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In the dynamic world of business pitching, the ability to engage with diverse stakeholders is a game-changer. Whether you’re dealing with a small startup or a corporate giant, understanding the different roles stakeholders play and how to handle them is crucial.

We recently spoke to Rob King Founder of The Client Key and author of Selling Creativity, who gave us an overview of just how to identify and work with each type of stakeholder.

The Four Buyer Types

There are four primary buyer types: the economic buyer, the user buyer, the technical buyer, and the coach or champion. Each of these individuals plays a distinct role in the decision-making process.

1. Coach or Champion

Rob’s Insight: The coach or champion is often your initial contact within a company. They guide you through the journey of working with their organisation.

This person is your point of entry, typically responding to your outreach efforts. They provide valuable information about other stakeholders and can help you navigate the complex landscape within the company.

2. Technical Buyer

Rob’s Insight: Technical buyers focus on the technical aspects of your product or service. They may examine digital creative or website functionality, for example.

These stakeholders dive deep into the technical details of your offering. They want to ensure that it aligns with their company’s technical requirements and standards.

3. User Buyer

Rob’s Insight: User buyers are the end-users or consumers of your product. Consider their needs and preferences when tailoring your pitch.

Understanding the end-user experience is vital, as it directly impacts adoption and satisfaction. User buyers care about how your product or service will benefit them on a daily basis.

4. Economic Buyer

Rob’s Insight: Economic buyers, often in procurement or finance roles, focus on the financial aspects of the deal.

These stakeholders are primarily concerned with cost, ROI, and budgetary considerations. They analyse the economic feasibility and impact of your proposal.

Building a Comprehensive Picture

Rob emphasises the importance of creating a clear map of these different stakeholder groups. While the coach or champion may introduce you to the others, it’s valuable to proactively identify and understand the roles and concerns of each type. This knowledge is your competitive advantage.

Winning the Business

As you approach the final mile of your pitch, it’s crucial to ask a fundamental question: “What do we need to do to win this business?” This simple yet direct inquiry often yields honest responses from clients.

Understanding your desired terms and standing firm within reason is essential. In some regions, like the Middle East, last-minute negotiations are common. However, regardless of your location, maintaining your ground and not succumbing to price pressures can be critical to your success.

Creating Urgency and Momentum

To keep the momentum in your favour, creating urgency when appropriate can really help. Setting deadlines and expectations can help move the decision-making process forward and prevent unnecessary delays.

In the competitive world of pitching, mastering stakeholder dynamics is a must. Rob King’s insights and strategies offer a roadmap for success, whether you’re dealing with a startup or a large corporation. Remember, effective pitching is about understanding, connecting with, and influencing the various stakeholders who hold the keys to your business’s success.

If you found this blog helpful, why not check out our other new business blogs?

Rob King

Rob King, Founder, The Client Key

Rob founded The Client Key in 2017. And since then, The Client Key have worked with the creative sector, empowering companies to implement strategies that grow their businesses.