Whether you are selling yourself, your product or both – you need to learn how to pitch. This applies equally to those pitching for a promotion, or entrepreneurs pitching their product.
A client said to me the other day "I don't like the word "pitch" it implies that I will be talking at someone rather than engaging and listening to them".
I agree wholeheartedly that this is not about "telling".
For the purpose of this exercise, let's just agree that the word "pitch" is being used as a way to describe everything that goes into compelling someone to act, and to choosing you or what you are selling. Of course the only way you actually make that happen, is by listening and engaging.. not by being arrogant and 'telling'! So now that we have got that out of the way - read on...
No matter the forum, one thing always remains true – people act because they are compelled to. Because they want to. Whether this is to hire a particular candidate, buy a product or book a holiday, something – 'the pitch' - convinced them to make the decision.
Is it any wonder that the ability to compel people to act is one of the skills most valued by employers? Think of a team. As a leader, you need to compel those around you to commit to your vision, to give their all. This is a rare and valuable skill – it takes work and it is complex, but if you can’t compel others to action then you’re in trouble.
Well that’s the thing. There is no secret magic. In fact, there is no secret at all. It all comes down to a belief, and a passion, in what you are pitching. Not just in your product, but in its value to the person you are trying to compel into action. Most often, the thing you are 'selling' is you. Show me one job applicant who didn’t truly believe they were the best person for the role and was successful in interview. It just doesn’t happen.
In order to nail this skill, you need to ditch the negative mindset. Stop limiting your belief in yourself, and stop believing that you will be ‘lucky’ if others choose you.
If you don’t believe in the value that you can add, then why would anyone else?
Look at someone you know who is compelling. What is their 'secret ingredient'? I’m betting that they:
• Will deeply understand their customers and their needs;
• Be very focused on what the other person needs, wants and values;
• Will be an expert in their field, and invest time and effort into honing their skill; and
• Always seek to leave someone thrilled with the outcome – whether that be with their product, with the delivery of a presentation, or as the newest employee.
But above all?
They have a belief, and a confidence in themselves and their product. Not through bragging, not through arrogance, but because they take their craft so seriously that they can tell you what their niche is, and why they can offer you something that nobody else can. They don’t speak in vague motherhood statements and generic terms.
If you think this sounds like selling, then you are completely right. As we’ve said before – there is no such thing as ‘not being in sales’. We are all in sales, every time we go for a job, a promotion, a contract, pitch a business idea or negotiate a sale. In doing these things, we are compelling people to choose us, or our idea, or our product. The only difference lies in how successful we are when we do so.
There is no reason you can’t have this skill. Forget labels, forget outdated notions of sales. Forget the idea of ‘outgoing’ personalities. There are many mediums through which you can tell your story and still make it compelling. Think for a moment of the humble service rep at your local shop, who seems to get more sales or referrals than anyone else. Why? Think of an unassuming leader, whose staff would do anything for, who quietly goes about their role in the background...
You don’t need to be brash, you don’t need to be loud, but you do need to be able to articulate what you do and give them the reason to choose you! After all – if no-one knows how good you are, then only you are to blame.
• To compel others to act, you need to believe it. This is something you can’t fake.
• It is not the responsibility of the other person. You need to compel them to want you.
• Be clear on, and believe in, the value you bring and the results you can achieve.
• This is a skill – like anything worth having, you need to work at it.
If you need help
• Recognising and believing in your value;
• Pitching yourself or your product; or
• Compelling others to act...
click on the link below to book in a free 15 minute Discovery Call with me!
PS, if you have a burning question or a problem that needs a solution, contact us with the details and we will be in touch. Every fortnight we will answer a question for a reader as part of our case study series. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org