits more skilfully, what people invest in, what they smoke, whether they opt in/out of organ donation, or what they buy the […]


Squeezing the Satsuma (part 2), by Ewan Pearson

Christmas is a ‘fruity’ time, and so it’s appropriate to squeeze the rest of the juice out of this story, to crack a few nuts and to get the core of the meaty content. For those unfamiliar with our last Journal, Edition 57, it is the hot story of the age: how to win business […]


GPB’s latest IP session on Business development

GPB’s IP session on Business Development Date: 18th September 2015                  Attendees: Ewan Pearson, Richard Keith Agenda: To review all recent thinking on BD and Pitching IP. To create a new set of IP docs (Word, PPt, pdf) that we can deploy in improving our clients’ abilities to win pitches of all kinds. To have a […]


Fire Bell Pitching, by Richard Keith

Imagine this scenario. You are about to deliver your 20 minute pitch to a client when the fire bell goes off. You are informed that it is only a drill and you decide to seize the moment. You open your mouth: “Before we head out, can I please take 30 secs to tell you the […]


The Value Equation, by Ewan Pearson

In Berkshire Hathaway’s 2008 letter shareholders, Warren Buffet wrote: Ben Graham taught me that “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.1 Being a Scot, I too like buying quality at low prices, and I like […]


“You will be my most important client”

Anyone in a business development role will be familiar with the phrase above. There is a feeling that it should be said, especially to a big client that you are very keen (and probably incentivised) to win, and is often said at that peak in effort—the pitch. But is it the best thing to say? […]


Please don’t confuse me. Get to the point. Don’t waste my time.

 “If you use words that the viewer has to process, then they will miss the next three to six words that you say.” This is a quote from Scott Chisholm who, it appears, is the man who coached Alastair Darling’s performance in the first televised debate against Alec Salmond on Scottish independence.   Alastair, ‘as […]


How to make messages stick; use of “Stickies” and Daisy

By Alastair Grant We argue that if your audience cannot remember your key messages then your presentation has failed. It maybe the listener, if asked to comment, says: “Well there was a lot of information but there was no message” If it’s a competitive pitch you are making then this could be the reason for […]