The Pitch Episode 56: It’s Not About Who You Know, It’s About What You Know
Your connections may not be as strong as you think. Learn how to set aside the relationship with the person you are pitching to get what you really want.
It’s Not About Who You Know, It’s About What You Know
One of the most common questions I get from potential clients is, “Do you have good media connections?” To which I always reply, “Yes I have lots of media connections but those connections don’t matter, especially when it comes to pitching.” You see, it’s not who you know but what you know, and in my line of work if you don’t understand the news cycle and can’t pitch a story that fits the filter of the media outlet, you’ll strike out no matter if the journalist is your friend or not. Before you pitch, make certain you are not relying on relationships to score a win. Put the time into your pitch and make sure you are approaching everyone as if there is no friendship foundation. This strategy applies to any pitching situation: whether you are pitching media, interviewing for a job, signing a client or securing an investor. If you are friends with the person you are pitching, be careful you don’t take your pitch too lightly thinking they are going to accept it just because they know you. “The Pitch” challenge today: Take the time to pull together a professional pitch for something you really want from someone you know really well. My cousin recently shared with me that her pre-teen daughter wanted an Instagram account but she wouldn’t let her have it. So instead of relying on the “mom relationship” to get what she wanted, my cousin’s daughter put together a full blown Power Point presentation to detail all the reasons why she was ready for an Instagram account. Did she get it? Yes she did. When you set aside the relationship with the person you are pitching you remove the inferred, “you should accept me because you know me” notion and therefore you will better articulate your pitch based on what you know not who know. The person you are pitching will appreciate the professionalism of your approach and the best part is, when they give you what you want you’ll feel like you really earned it.
What relationships do you tend to assume will always give you what you want?
What type of contacts do you typically prepare the most for?
How can you set aside the relationship to ensure your pitch is focused on what you know versus whom you know?