How to Pitch Your Drone Services to Potential Clients
Anyone who goes into business needs to know the art of the pitch. A pitch needs to be short, engaging, and focus on a message. If you’re a drone pilot, your pitch needs to convey all the benefits of taking on your services.
While it’s true that many drone pilots can get jobs on the strength of their portfolio, it also cannot be denied that the market has become a lot more competitive in the last few years. With this in mind, making a good business pitch becomes a skill second only to your drone flight skills in importance. Check out our guide on preparing a pitch for your potential commercial client.
What makes a good business pitch?
An old-fashioned business pitch never goes out of style. Whether you’re speaking with a small business proprietor over coffee or the executive board of a large corporation, a well-prepared pitch prepares the foundation for a negotiation for your services.
Before we go over the specifics of how to sell your drone services, let’s look at the general guidelines of what makes a good business pitch.
Short and concise
An elevator pitch is described as the kind of pitch that you can give in the time it takes to enter and exit an elevator. This is a good rule of thumb to follow, even if you’re giving the pitch in a board room.
It is good practice to keep your pitch short. If you can deliver your entire business pitch in three to five minutes, then that would be best. Assume that your clients have a busy day and only a few minutes to listen to you. A business pitch isn’t meant to close the deal – it’s just a way for your clients to consider your services and open the doors for a more detailed negotiation.
Relevant to the client
If you’re offering specialized services, then it’s always a good idea to keep the pitch relevant to your client’s needs. It is not fruitful to focus on the value of drones for aerial photography if your client needs the drone to collect multispectral data for farm management.
This means having to prepare customized business pitches for different clients. By sticking only to relevant points, you can keep your business pitch short and a lot more engaging. Some business guides refer to this as making your pitch more ‘thoughtful.’
In an era of YouTube content creators, there is no longer any excuse to be boring in your business pitch. Find a way to connect to your audience whether it’s through visual aids, a relatable story, or a succinctly organized list of benefits of your service.
It also helps to practice your pitch, whether by yourself or with other people. With only about five minutes to give your pitch, your objective should be to hold the attention of your potential client for the entire period. Whether through hand gestures or controlled speech delivery, there are dozens of strategies to achieve this.
A major failure of many business pitches is that they do not end with any call to action. After you have listed down the benefits of your service, what do you expect the client to do? This is the purpose of the call to action – it serves as a gentle nudge for the client towards the end-result that is favorable to you.
Elements of a pitch for drone services
Something quite unique about drone-based services is that they are very much technology-centric. This means that the quality of your service depends not only on your skills but also on the type of equipment you have. In many cases, potential clients also do not have any expertise in drone technology.
This creates two objectives for a drone services business pitch – to sell and to educate. Keep these two goals in mind when preparing your pitch.
1. Identify your client’s needs
The drone service industry can be sub-divided into several different areas that do not exactly overlap with each other. Recognizing how a drone can help your potential client should be your primary objective. By integrating this “need’ into your business pitch, you instantly gain the attention of the client.
Does your client work in the construction industry? Perhaps they could use a drone survey to do a preliminary topography survey. A drone can also be useful for surveillance of ongoing construction or for the 3D modeling of a finished building or house. A drone service can even be as simple as shooting aerial photos or videos for roof inspection or advertising a property for sale.
A short business pitch needs to be focused. Concentrate on serving your client’s needs – any other service that you can offer is not important.
2. Tell a story
The best way to engage an audience is to tell an anecdote that they can relate to. The best way to do this is to relate a story of another business in the same industry as your client that has already benefitted from the use of drones.
This strategy works much better if it’s a story that you can tell from your own experience. Of course, this is only possible if you already have a huge portfolio of previous clients. If this is not the case, try and look for stories from close contacts in the industry. Make sure to tell a true story – the worst thing that could happen is if you get caught embellishing a story.
3. Outline the benefits concisely
This is a critical part of the sales pitch – the point when you tell the client what you can do for them. Take note that you’re still working with limited time here. There is no way that you can list down every single benefit that you can offer your client.
At this point, you may want to consider what the parameters of success for your client are. If you are talking to a board of executives, you may want to mention the use of a drone for operational oversight. An audience composed of people working on the ground may be more interested in the safety aspect of using a drone.
Focus on just two or three of the most important ones. We suggest sticking to topics like increased profits, reduced operational times, and enhanced safety for personnel. Try and be specific as you can, given your limited time. It would be great if you can pull up some numbers as long as you can support them with real data.
4. Recommend a plan of action
End your business pitch with a call for action. Tell the client exactly what it is that you want to happen. Are you looking to secure a contract for a one-time job or a long-term engagement? Are you offering your services as a sole drone pilot or do you have a team of drone pilots under you? Be clear – in the world of business, ambiguity is a death sentence.
Whether your pitch results in closing a contract or not, take every sales pitch as a learning opportunity. The best pitch deck is one that is continuously refined and improved. Was there any part of the pitch where you sensed that the audience was losing interest? Which of the benefits you outlined got the most reactions?
Although a pitch can make or break a business deal, you still need to be prepared for a thorough discussion after. This is a good sign – a disinterested party will likely just shut down the discussion. Make sure to have enough material to win the client over and close the deal. Positive client feedback, your experience as a drone pilot, and a list of your equipment can be instrumental during this phase of client engagement.
The commercial drone service industry may be one of the newest industries today, but that does not mean that it no longer needs the touch of old-fashioned business practices. The sales pitch remains a powerful tool for professional drone pilots.
The good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the sales pitch. All the usual principles apply – keep it short, engage your audience, and propose an action plan. If you design your pitch with the client’s needs in mind, you should at least get their attention right off the bat. Getting that potential client to listen should already be your proverbial foot in the door.