Ok this is one where I have to be 100% honest.. my pitch has never been a brilliant as it could be… I went to 4N networking meetings and would stumble and be incoherent and have a not very clear or consistent message… did I want to mention my book, or my coaching business, my specialisation in therapy businesses or my ideal day app or just talk about what is going on for me in my business, or maybe even my life generally?
So why do you need a pitch and what is it?
Great pitches have changed the world ( from ” I have a dream” to “we will put a computer into every home”). A great pitch empowers, enlivens and inspires us. So when you are asked ‘What do you do?” do you reply ” We” or worse ” My company/ business” ” sells xyz product” or ” provides abc service”. Sorry, but how boring….. people need to know why you are doing what you are doing, what your vision is for the future and really engage with what you are saying.
It needs to be specific.. so instead of saying ” I help small businesses grow their business through business coaching” ( which I confess I have done in the past)… I now say something along the lines of ” My name is Gill Warren, I’m a chartered accountant, business coach and businesswoman, and I work with women who are starting their therapy business, who have done their qualifications but who may be scared of numbers and who don’t know where to start with the whole business side of business. Research has shown that 52% of therapists are not in business 3 years after qualification and I hate to see people who have given their passion, time and money to an enterprise that doesn’t go anywhere. So to save them fret, sweat and debt I have written a book and guide them step by step through all the steps they need to take to set up and run a successful therapy business, in an accessible friendly way. The book has been adopted by 15 of the top twenty therapy schools around the South West and has been awarded 5 stars on Amazon. Copies are available on Amazon and at a special price at the back of the room” This has got me many more enquiries, because it is clearer who I am speaking to, what their issue is and how I can solve their problem.
What is the “perfect pitch”?
In Daniel Priestley’s great book, “Become a Key Person of Influence” ( definitely worth investing in if you haven’t done so far) he talks about the six “P’s” of pitching:
Position – it is clear to your audience who you are and why you should be listened to.
Problem – you have seen a clear problem and are drawing attention to it.
ProjectIon – you specify the impacts this can have if the problems are not resolved.
Proposal – You suggest a way of solving the problem.
Proof – you want to back up your claim with proof or testimonials
Project – Finally you share what you are working on to take the idea forward. For example if you are looking for joint venture partners this is a good time to state that is what you are seeking. It is then clear what action someone listening to the pitch can do with that information. They may not be able to be in that position to do something about it themselves, but they may know someone who does.
So your task for this week is to hone up your pitch and practice it so that it sounds natural and say it with passion!