Creating Pitch Books Without Losing Your Mind… a Sequel

“Creating Pitch Books Without Losing Your Mind… a Sequel: Your Pitch Book – a Foundation for Customizing” is a guest post by designer Margaret Patterson. Her 2007 series about “Creating Pitch Books Without Losing Your Mind” has attracted lots of attention. Thanks for your latest contribution, Margaret!

If you have questions for Margaret, please leave them as a comment. I’ll make sure she gets them.

My first article about pitch books provided several “must do” tips to help your firm develop presentations that others will plagiarize, the best compliment attainable.  Readers’ questions have prompted additional pointers about the next phase: customizing.

When is it worthwhile for institutional and high net worth asset managers to customize?
Your first pitch book is a base. But it doesn’t always address your prospective client’s unique concerns. Your key contact at the prospect can tell you what points are most crucial. Add information that addresses their concerns. But be succinct or you’ll overwhelm your prospects with too much information.

As you customize, you should communicate value statements – to your audience, about your audience – to the extent reasonably possible.

What do you mean by value statements?

Focus on how your strategy is a good fit for the prospect’s objectives, your ability to provide the level of service the prospect needs, and providing adequate diversification, considering prospect’s current investment profiles.

Will customizing dilute our firm’s branding?
You run the risk of diluting your branding when many employees and consultants contribute to your pitch books. That’s why these projects should be managed and maintained by your marketing department.

Remember that content is both text and graphics. After all, our actions are prompted every day by both words and images. Your book should look and sound impressive. Your writer  can develop Writing Guidelines for your firm, language that consistently supports your branding. You also need Design System Guidelines, if they do not already exist. Share these guidelines with the contributors to your pitch books.

I keep a sign on my office wall, “Big Company Seeking Big Clients.” Keep this mission in mind as you ponder complicated content.

If you customize, how do you keep the versions from getting out of control?
A customized pitch book is a script for your meeting. Limit yourself to information you can comfortably handle in the scheduled meeting time. Allow for Q&A.

Additional valuable information can be provided in companion pieces – market commentaries, performance summaries, firm overview, etc.

Updating charts and tables is a constant problem.

Delegate database updating to employees endowed with considerable diplomacy and perseverance. Make this their primary responsibility. They will acquire information from very busy investment management teams.

Investment managers need deadlines in advance. Allow elbow room.

Input is welcome. Your thoughts may show up in future articles. Let me know if I may quote you.

Margaret Patterson Company creates sales support materials, develops identity systems, and provides production supervision for financial services firms.

Margaret Patterson Company
Corporate Identity & Communications Graphics for Financial Services Firms
mpco AT         t   617.971.0328        f   617.971.0327