Preparing the perfect pitch

Dent Global

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a big vision. Often when you have such a big vision, which people can't relate to, it's difficult to get them on your side.

However, he didn't give up. He kept pitching and pitching (thousands of times) till he could finally see his vision coming to life.

Each time he pitched, he refined it and tweaked it before doing the next pitch. And that's how he achieved his list of dreams. It's safe to say that knowing how to pitch, whom to pitch to and how to refine a pitch was a part of his strengths.

When you pitch your business to new people you meet, partners, colleagues or even your family, there are a three things to look out for to determine whether people understand what you do and what your vision is.

Beware of the polite response.

A polite comment is one of the worst responses you can get when you tell people what you do. When someone says ‘Sounds interesting’ or ‘How long have you been doing that?’ it actually means 'I have no idea what you do' or simply 'That sounds boring'. What you want is an emotionally charged response. They should either want to pull out their diary and make a time to talk to you, open their contacts and put you in touch with someone they know or tell you ‘Your idea will never work!’ Positive or negative, a strong reaction is much better than a polite response.

A real pitch gathers pace.

The day you get invited to speak in front of a group or to the media (from a pitch or two) is the day your life will change dramatically. If you're not being invited to a meeting, speaking engagement or a workshop, your pitch needs work. Perfecting your pitch leads to bigger audiences and faster results each time it’s delivered. Clients we’ve worked with often start out with an average pitch. Within days of crafting a better pitch they see people responding differently to them and they often win unexpected business within days. A year later, they find themselves in the media and on a big stage. When you know ‘what you are up to in the world’ you become a magnet for opportunity. When you can communicate that message to a group, you speed up time and can achieve a month’s work in just a day.

You can’t please everyone.

You need to choose a specific micro-niche you will tackle with your vision. Even a massive phenomenon like Facebook started out exclusively for Harvard University students to share their drunken photos; they then expanded to allow all university students, and now to the world. From a tiny micro-niche, big things can grow, but when a business sets out to please everyone, they achieve nothing. Consider your niche and add more criteria to get a deeper niche. You need to know exactly who you are trying to serve or the problem you’re out to solve. Your pitch might focus on a gender, an age group, geography, an ideology or a socio-economic group. Your pitch could address a specific unmet need, a common frustration or problem for a specific group of people. If you can closely relate to the issues, you can craft a pitch that fits your niche.

To find out more about how to pitch visit our website and take our scorecard.