Thirty seconds to impress. It used to make me want to take the stairs.
Not any more now I’ve got a structure I can follow, even when put on the spot.
Using less words has a bigger impact. It creates clarity, certainty and confidence and that’s just what the person you’re pitching to is thinking about you.
I’m a story teller and dare I say waffler. I love to get into the detail to bring to life whatever I’m talking about. But thats only cool if I’m with people who have the time, patience and desire to want to stick around listen. Know your audience is the best thing I learnt in the junior corporate days. If you know anything about Insights, you’ll have a big advantage here, if you don’t, why not try out my abridged version here it’s a bit of fun but actually packs a punch when it comes to learning about your core personality style.
Insights tells us that we’re all a blend of four core styles, red (task/tell) yellow (people/tell) green (people/ask) blue (ask/task), but we all gravitate to a natural style which is either purely one of the four colours above or we can sit in-between two. For example, I sit between blue and red. It means that I’m task focused, the blue in me loves to geek out on research and get into the why’s and wherefores of things and the red in me get’s the job done with autonomy, passion and pace. If someone sat between red and yellow, the tell in them would get the job done and the people in them would collaborate to complete the task. There’s no better combination, all are needed in every team and once you can identify what colours other people are, you will know how to effectively communicate better with them. And pitch to them.
Questions to ponder;
Is someone all about getting the task done for task sake (red), or are they getting the job done for people’s sake (yellow)?
Are they all over the detail (blue)?
Do they need to have a committee to make a decision (green)?
Are they the life and soul of the party (yellow)?
And so on.
To pitch to a red energy person you need to be brief, be bright and be gone.
To a yellow energy person, include them in the thinking process but talk big picture.
To a green person, pitch in a collaborative environment so they don’t feel cornered.
To a blue person, detail, detail, detail. Then time to reflect. Don’t push for a decision.
The next step, once you’ve worked out your audience, is the pitch planning structure.
I use the SPIN technique which is a classic selling framework.
Situation: What’s their current situation?
Problem: What problem are you solving for them?
Implications: What would happen to their problem if they didn’t do anything about it?
Need: Why your solution is what they need.
Now put that into a pitch:
Always start by introducing who you are. Make good eye contact and be aware of your body language. 80% of communication is non verbal. I wear trousers with pockets whenever I’m presenting so my hands can’t let me down!
Acknowledge their current situation (you already know it or you wouldn’t be pitching to them). What problem are they currently facing? E.g. “I understand you’re finding it hard to retain your management team due to burnout.”
The solution – is your product. E.g. “I understand you’re finding it hard to retain your management team due to burnout. Did you know that our coaching programme is the only one that connects goals with the health mindset needed to achieve them?”
At that point, you’ve tickled their interest. But don’t go in for the hard sell. Finish the pitch with, I’d love to share more, here’s my card/I can drop you an email with more info.
Finish with a lovely to meet you. Done. Then practice in front of a mirror and to anyone who will listen until it feels natural. It’s called neuroplasticity, you’re creating new neural pathways by practicing, so your subconscious (very risk averse) is completely cool with the pitch as it thinks it’s done it before, therefore taking away any nerves you may of had.
Now go practice. Your mirror awaits.