5 Tips for the Perfect Pitch
When I was just getting started, I sat down with a number of other business consultants at a dinner. We went around the the table introducing ourselves and saying what we do, and I got to go first:
“Hi, I’m Estie Rand and I help businesses grow through marketing and strategic development.” The woman sitting next to me turned to me and said, “Estie, that’s what we all do! What makes you special?” And I was stumped! I am a business consultant and a marketing professional and I didn’t know what to say.
My carefully crafted pitch was good, but not unique.
After many years of working on my own pitch and helping countless other businesses come up with theirs, I have crafted a formula that is a balance between being too esoteric and incomprehensible, and too general that you sound like everyone else.
1. Figure Out the Why
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” (Simon Sinek – see first article below) You need to find the essence of why you are doing what you are doing and this must be included in your pitch, and this why also needs to be something that your target cares about.
2. Put the What & Why into “People Words”
Now take your essence and turn it into a memorable but clear explanation of what you do. While trying to be different you can make the mistake of being too esoteric. A pitch like, “I inspire the world” doesn’t tell me if you are a teacher, an artist or a deep-sea diver. There has got to be something that gives me an inkling of your industry, but makes you different from me if I’m in the same industry.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Now that you have your first draft, say it over and over again, not just to the mirror but also to friends and family until it sounds like you. Normally, a professional pitch is crafted with the help of a professional (if not by the professional themselves), so from the start it may not sound like you. The whole point of your pitch is your direct communication with potential leads, so you need to be giving over your personality. Robotic repetition just won’t work. Say it again and again until you own it.
4. Get Feedback
Ask your friends and family and even perfect strangers to listen to your pitch then tell you what they think you do. If they don’t get it right every time, keep modifying until they do.
5. Make It Your Default
Now your pitch needs to become the natural response when asked what you do. When you bump into someone at a friends wedding or your son’s PTA, you don’t want to answer with a simple, “I’m a photographer.” Keep practicing so that when anyone asks you about your profession, you answer with your perfectly crafted, but natural sounding, memorable pitch.
So get writing, practicing, refine and bring on those best leads!