Imperfect Pitch

Whatever business, profession or industry you are in there comes a time you have to convince your audience to spend their time, money or interest on you.

As an entrepreneur you will soon discover that in addition to learning to perform the role of accountant, project coordinator and CEO, you will need to be a salesperson too: no sales, no business. Developing and exercising sales skills is a necessity, no matter what your widget or service is. Yet so many of the entrepreneurs and freelance creatives I have met struggle, like I do (confession is good for the soul), with pitching their product or service to the investors, collaborators, and customers they need to take their business to the next level. Good marketing woos people into purchasing what you sell, great pitching seduces your audience into liking YOU and trusting that YOU can deliver on what you promise. A good friend once told me, "always leave them impressed." You are always selling yourself baby. 

So how do you impress your audience? What I have learned thus far is developing a relationship is EVERYTHING. Say or do what you can to continue the conversation another time, to meet again, to contact each other through other means or to actively stay in touch. Tailor your message to the person your talking to (obviously) and keep that conversation going. If you have time to research the person or their company ahead of your pitch, prepare your most compelling information and impress them with the details you know they will appreciate. If you don't have much time and you unexpectedly encounter your dream client in an elevator do something memorable and describe your pitch in as few words as possible. With a short time, less is more. With a long time, more is more. But whatever you do, don't let that be the last time you speak to or hear from your client. 

Your clients/customers are friends of your business. Be honest, be sincere, set up realistic expectations. No good relationship is built on bullsh*t! The purchases and partnerships customers maintain with you and your business keep your company healthy and growing. Keep the relationships you start healthy and growing too.

The advice I can offer you is to reach out and start a relationship with instead of pitching to your dream client. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be real.

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