Helping experts pitch less, pitch better, and win more.
We aim to help clients improve project postings, provide experts with better competitive awareness, and deliver feedback to experts across all project stages. But the biggest impact comes from analyzing tens of thousands of successful marketplace projects and hundreds of thousands of pitches to understand which pitches win, and why.
The Catalant marketplace is highly competitive. Clients have access to a large supply of experts with deep and specific expertise. This creates a pair of difficult but important realities:
- Clients only review a portion of all pitches submitted for their project
- Pitching low-probability projects wastes experts’ valuable time
We find three simple questions instrumental in understanding which pitches lead to interviews and then to project wins. Use this simple self-assessment to gauge your competitiveness on any given marketplace project and better focus your efforts.
Only when you confidently answer “yes” to all three questions below are you a highly competitive candidate
You control if, when, and how you pitch. And Catalant provides several resources to help with pitch quality. Now we can also provide insights on competitiveness and a way to turn these insights into informed decisions for your practice. Do experts still win who didn’t answer “yes” to each of the three questions? Of course. But the strongest winning formula is an unambiguous “yes” to all three. Let’s dig in.
Question 1: Do you understand what’s being asked in the project description?
- Yes! Proceed to question 2
- No. If you don’t fully understand what the client is looking for, there’s a good chance others on the Catalant platform do. Competing with them puts you at a disadvantage. But wait! What if you don’t understand because the description is poorly written, nonsensical, or otherwise a bit of a mess? Our advice is still to let it pass. Receiving few, or zero, pitches on a project is important feedback for clients and helps them come back stronger and more ready to commit. Throwing pitches (your effort) at low-quality solicitations suggests these solicitations are just fine.
- Maybe. Use your judgment here. If you’re truly a “maybe” and just need a little more from the client before getting to “Yes!” then build this into your pitch using stated assumptions and guiding questions.
Question 2: Can you include at least one exact past performance match in your pitch?
- Yes! Proceed to question 3.
- No. Strongly consider letting this one pass. And don’t rely on being close. Clients will see multiple pitches from experts who completed the exact same project type.
- Maybe. There is no “Maybe”. You either have an exact match on past performance or you don’t. This sounds harsh, but the goal is to help you focus your time on your most competitive scenarios.
Question 3: Can you include at least one past performance that shows you understand the client’s industry?
- Yes! Review your three answers and decide on your next best course of action.
- No. If you have an exact past performance match and understand the solicitation and feel you can make a case for understanding the client’s industry indirectly, then consider proceeding with a pitch. Be sure to focus on industry awareness if it’s not part of your direct performance history.
- Maybe. Same as “No”. If everything else lines up, consider proceeding with a pitch.
Pulling it Together
These questions ensure you understand the work, can prove you’ve done the work, and understand the client. Not surprisingly, these are among the primary factors clients consider when deciding which pitches and experts to meet with next. You may have heard the marketplace compared to a numbers game. And while that’s true, it’s also important to know it’s a game of skill–not a game of chance. Play when you have the best odds of winning.
We created a scoring model (below) to help visualize competitiveness based on the three questions. These numbers are for comparison purposes only, but do help reinforce just how important the Three Yes scenarios are for making informed decisions. Multiply your response for each of the three questions and review the result on the measuring stick.