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How To Get Better At Pitching
Every day we fail to convince people about the value we can deliver. For every yes, we get ten no’s. Why? We’re quick to blame the quality of our ideas or our storytelling when we fail. But sometimes we fail because we’re speaking to the wrong person at the wrong time. Rejections often happen because we haven’t qualified the buyer before trying to close the sale, so we need to get better at doing the groundwork.
Five Questions To Answer Before Pitching
1. Am I pitching to the right person?
Often you’re pitching to someone who doesn’t have the authority to make the decision. Check.
2. What’s the underlying need (read fear) of the person I’m speaking to?
You must understand the client’s primary pain point before explaining how you can solve their problem. Question.
3. Is the prospective client ready to buy?
Sometimes the person wants to have a conversation about their challenge. They may not be in the market for a solution. Query.
4. Does your prospective customer’s budget align with your fee?
Make sure the numbers stack up before you have a conversation. Ask.
5. Why you (in particular)?
It’s important to know how the prospective client heard about you and why they felt compelled to contact you. A recommendation is different from a Google search. A reputation that precedes you trumps stumbling on your LinkedIn profile. Enquire.
We spend a lot of time telling our story to people who have no intention of buying. As my friend James Victore says, your work is a gift. Make sure you’re devoting your energy to the people who do want your help.
Image by Steven Zwerink