By Ericka Sciarrino
The pitch is a delicate balance of a concise, meaningful narrative and fierce preparation that tells your potential client why you can solve their most pressing problem. There are some basics to consider when getting your presentation together but also a deeper look into each step will help garner the best outcomes.
Pitches a Plenty
A sales pitch is usually a longer presentation that one would give to the decision maker in the company and require extensive research into the problems that need solutions. The pitch can come out of nowhere, or it can be a direct result of a successful matchmaker or networking event. Opportunity can present itself without any invitation, so the best thing you can do for your company is to have a polished, concise pitch that demonstrates your knowledge of the industry you serve and the value of your product or service.
Know Your Company and Industry
Remember that you are essentially having a conversation with someone about what your product or service can do to make life easier or the bottom line more profitable, listening is part of the skill set. The listening and keeping your ear to the ground for what your customers need or want is a part of the ever-evolving pitch. Ideally, your company changes too, your successes and growth should be tracked and noted. Be able to explain who you are and what you do. Always keep this up to date. Consider reviewing your company capabilities statement, and making sure your mission aligns with your voice. Explain how you have succeeded and how long you have been in business. Highlight key, current accomplishments and be sure to speak in your own unique ‘voice.’ Name drop if you can, this is your time to pull out any advantage you have over your competition and get to the next step.
Use Your Limited Time Wisely
Attention is limited, now more than ever, so make sure you have a ‘hook’ to get your audience’s attention. People like stories, humans thrive on the stories of others whether heroes, tragedies or triumphs. Find an emotional connection in your story to help convey what your brand and company are all about. Explain how you solve problems with your product or service and use specific quantifiable evidence to back it up.
Don’t waste anyone’s time by annoying him or her with sales jargon and hollow trigger words to vamp up your company. Be clear and brief but make it a one-two punch; tug at their emotions and bottom line. Be as human as possible but also, be the better storyteller. Consider reviewing this article to help avoid the biggest pitch mistakes.
You’ve captivated your audience for about 2-5 minutes, now give them a reason to go to your website or call your office to set up a demo or meeting. Whatever this reason, take the time to perfect this call to action. Then, follow-up, don’t let the time between the pitch and point of contact be wasted. Now that you have had the ear of someone do as much research as possible for the next step!