So what is a pitch, obviously the word can mean many different things depending on the context? In this blog, it means ‘a form of words used when trying to persuade someone to buy or accept something.’ The Americans have coined the phrase ‘elevator pitch’ the idea being you can get across what you and your business do, therefore why the person speaking to you might be interested in the space of time it takes to go up a floor in an elevator – also known as a ’60 second pitch’
Do you and your business have one?
I work a lot with businesses on what their ‘pitch’ is. Whilst the actual 60-second pitch is probably little used in reality, unless you attend the type of networking where it is a requirement (like BNI). What your 60-second pitch does do is refine your message. Most people I ask ‘what do you do?’ really struggle with the answer as they either real off the day to day tasks that they undertake or give me their job title. It is key to always remember the ‘so what?’ factor. So for example, ‘I am a litigation solicitor’ a better response would be ‘ I help people navigate contentious legal issues, usually saving them time and money.’
Whilst my business went through the entrepreneurial spark programme in 2015 we worked a lot with our co entrepreneurs on what our pitch was, both long-form and the shorter 60-second pitch.
What the experts say, and I agree that it’s vital to have a ‘hook’. This is a statement that will catch people interest and encourage them to listen to the rest.
For us it is marketing stat related so ‘Did you know that there are 25,000 marketing agencies in the UK but only a handful that specialises in the professional service sector.’ Or ‘Did you know that business analysts suggest you should spend 10% of turnover on marketing’
The next stage after the ‘hook’ is to say who you are.
Follow this by a real example of how you have helped and/or worked with a client. An example of one of ours is ‘By auditing the firms marketing spend we managed to reduce advertising costs by £10,000 with no impact on new enquiries’
Finally the ask, this will depend on your audience. Is the audience you target market – in which case ask of their business e.g ‘most of you in the room are businesses that we can help, my offer to you is a free coffee to discuss your business needs and a no-obligation proposal’. If it is a room full of people that for whatever reason are not suitable clients then the following may be more appropriate ‘our target market is professional service firms, if you know a lawyer or an accountant that could benefit from a no-obligation 1-2-1 with us then please make an introduction’. However, one question to ask yourself if you are at an event where no one is of direct interest to your business then why are you there?
I hope you have found this helpful and would love to hear yours…!
Want to hear a basic one we videoed? Click here