While there are many strategies to consider in opening your pitch, let’s agree that those first 5 minutes can make or break you. Regardless of the strategy, the direction of what you want to say should be heavily influenced by the takeaway.
The takeaway is that one thing you want the prospect to remember after hearing your pitch. It needs to be something that is very important to the client. Hopefully it will differentiate you from competitors.
Develop the takeaway by asking yourself what is the one thing that could be most memorable about what you want to say. Then ask why you want that point remembered. Keep asking that question of every answer until you are expressing what the benefit of the takeaway is for the client. Build your opening around that.
There are lots of reasons you might not win a pitch — price, chemistry, expertise. But, you should never lose because you presented poorly.