18/07/2012

By Alexia Leachman

Whichever ever pitch you’re looking to craft, there certain elements it can be beneficial to include. That’s not saying that all pitches need these to be included, but they will certainly help you to stand out.

Same but different

In the first instance, when you’re trying to explain to people what you do, you need to make it nice and easy for them to get what you do. Now this is painless if you’re doing something that’s straightforward to understand or familiar but some of us aren’t. After all, if we are going make a splash in this competitive marketplace, we’re probably going to be taking a different approach, or trying something new. If this sounds like you, then you’ll probably wince when I say that it’s probably wise to reiterate how similar you are to something that already exists. This enables your listener to put you in a box in their mind, or at least find a reference point for you. Once they’ve been able to “file” you somewhere, you then have the opportunity to explain how different you are to others in this space. If you start with the different, then you’ll never get “filed” in their mind, which means they’re just as likely to dismiss you. Of course all this happens subconsciously, but if we don’t work with the natural workings of the mind, then we’re always going to be pushing water up hill. So think about what it is that you do that could be considered the same, and then figure out how you’re different to that. Simples.

The “You know how…?” Pitch

This can be a useful way to share how you solve a problem or add value to a situation or challenge. I would imagine that the person who came up with those nifty lids that appear on all our take away cups of coffee would have used this; “you know how when you buy a take away hot drink and then can’t walk anywhere with it for fear of spilling all down your front and burning your hands? Yeah?...”. Got it? Think of the perceived issues that you help to solve. This can apply to personal as well as business pitches. After all, if we’re not helping to solve a problem with what we do, what’s the point in what we do? There’s always a problem being solved somewhere, it’s just a case of articulating it nice and clearly.

Relevance

The final element needs to help the listener to understand why they should care about what you’re telling them. A great way to make your pitch relevant is to demonstrate how successful you are at delivering on what you say. So, if you’re claiming to help busy cattery owners herd cats, then gather some stats on your success rate so that you can inform any future cattery owners that you meet; “in the last 2 years, we’ve helped over 120 cattery owners reduce the time they spend feeding which has led to a all of them enjoying a minimum reduction of 20% in the costs associated with feeding the cats”. Wow! If I ran a cattery, I’d suddenly be very interested in finding out more, wouldn’t you?

With each of these elements, it’s worth trying to figure out what your version is, even if you decide not to use all of them together. As with any type of pitching, it’s best to get your thinking and practising done behind closed doors so that if the opportunity arises, you’re well placed, and confident, to pounce.

About the author

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands .