Pitches: a recurring topic in specialist literature. There are different kinds of pitches. In this blog, together with pitch specialist and owner of Pitch Queen Nathalie Mangelaars I talk about pitches for companies or for their products or services.
A pitch used to be like a spoken business card, lasting around 30 to 60 seconds, that said something about who you are, what you do, what products or services you offer, what your added value is, what makes you unique, who your customers are, who your partners are, why your customers are satisfied and why they come to you.
The purpose of a pitch was to spread the word about a proposition, but propositions wouldn’t always fit the audience. That meant pitches would cost a lot of time and generate irritation instead of enthusiasm.
“A pitch is not a monologue, but the start of a dialogue,” says Mangelaars. “There is no need to be complete. It’s about getting to the core and triggering other people to talk to you. After all, it’s the customer and his challenges that are important.”
Proposition known to the customer?
A proposition is everything prospects should know about you. But how much does an average prospect actually know about your proposition? Often no more than a third; something our own customers tell us. Many people are surprised when asked this question. We then follow up with: what would your organization look like if the average customer knew everything there is to know about your organization? How much would your turn-over increase? How would the rest of your company’s structure change? Just close your eyes for a moment and let your imagination run wild.
The modern pitch
It makes sense that after you’ve thought about this, your ideal pitch changes. There are four important stages in the pitching process which you go through in your own unique way.
- Find out what the customer or prospect already knows about you. Start with the following question: ‘What are the most important things to know about my organization?’
- Depending on the answer, fill in the empty spaces with some of your organization’s essential characteristics. So choose a part of your proposition that is important to the prospect. This means activating the latent need of the customer and making sure you talk about your added value.
Mangelaars: “The days when you had a different pitch for every customer are over. Divide your pitch into ‘mini pitches.’ That makes it easier to build upon what the customer already knows and it makes you relevant. Issues that we are familiar with don’t usually trigger us. We are only interested when we hear relevant things.”
- Add why you love going to work every day. You could use the following quote: ‘….and that is why I love going to work every day and why I want to make a difference for my customers’.
“People often don’t realize that they distinguish themselves from others simply in who they are, as a company and as a person”, says Mangelaars. “By adding your personal drive, you don’t only make a pitch personal, but you distinguish yourself from your competition.”
- The last part is starting the sales pitch. Ask the audience what your proposition would mean to them and their organizations? This way you trigger your organization to think about your company and to hopefully make an appointment with you.
Imagine yourself in a group. What can you do to make a significant difference? Start with something that defines you, something you are really proud of. This takes guts and creativity. If you want to look energetic, stand up and move about during a pitch. Clichés such as ‘I want to inspire’ and ‘I want to improve other companies’ just won’t do. You should show how you would go about doing that.
Everybody can pitch
A pitch used to be something for trained salespeople. But a modern-day pitch could be done by any employee. Anyone could meet possible buyers, influencers and decision-makers. Not just at work, but also during work-outs, parties or concerts. Shouldn’t everyone be able to do a pitch? Helping all employees become the best at it, helps you generate a fan base among customers as well as staff.
How do you become the best at pitching? By practicing every day and turning it into something you really enjoy doing. Make the pitch part of a weekly meeting or just practice on your colleagues.
Good luck designing your killer pitch. Use it to make a difference, always and everywhere.
Do you want to learn more about what a modern sales machine and commercial blueprint should look like? Take the test, book an inspiration session and challenge your team to find ways to make a difference with your organization.
Nathalie Mangelaars loves helping people get to the core of their message within a short period of time. She dislikes traditional sales pitches: “A pitch is not a monologue, but the start of a dialogue”. According to Mangelaar, a good pitch begins with a connection to the audience and choosing a ‘pitch style’ that fits the personality of the pitcher. Meanwhile, the pitch expert has trained over 4000 people. In addition, she gets regular media coverage on the TV show RTLZ and the Dutch papers AD and FD. She and her company organize the Pitching for Entrepreneurs Championship, where entrepreneurs compete for the title of Best Dutch Pitch.
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