Top Tips For Pitching Yourself – Product YOU
Management involves Pitching: simple fact, no avoiding it.
You will have to pitch yourself/your idea/your product/your team at some point and often the decision about allocating resources or contracts goes to the best pitcher and NOT the best manager who, somehow, failed to convince the audience as to their relative merits.
Think of selling in management terms as actually getting staff to produce what is required to a better standard or in a more effective and efficient manner. This is also true of dealing with your superiors who should be receiving subtle sales messages about your performance and delivery on a regular basis!
What makes Pitching and Sales?
This is all about the key skills of persuasion, inspiration and leading to make things happen. Pitching involves seeking out and gaining collaboration to get goals and targets delivered and successfully generating the right focus and mind-set amongst all involved.
Good pitching (and sales) is all about solving problems and having a long-lasting working relationship that delivers change and sustainable growth.
Put yourself in your counterpart’s shoes
Make sure that you fully complete your research before beginning this process: what exactly are those you are pitching to looking for/what is their actual problem/what kind of resolution are they looking for?
Go into the process with your eyes fully open so that you can understand where others have their priorities. Think carefully about the information that you need to uncover and then use this to help solve the problem and/or generate collaboration.
Plan and practice
the more time you spend planning and then rehearsing the pitch the more likely you are to be successful. Only supremely gifted people can get into a successful pitch while they are thinking on their feet with little or no preparation!
Seek out advice from a group of “critical friends” who will give you honest advice and support in getting the pitch and approach right.
When the pressure is on the nerves start jangling and you start to say more than you intended and to cover more ground than you planned for. This also stops you from making your point as well as you probably wanted and needed to!
Take your time and keep to your script as much as is possible. If you feel that you are talking too much or are not getting the agreement you wanted take a few seconds to regroup your thoughts and then move forward again.
Close the deal
Make sure that you close the process with agreement and be ready to deal with any sticking points that still are in the mind of the other party.
It is very likely that your pitching/selling will fail more times than you succeed: this is a natural process of selling and one which needs to be used as a learning point. What is needed here is a degree of resilience to keep going but also the wisdom to reflect upon your approaches and refine them for the next encounter.
Good Pitchers will use the rejection well but then return later to see exactly what has happened and how they might then pitch again.
For more details of Pitching and the Sales Process visit www.davidsummertonconsulting.co.uk