Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect


This isn’t about figuring out who to pitch to or what to wear, or how to follow up on the pitch. This isn’t about any other part of the ‘sales tunnel’. This is about the message you get across in 15 or 30 seconds that is the pitch. Which is a very simple thing, really. Because there are only two kinds of pitches: those you believe in and those you don’t believe in.

Here’s how to pitch an idea you don’t believe in:

  1. Stifle the urge to weep at what you’ve become: a person who is pitching an idea they don’t believe in.
  2. Try not to say ‘um’ too many times.

Here’s how to pitch an idea you believe in:

Talk. Here’s a tip: placing credentials at the beginning of a pitch is an attempt at hypnosis, really. It’s a tactic. Set it aside.

What you want to be is cool. Someone who can plainly state, ‘Here’s the problem, here’s the solution, here’s why mine is better and here’s why I have been working my whole life to do this’.

The pitch should be thought of as the first of many conversations with a partner, not a battle to be won. You need to be authoritative but not come across as salesy. You need to balance listening with talking. The best pitch meetings are debates, discussions – not presentations.

How a pitch should go

The best way to hone your pitch is to pitch to yourself. And there’s really only one question to ask, which is: Are you bored? If you’re bored, then the people you’re pitching to will be really bored. And if you’re bored, you’re probably bored because you’ve buried the point.

The core pitch should be about 15 seconds long. One cliché states that you should be able to pitch any idea over the course of a single elevator ride. This is true. Even if you’re going only one floor up.

Anyway, there are two parts to the pitch:

  1. This is what I’m great at.
  2. This is how what I’m great at can work for you.

The pitch itself is defined by momentum. Because the pitch is just a bridge. You’re already in good shape – after all, you got the meeting. The pitch is simply the first checkpoint.