‘Art of Pitching’

Last Friday I spoke to an audience of over 100 business women on International Women’s Day. The topic I was asked to address was the “Art of Pitching” and how to succeed when seeking to win new business.

In my view, a pitch must be delivered in a conversational way, that puts the person you are talking to at ease, while articulating how you can be of benefit to them.

Here are the six steps to delivering a successful pitch (USP) that will help your prospect to come to the decision that your suggestions bear merit and should be investigated further.

The audience:

For the purposes of this article let’s assume that you are speaking to an event organiser.

Step 1:

Getting attention: – in 20 words or seven seconds

“I would’ve gone if I’d known it was on.”
Aoife Keady – “WhatsWhere”

This was the opening comment of Aoife Keady at a recent pitch workshop I delivered for female entrepreneurs. It immediately got my attention and also the attention of everyone else in the room.

Aoife went on to explain that this comment “I would’ve have gone if I’d known it was on” was the most annoying, frustrating comment that event organisers regularly heard from prospective attendees.

WhatsWhere clients are Music venues, Concerts, Conferences, Theatres, Community and Charitable events.

Step 2:

Get the person’s Interest

Remind them of the problem you believe they have. Your job is to remind them of that ‘sinking feeling’ they have when they look at another half-filled venue and the likelihood of another unprofitable event.

Step 3:

Tell them what you DO

Tell them about your business and what you do? SEO, Training, PR, HR, etc.

Explain as simply as possible how you can fix their problem.

If you make this part of the process sound complicated, you are creating obstacles that may lead your prospect to the conclusion that what you are offering requires a good deal of disruption and expense.

I often introduce a testimonial at this point to add value, to what I am proposing.

“I am not trying to follow anybody else’s pitch style. I am now being myself and this enables me to be more relaxed when I pitch. I don’t need visual clues such as slides as I now just tell my story which makes for a more natural pitch”.
“You have helped our team by giving me the confidence and skill set and ability to pitch to anyone in either a short or long pitch situation. This has enabled me to pitch overseas and engage with potential large customers.”
Anne Lawlor CEO www.JourneyProtector.com

Step 4:

How is the prospect BETTER?

Remind the event organiser of how things will change as a result of your intervention.

Below is a visual of how this could be done.

We will help you fill your venue creating enjoyable and profitable events.

Step 5:

Agree next action:

Never finish your conversation without an agreed next action.

e.g.:
• Agreed date for next meeting.
• Arrange a meeting in their venue
• Agree to work together on next event, on a trial basis

Question for the reader?
What would be a good next action for your upcoming business meeting?
Decide before having the meeting, what you would regard as a realistic successful business outcome for you?

Step 6:

Walk in the other persons shoes:

When you do this your prospects and your business will flourish.

While preparing for your next meeting, focus on how the other person is BETTER as a result of your intervention.

A critical point to remember:

When you attend a meeting the person who prepares the best is more likely to have a successful outcome. Follow my six steps and it’s more likely to be you.

 

By Executive Coach Andrew Keogh of Aristo.ie

 

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