Business magazines, websites and the printed press constantly tell you that you need to ‘pitch' for business. Articles and books with titles like ‘How to Give a Winning Pitch', ‘Pitching to Win' and ‘How to Write the Winning Pitch' are ten a penny.
Despite what I said earlier, even I have run a workshop in the past called ‘Are you Pitching to Win, or Pitching to Lose?'
Now you might not agree with me, but, I've made up my mind that pitching doesn't work. Let me explain why…
If you look up the meaning of the word ‘pitch' you'll get definitions like:
- to throw
- to fling or hurl
- to toss
- to plant in a fixed position
- to plunge
- to lurch
…and this is what happens in most business pitches and presentations.
The sales team or bid team often ‘throw' or ‘fling' or ‘toss' information at the prospective client, and hope that it sticks and they get the business. They often ‘plunge' straight in and ‘lurch' from one point to the next, without any consideration for how their message is being received.
They then wonder why the pitch or presentation fails.
If you've ever been on the end of an aggressive pitch, then you know how unpleasant it can feel. It's often done in an aggressive style because, by it's very nature, ‘pitching' is pushy.
That's why so many people are uncomfortable doing it. They don't like being ‘pushy'.
To be honest, it's quite surprising that people actually ever win business presenting information in this way.
The biggest mistake people make
Pitching in this way stems from one of the biggest mistakes people make when presenting – and that's thinking it's all about you as the speaker.
What if, instead, you could draw people in and engage with them in a way that feels comfortable and genuine, that means they naturally want to do business with you?
What difference would that make to your conversion rates and the sustainability of your business?
Here's how to do so
The simple solution is to use stories. We all love hearing a good, well told story.
We connect with them in a way that we just can't with dry facts and figures.
You have a unique story to tell, so tell it in a way that connects and engages your audience.
Instead of just talking about the results you've achieved, tell the stories of the clients you've worked with and how you've helped them.
Let your audience ‘feel' what it's like to work with you, and in this way you'll connect with them and create a genuine connection in a way your competitors just won't.
People will remember your stories for a long time after the ‘pitch' has been and gone.