We’ve all heard about the (in)famous elevator pitch. And for many of us when we think about pitching… we think simultaneously: “salesy” “skeezy” or “scammy.” But I promise it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, I personally love pitching. It feels natural… and not because I trained at the Used Car Salesman Academy of the World… instead, it feels natural, because it IS natural. As a natural people pleaser & helper, I want to help people know if what I’m offering is a good fit for them.
It also doesn’t hurt that I did in fact pitch press day-in and day-out for years while working for an amazing public relations agency back in the day. Getting told no TIME AND TIME again helped me a learn a bit about what warranted a YES.
It was all about the positioning. When I prepared in advance, I got the easy yes. But when I winged it… wung it? (is that a word? We’re going with it here…) I quickly learned the leads were leads, but not qualified leads. That, my friends is a big difference. And can make or break your chances of getting the yes when the pitch rolls around.
Here are 3 things you can do before the pitch to ensure you’re positioned in the best way possible for an easy yes!
Ever heard of the Rule of 7? We used to apply that in media pitching land… it’s an age-old marketing principle that says people needs to connect with you 7 times before feeling the comfort level to purchase. Now, we didn’t always take this LITERALLY, because 7 phone calls is a lot of phone calls, but there were certainly times when I was politely persistent… looking for every avenue & opportunity to connect with the press.
Now, with digital marketing at our fingertips, connecting is easy. For example: Instagram feed, IG DMs, IG Stories… and that’s just on ONE platform. Facebook posts. Blogs. E-mail blasts. Word-of-mouth marketing. The list goes on… and wrap that all up with a killer opt-in to get them on your e-mail list, and you’ll have connection opportunities and a way to serve consistently until the end of time (or until they unsubscribe… of course).
And a key here: however you are connecting, make sure it’s a valuable & unique connection that you and only you can offer. And make sure it’s done with serving in mind. Create a free product that will draw them in to give a taste of what you can offer… then offer more of that at the same (and better!) quality, until you’re ready for the pitch. Remember: pitching & selling… it’s about your potential client, and everyone wants to know “what’s in it for me?”
Speaking of what they want to know… LISTEN to what they want! People are willing to share about what they are looking for in any purchase. Whether you’re a wedding photographer looking to book more couples or a business coach ready to serve new businesses, people ready to spend their money are also ready to share just what they want to spend it on. This is where you gather the details.
Find out everything you can before the pitch, and use those answers (and their exact words!) to repeat right back to them what you just heard. Not only will it affirm that you’re able to listen & process what they need, but you’re able to add in why you are the perfect person to serve those needs & solve those pain points.
A bride stressed about the timeline of her wedding? Take note! If you’re a photographer who works to create a custom photo timeline for the wedding day, you highlight that. Forget about the fact that you want to share every nitty gritty detail of your process… she doesn’t likely care. But she does in fact care to know that you’re going to ease her worries & fears about when she needs to be ready for the day, and know that she’ll get down the aisle on time – with all the most gorgeous images to boot! Listen to what your people want… and use that in your pitch.
This, right here, is something so simple that can make such a profound difference in the success of your pitch. Play to your strengths, friend. If you hate talking on the phone, don’t pitch on the phone. If you find that people ghost you via e-mail, get them in person. Regardless of what you do, my best recommendation is to play to your strengths, and find a way to get “face-to-face.” This doesn’t mean in person, necessarily. For weddings, 90% of my clients don’t live locally, so 9 times out of 10, we’re meeting via Google Hangout to talk through all the details of their day. Being a wedding photographer means we spend a lot of time together, and getting to actually SEE each other before booking builds that know-like-trust factor that is key in an easy pitch.
For my coaching clients, let’s be honest… most of them don’t have time for one more meeting on the calendar, so we’ll chat via e-mail, and 9 times out of 10, they know what they need, I can offer it, and boom, pitch right there in e-mail. At the agency, they used to call me the e-mail queen… because I loved e-mails & crafting the perfect response so much. So in this case, I’m not only playing to my strengths, but also eliminating the barrier to entry for my potential clients!
When it comes to pitching & selling, it’s all about connection, listening, and doing what works best for both you AND the potential client.
What is one way you prep for the pitch? Comment below to let me know if you have any best practices that always get the YES?
And when you’re ready to pitch, make sure you employ these 6 powerful psychological tactics to influence customers and sell!
Finally, to connect even further with your ideal client, get my number 1 writing tip!