Pitching Your Way To Success

Hustling hard, freelancing like a fiend, and growing your small business all takes effort. And you can sniff out an opportunity miles away. And when you get the chance to pitch for it, you have one chance to nail it. But pitching doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It takes a certain kind of confidence and an in-depth knowledge of what you do. 

What can be even more interesting is that you never know when that coffee at a networking event can turn into a pitch.

Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash
 

You have invested time and money into your website design, social media automation, n email funnel that rivals the best – and pitching is all on you. So let’s look at how to nail pitch after pitch. 

Compelling

You have to be interesting to listen to. People tune out within minutes if you aren’t putting some expression and tone into what you are saying. If you aren’t excited to pitch, then why should they be eager to hire you? Facts and figures have to be in the pitch, but the added value comes from you/your team. 

 

  • Tell a story – storytelling is a valued asset, and you need to tell your story, understand their story and interlock them 
  • Benefits – when it comes down to it, value beats price. You need to bring more than just a great price. What are the benefits of working with you? Small company? Great, you can give them more attention. Local? Ideal for meetings. 
  • Succinct – In the end, they want to know what you are giving them, how much for, and the results they can expect – so don’t dance around the meat of the conversation for long. 

Tailoring

Every pitch you make should be for the people at that table. If you have analytics at the table, then give them numbers to play with. If you have a design specialist at the table, then provide them with something interesting to work on. Each opportunity is going to present different challenges, and if you can’t tailor the pitch, then they might not be the right business to work with. 

Motivations

This is going to be a key factor. Many companies say they want to see growth in X area, but don’t always disclose where that motivation comes from. There will always be a reason beyond ‘growth.’ They might want to double their conversions, or perhaps they want to crack a new market, or really push a new product. Whatever it is, you need to dig out that piece of information. It will enable you to pitch directly to their motivations. 

Deep Dive

There will be some challenges in their field that you can help them with. Once you understand the motivations – you get an insight into their challenges. Once you understand their challenge, you can put your own time into the research around that. If they are a new local business and have direct competition, you can help drill down the USP. Try not to think too linear here, because there can be many challenges, and multiple solutions – and they may all need different implementation strategies. 

Show the people at the table that you understand them, their market, their competitors, and how you fit into tackling their challenges. 

Stand Out

Everyone and their uncle turns up with a beautiful deck and starts taking. What makes you stand out is how you tackle it. There is such a thing as too flashy, you don’t need to come in signing about statistics but consider the cool tools that you can use to bring something extra. PowerPoint will always be the workhorse of the presentation world, but there are other tools that are more innovative and have a better visual impact. Here are some alternatives:

  • Haiku Deck
  • Slidebean
  • Pickit
  • SlideShare
  • Google Slides

Remeber that 65% of the communication in the room is nonverbal, so what is on the screen needs to make a statement. 

Intro

You have milliseconds when you walk into the room to make the right impression. So your intro might be the only thing you have. Even if you have met everyone in there more than once, act like you haven’t. Stand tall, smile, make eye contact, and introduce yourself very clearly. Company name, a hero image, your tagline, and your elevator pitch are all you need to fit in here. Use positive language and mention a fact about the company you are pitching to that you find interesting. Because you have done your homework. 

Walk into the room, knowing what they need, what challenges they are facing, the skills you need to complete the work, and confidence is vital.

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