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In Pitching Projects and Products to Executives, author Dane Howard interviews executives and product managers from renowned design firms and corporations like Google, Apple, and Adobe, who share their insider take on how to effectively move projects and product ideas forward. Video and multimedia producer Richard Koci Hernandez weaves the interviews together into a captivating visual narrative. The soft skills course shows the practical techniques, processes, and communication styles employed to sell to executives more effectively, and to bring ideas to life.
(Music playing.) Dane Howard: Getting through a successful pitch and delivery will enable that idea to be heard, but how do you close the deal? What do you do to give it legs? What's needed in order to extract the value, to get the headcount, budget, or even approval for that project? Well, moving ideas forward has more to do about being confident, humble, and just ask for the work. Listen to those that are in the room that will ultimately partner with you, in order to move that idea forward. Tim Barber: The most important part of a pitch is the end, because you've either answered everyone's questions or you haven't.
You've either convinced them or you haven't. It's really important to do two things: One is to put it out there, to invite-- very bluntly--observations about where did we either miss, or what questions you still have, where do you think we're wrong, to invite any of those criticisms so that you have a chance to respond to them. One additional thing that's really essential to wrapping up a successful pitch is to always ask for the project. You always have to ask for the work. Any salesman knows this is classic sales technique.
You have to ask for the green light, because otherwise there is a lack of focus, in particular at the end of a meeting, and that's the one decision you want made. You want somebody decide to give you the work or not. Ideally, they are going to give it you. They are not going to give it to you unless you ask. You have to prompt that response, or at least force them to consider that decision while you have a chance to close the deal. Charles Warren: So, here is what I am asking for you. So one way you can check to see whether you've been successful is do they react to that, is there some negotiation that happens about the ask, or they change the ask? I often put the ask right upfront, even before making it tangible.
So if this goes well, what I want you to do is give me three engineering resources, and I want you to sort of release some budget, so I can have some designers go and work on this for a few months. Is that okay? All right. And then do the pitch. Just sort of say, "here is what I am looking for," so that they know. If it's pretty clear you've closed, stop! No need to go any further. I see a lot of it here at work. They're on slide 6. The executive is convinced.
There are 14 slides left, and they are going to go through all 14. Not necessary if you've closed the deal.
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