Pitch is a word that fills many a businessperson with fear. Where on earth do they start when it comes to ‘pitching’ their business?The word ‘pitch’ itself isn’t all that attractive (I don’t particularly like using it!), but here’s the thing…
Pitching is essentially ‘selling’, so if you want your business to be a success, you’re going to have to ‘pitch up’ at some point.
But don’t panic! Contrary to belief, sales is not a dirty word. While, it’s true that not everyone’s a natural salesman with the gift of the gab, there are easy-to-use techniques that’ll help you quickly master the skills you need.
The ‘elevator pitch’
Something that’s very useful to have is an elevator pitch. In a time-poor world, this’ll help you explain what you/your business does in a nutshell.
Here’s mine: “I run a company called Business Uplift. Basically, I help people start a new business or improve an existing business through tried-and-tested sales and marketing strategies.”
Importantly, the same principles of an elevator pitch should be applied online too. When a visitor hits your web page, you’ve probably got about 30, 10 or even just 5(!) seconds to convince them to stay.
You need to:
- Capture their attention
- Convey your message quickly and compellingly
- Entice them to find out more
All of this is important to remember when speaking too – keep it clear, concise and know the messages you want to get across.
Enter the Dragon
One of my favourite movie quotes is from Enter the Dragon – Bruce Lee: “My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting.” Well, the same could be said of pitching. It’s “the art of selling without selling.”
The thing about pitching is that there are actually a series of small but important ‘pitches’ that ultimately lead to the ‘main pitch’ – the main pitch being when you finally get the chance to sit down face to face or on the phone to talk with a prospect. The main pitch should be thoroughly thought through, practised and very natural. But it’s the smaller pitches – simple to achieve – that are often underestimated in their effect.
The little touches
Substance is perhaps the most important part of your overall pitch. You can’t ‘talk the talk’ and not ‘walk the walk’; these days it’s too easy to get found out. You MUST have business essentials in place for your pitch to be successful.Knowing you’ve got this nailed will give you the confidence to speak up.
Think about it:
- If you’re pitching that your clients love you,you should have testimonials and case studies to prove this.
- If you have excellent products and services,your sales and quote material should back this up.You could have the best product or service in the world but if you present it to a client on the back of the proverbial “cigarette packet”, you’re unlikely to get the business.
- If you really are a high-level business coach/business professional,you should NOT be handing over a paper thin, poor quality business card at networking events.
- If you want to look professional, you MUST have a decent website. (If the thought of the someone actually visiting your current website fills you with fear, this should be a priority to remedy!)
- Another professional point (and I see this regularly!): you should use proper business email addresses and signatures.JoeBloggs69@hotmail.com is NOT a suitable email address for business.
The truth about you and your business is only a few clicks away so you must ensure everything stacks up if you want to convince prospects you’re the right person for the job.
People think of‘pitching’ as throwing something and catching it, but it’s the details listed above that really open up the dialogue for the overall pitch.
So, start thinking how do I impress people right from the start, how do I compel people to get on board quickly? Listen to what they really want and you’ll be well on the way to being pitch perfect.
Would you like the perfect pitch for your business?
This blog post has really just scratched the surface when it comes to pitching. If you’d like some tailored advice and help setting out a business and/or sales and marketing plan, Business Uplift is always on hand to help.