How do you answer the question, “What do you do?” One of your key frontline selling skills is pitching and the ability to pitch what you do clearly and concisely. I recently compiled a review of five very common pitching mistakes. They are:
My first observation is none of them could tell me with any clarity what they did.
It was hard to understand. I had to work very hard. Honestly, I’m a smart guy but I struggled. And this is how they pitch normally.
None of them were concise. What I got was a very long rant about what they do from their perspective. In all three cases the spiel was so dense they may as well have been speaking with a mouth full of marbles.
It was all about them. It was a litany of ‘we do this’, ‘we do that’ etc … but the impression I got was the messaging is too self centred. Not one of them used there word ‘you’.In the good old days of advertising copy writing we called this corporate breast beating (think Tarzan or Johnny Wiesmuller if you are old enough to remember who he was!)
Its all about someone else. They talked about ‘clients’ … rather than ‘to’ me. You’ve heard the pitches: “Our clients are…” “We do this for our clients …” rather than “we do this for you.” See Mistake #4.
Look, these are all heavy hitting companies (of various sizes) but nonetheless established players. The reason I got called in was because revenues were diving. In one case revenues had fallen from £1.9M in 2012 to £500K last year.
If this is how they talk face-to-face with a real live client, no wonder they are in trouble.
How did we fix this?
One way was to teach them to pitch with clarity.
BTW I am talking in Canterbury on January 21 at 6.30pm (see the Chamber calendar of events) on Quick Pitching.
If you’d like to polish your pitch happy to chat about next steps. http://www.andrewpriestley.com