Seth Godin: *sigh* My literary man crush.
I am so into this guy’s mind. He gets me. His book What To Do When It’s Your Turn is pure sensory indulgence. (No, I’m not an affiliate, just a mega-fan.) This book feels good in my hands. It satisfies my eyes with its pretty imagery. It keeps my short attention span locked in with its brevity and simplicity. It tickles my brain with its cleverly-written anecdotes and tweetable messages. I want to walk around the house and hold it to my chest with both hands. (I really do, and I have.)
What does this book say to me… t’s that same message that I’m constantly preaching to our clients. You have to be GAME ON every minute of every day because it’s ALWAYS your turn to pitch what you do to your ideal client. Don’t fear your turn; embrace and appreciate your turn. This is your time to absorb the spotlight! Always be ready and eager to pitch.
Confidence in being ready for your turn is in your clarity. Not just your internal clarity about your own USP and the value of your product or service, but with pristine external clarity so that you articulate that value clearly and your audience “gets it.” External clarity takes practice. Repetition. Mucho trial and error and constant modification until you get your message and your pitch so tight that your audience only ever says one of two things…
“We need to talk!” or ” I need to introduce you to so-and-so.”
And then, your business will grow and you’ll have to adjust your pitch again. Your pitch is a living thing which evolves and adapts with you, with your business and with your ever-changing industry.
Pitching is an art form. It’s no different than learning to play the piano or nail a jump shot. It requires practice and repetition until your craft is fine-tuned. With practice you gain confidence, and before long you can’t wait for your turn.
When building your pitch, you need to clearly define several components. Pitching is NEVER a matter of just standing up and winging it. (The shame!) When you’re speaking about your business, your audience of one or of hundreds will be asking themselves variations of 7-8 questions:
- What do you do and who do you do it for?
- What makes your product/service unique from others in your industry? (Especially if your product/service is highly-commoditized.)
- Why should I call YOU if I need what you are offering? How do you rate in your industry?
- What is the very real problem that your product/service addresses?
- What is your full-and-remarkable solution to that very real problem?
- Why do you do what you do? (What led you to this profession?)
- What do your customers say about you?
- What is the opportunity that you are offering today?
If you can answer these questions during the course of a presentation or a social conversation, you have the foundation of a solid pitch. Beyond that, word choice and succinct precision with your message are the nuances to build in and practice while you gauge audience reaction for external clarity. Avoid jargon, cliches and marketing taglines. Pitches are conversations, not hype.
Your pitch is the ultimate funnel to your business. Defining your pitch is a game-changer; don’t wing it. There is too much at stake. You have to wake up every day thinking, “Today is my turn. Game on.”
If you don’t, why even bother getting out of bed.