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Speech to Mark Winning a New Contract

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 23 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Winning Contract Decisions Problems

Winning new contracts is the very lifeblood of running a business. You can’t survive without gaining new clients and winning new business(from existing or new clients), so it is important to make successful pitches. If you praise your team, they are far more likely to be motivated to win projects more often, as it is often intangible details that tip the client’s decision in your favour.

In the type of businesses where winning contracts is all important, so too is it imperative that you keep your team informed of their good performance. There is nothing more demotivating than working hard on a project, winning it and then not being rewarded in some way. Even if you give your team some sort of bonus, or they get good commission from winning the project, an uplifting speech goes a long way to giving your employees the recognition they deserve. Of course, it’s far better to have extra commission and a speech – a speech on its own is pretty hard cheese.

Here is a template to help you make a suitable winning speech.

1. Introduction – Set the Tone

You have to start in a positive, upbeat manner. Even if your team just scraped winning the contract by the skin of their teeth, they will be looking to you to praise them on the fact that they actually won, however it happened. There will be time later to point out faults in the pitch process, start by saying how well the team have performed.

  • Be really positive
  • Congratulate your winning team
  • Say how proud you are

Example: It gives me great pleasure to speak to you all this afternoon – especially as there are so many smiling faces! As I am sure you all know, we have won the Parkinson contract, thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone that worked on the pitch. I am so proud of how well you all pulled together and maximised your skills and capabilities and I am sure that you will continue to impress everyone at Parkinson’s.

2. Praise and Constructive Criticism of the Pitch

Although now is a time for celebration and praise for a job done well, there is nothing wrong with carefully pointing out any issues that may have been poorly executed. You don’t want to go over the top, or be excessively negative, but you can mention any glaring errors. It would be more appropriate to have a separate one-to-one with specific people, or to call small groups together to talk through particular problems with the pitch, but if there is an ‘elephant in the room’ about the pitch, now is the time to mention it. It will be expected.

  • Talk about the core strategy of the pitch
  • Mention any real problems that everyone will know about

Example: Mr Granville over at Parkinson’s was keen to tell me that we excelled in one particular area on this project, so I wanted to make sure I passed his views on. He was especially impressed with the way that the training aspect was incorporated into the new IT package, as well as how the whole system integrated into their existing plans, so well done to you all on that. You will all be aware that we nearly lost the job on the basis of timing and delivery though, which really came about because of an administrative error. It is imperative that everything is double checked, especially when other decisions stem from one fact. Luckily it did not affect us this time, but it must not happen again.

3. Keep Spirits Up

You have to finish on a positive note so that your team leaves the meeting uplifted and in a winning state of mind. This is the perfect opportunity to crack open a bottle of champagne and raise a toast to your team. It’s incredible how much more delicious a glass of chilled champagne tastes when your boss has bought it and you’re getting paid to drink it in company time!

  • Make a toast to the winning team
  • Wish them good luck for the next project and beyond

Example: I’d like to raise a toast to you all and say ‘well done’ for winning such as prestigious contract. I know we’ve all learnt a great deal on this pitch and I’m confident that you will continue to impress Parkinson’s and potential new clients with your excellent work. Cheers!

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