I'm pitching a major potential client on Wednesday. I mean, HUGE.
Background (thanks, James!):
We are Textaurant, a SaaS web app tool that provides waiting list management for busy restaurants. We allow their patrons to leave the building during long waits, and receive automated text messages (or tweets, emails, DMs, etc) when their table is almost ready. This solves a clear problem for the patrons, and adds revenue for the restaurants.
We are pitching a major, national chain - actually two - on Wednesday. One is a demo, the other is a more casual meeting with a high-level executive, and I want both to be fantastic.
Any ideas to knock their socks off?
I'm sure folks will jump in with lots of great suggestions but having been on the agency side and done many pitches, the one big recommendation I have is to make the demo "real" for the companies you're pitching. So mock up the demo with their logo, whatever specific information you can and walk through it as though the application were already in place for them. Visual is big.
Best of luck!
Make sure your demo app works! make sure everything is in place and do what you can to make sure the app runs fast and smooth.
Try not to get too technical with the high level execs. They aren't really wowed by demos and tech stuff. Their ears tend to perk up if there is mention of a competitor using it, or even some actual proof that it will improve service.
Along the lines of James idea, but instead take your exec to his own restaurant! Perhaps ask some of the customers waiting for a seat if this queue service would be useful. Even ask some of the staff there if it will improve their efficiency. The staff probably wont even know who the exec is. Yeah it might be bold, but it could also be very impressive to get first hand opinions from end users right then and there. Perhaps you can do a dry run the day before asking the same questions to see if it will work out.
The demo gods are hard to appease, but, a live demo would be really helpful.
For example, you could find a restaurant that is busy, perhaps during lunch rush, and see if they want to try the application out for free, for one day.
Then, you take the people to that restaurant, where the application is being used, and they can see that it works, and get feedback that it is useful.
But, this would be better if you had time to have it used one day, get feedback from customers and the restaurant, then, do the demo.
What you could do is do your pitch early, then offer to let them go to the restaurant and talk to people while it is in use, and you can monitor the use during the meeting, to show that it is live.
This is a big gamble, it could be a total flop, or it could be a big hit, and you may find a new customer right off the bat. :)
If you could afford to grow more slowly, you should perhaps try this with more independent diners/restaurants, and after Mon - Thurs being free, see if they want to pay for the use, for their busier time.
Then you can have customers, so when you do your pitch, you can point out where they can go for paying clients that are already using it, and it will be more impressive, as they can then experience it themselves.