In the investment banking industry, the quality of your pitchbooks can literally make or break a deal. For salespeople to deliver a powerful client meeting presentation, the pitchbook has to look stunningly professional and be 100% flawless. However, this perfection can be daunting. The construction of a pitchbook may require the ordering and updating of hundreds – or even thousands – of slide deck variations. So how do you create a powerfully compelling pitchbook in a way that is both fast and smart?
As we explained in our last article, even if the pitchbook is now evolving towards greater interactivity, it remains a foundational tool for the investment banking industry as it can create opportunities for discussion and connection with the client. It matters. So here are some strategy tips to help you make your next pitchbook more meaningful and to do it more effectively.
Branding compliance ensures you get instant recognition from your clients as soon as they lay eyes on your logo, documents, tables, charts and visuals. Sometimes, pitchbooks can be created for ‘leave behind’ purposes so that the client can later tap into the most relevant information to communicate to the boss or team. In that case, it is important that the brand elements are reflected on any page – logo, colours, and even your disclaimers and legal notices. When all these details are put together well, they help to build trust, nurture relationships and convey the client through the procurement cycle. By doing it, you both improve your brand recognition and deliver greater client satisfaction.
To achieve that goal, define and use structured, up to date corporate templates to create your documents, even the most formal ones. This best practice will serve to strengthen your image and demonstrate to clients the standing and professionalism of your company.
The way in which you decide to organise the information on your slides will determine whether the client understands your message. So tackle this with these three overriding aims: rank and prioritise the order of your information, structure it clearly, and give it meaning. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:
– Give your slides plenty of breathing room by using white space liberally. This goes for every element on each slide. More space makes content easier to digest. Otherwise, your slides will come across as unprofessional and disorganised and will end up confusing your audience.
– Use colour contrast to attract visual attention and make sure that your text is legible. You can ensure this by making certain there is enough contrast between your slide’s background colour (typically white or light grey) and the wording if you employ a contrasting text colour (such as black for example).
– Apply the ‘Rule of Three’ to organise the information on your slides. Studies show that people tend to remember facts better when presented in sets of three. This can be helpful while designing slides and planning out the organisation of your content. For example, if you are highlighting a client case study in your credentials, it is much more worthwhile to add three beautiful screenshots or illustrations of the project to your slide design than writing a disparate list of product features in bullet point.
Check out this example of how design can change everything in a slide deck:
Storytelling is a scientifically proven means for capturing attention and holding it. It creates an emotional connection for your audience. It will also your pitch more unforgettable. Clients are often too busy to dig into charts, tables and spreadsheets but if you can quickly convey the story and intent behind your idea, you will be offering much more than a term sheet. Everyone loves a good story, even the most data-driven investor. So, tell your story and tell it right!
– Plan out your story before you even start creating your slides. Once you have it crystal clear, divide it into sections, with each section being a slide. This best practice will ensure the consistency of your story and make sure the audience follows you.
– Make it character driven. Stories that are propelled by characters are more easily memorable and increase the likelihood that your prospect will respond by divulging deeper elements. This, in turn, will help you understand and address his pains. Begin by creating a list of characters related to your pitch. Focus on the people – and not the faceless companies – that you have helped before. For each character, create a simple plotline by focusing on a relatable problem that the character has. Ideally, you should present it at the beginning of your pitch deck to guide the prospect into the story.
– Be solutions-oriented. It is the bigger context that creates the more impactful story. When a pitch is problem-oriented, it may create a conversation with your client but it will be far deeper if you shift your pitch to being solutions-oriented. Then you can focus on the analysis, invite new ideas and open the potential for genuine collaboration.
Keep these tips in mind when working on your next pitchbook. Not only will you gain in efficiency and time; your presentation document will be more persuasive and compelling and will maximise your chances of winning the deal!