Andrew Priestley is an award-winning business coach with a degree in psychology.
The problem with pitching is most people think it means selling and so they will go into sales overdrive. Worse, they thinks that’s what’s needed. But as we discussed on Mistake 3 you may not have an open window of listening – its the wrong time and place, you have not been referred, there’s no rapport and what you’re saying isn’t relevant.
Pitching in fact means giving information and helping someone, make an informed decision. The best way to create a window of listening is via a quick pitch – a mini version of your message that is designed to start a conversation … or result in a request for a business card or an appointment when you can talk at length.
1. Name – say your first name.
There is a lot of debate around ‘first name’ or ‘full name’ or ‘full name and business name’. I personally think that most people struggle to recall one name let alone your name and a business name especially if you have an unusual name.
Hi, my name is Andrew.
If someone wants my full name and company name … it’s on my business card anyway! First name is also more informal. When I introduce people socially in most cases I just use their first name.
So for now I recommend the first name only introduction.
2. Same – say what is the same about you.
By ‘same’ I mean your search category or Yellow Pages category. Why? Because when you meet someone new you want to pigeonhole them quickly.
My name is Andrew. I am a business coach.
My name is George. I’m a builder.
My name is Irene I’m a doctor.
OK a LOT of people do the opposite. They want to create a good impression so they pitch their strongest attributes straight up. But the LISTENER has to process what’s special and different about you – first – and they do that by searching for the bog-standard category … first.
Now if they are doing that while you’re telling them how wonderful you are … they may not have even heard any of what’s great and special!
While you’re jabbering away they are thinking, “What does this guy do – basically? Ahhh…. he’s a builder.”
So start with the basic category. It doubles up to create contrast. Once I know what you do – basically- what’s special and different makes more sense.
3. Fame – what’s different about you.
OK now tell people what’s different about you!
My name is Andrew. I am business coach. I specialise in helping owner/managers running established companies to improve the bottom line of their business by at least 30%.
I am George. I am a builder. I specialise in helping medical centres who’s leases are due to expire to decide whether to improve … or move.
I am Irene. I am a doctor. I specialise in working with very busy executive women aged 40+ who suffer from hand and facial psoriasis.
Tip: Try writing out a quick pitch that strings those three elements together in that order.