The Pitch Episode 6: Relationship First, Pitch Second

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Time not on your side? You’re in luck! Learn to develop a relationship quick before you pitch.

The Pitch Episode 6:
Relationship First, Pitch Second

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Ever been annoyed by that person running around a networking event passing out business cards in the same breath of, “hello”? This is not the way to pitch. Establishing a relationship first is essential to successfully getting your pitch heard. But what do you do when you don’t have time to develop a relationship? Your job may require you to pitch all day or maybe your ask has an impending deadline. When you must develop a relationship quick to pitch, you’re in luck because all the tools for this are right at your fingertips. Never before has there been a time when you can get to know someone quicker than now. Before you pitch, Google the person you are pitching, scroll through their social media feeds, note recent achievements, places they’ve traveled and what they’re passionate about right now (this should take 10 minutes max). If all this information is publicly posted, then it means they want you to know about it, and you should know about it. Next, develop the lead into your pitch by acknowledging or complimenting a recent achievement, or connection. You might say, “Congratulations on the leadership award,” or “I noticed we attended the same university, Go Gators!” Now a relationship is established, because you have someone’s ear. Then offer to do something for them, such as: “I have an opportunity for you that I feel will help save you time on a platform that your competitors have already upgraded to.” Then Pitch: “Do you have 20 minutes on Friday for me to show you how to save three hours a week while bringing your company more productivity?” Contrast this to the person who pitched without researching or considering what is needed: “Hi, how is your day? Do you have time to go through our new platform to upgrade your outdated system?” “The Pitch” challenge today: on just one of your pitches get off your “script” and experiment with this “relationship first” technique by researching, acknowledging or complimenting, then consider why the person you are pitching really needs what you are offering. Don’t be that person running around passing out business cards with every handshake because soon no one will be listening to you no matter what you pitch.

Apply:

What’s the worse part of a solicitation call opening that’s targeted at you?
What are two opening questions you could ask someone at a networking event, not related to business, but would compel him or her to open up?
What are three hobbies or passions you have that you could ask someone else about that could warm up a first time conversation?

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