Do you have a good pitch?

Solution Provider

Do you have a good pitch?

The answer to this question lies in the effectiveness of the sales pitch in question. Businesses are used to being bombarded with similar presentations, similar ideas, and constant repetition. A pitch will only make a difference if it engages and stimulates its audience.

Consider putting the list below into practice to make a difference with your pitch:

· DON'T be boring: At the Pitch Clinic, Martin Soorjoo writes about the general pitfalls of most pitches: "Most sales and investor pitches are dull, uninspiring and lose [audience] attention within the first few minutes." He describes the dreariness of a uniform PowerPoint slideshow or monotonous speech presented by a speaker "who inflicts upon them a steady stream of facts and figures, encouraging a search for distractions." His description is harsh, but worth remembering. If you want your pitch to make a positive difference for you, don't do the expected.

· Converse don't preach: Jacquelyn Smith, writing for Forbes highlights an important distinction between successful and unsuccessful sales pitches: "An effective sales pitch isn't a monologue. It's a dialogue." It is imperative that you understand who you are speaking to and craft the pitch to speak specifically to your intended audience. This will involve them in the conversation you are trying to provoke. She quotes Wendy Weiss, saying: "If you can't identify the value and what it means for the buyer, the buyer is not going to give you any time or attention."

· Build suspense: In the Inc. piece "7 Deadly Sins of Sales Pitching" a lack of suspense is warned against: "You give a clean, mean, 30-second elevator pitch. Then what? There's nothing left for rest of your sales presentation. The second your listener says 'I get it,' they'll immediately lose interest." The piece suggests that you learn how to build suspense into your pitch and quotes Oren Klaff on the subject. Klaff advises that you use a story structure for the pitch, holding the audience captive throughout the narrative.

· Be flexible: advises that you have three different variations of your pitch in your repertoire. Learning when to present which version is of paramount importance. suggests preparing the different pitches because: "you'll find yourself in many types of selling situations—both expected and impromptu—it's best to prepare several pitches, each with the same basic facts tailored to the setting and audience." The three examples they use are: "in-person pitch—a formal presentation about your business given to one or more people;" the phone pitch, which uses in-person information but is changed slightly for cold calling or following up on inquiries; and the "elevator speech," a shortened, concise and informative description of your business which is designed to take the time of an elevator ride (this can be used in informal situations).

The previous examples will help you to change your pitch and have it make a difference. Stand out from countless others by making your pitch unique, truly connecting with your audience, and being ready for any selling situation.



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Alicia Williams