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The 7 sins of pitching

Written by Nathan Williams on .

Life’s a pitch

We are regularly putting our case forward when we communicate with not just clients and prospects, but also work colleagues, friends and family. While a pitch is part of the sales process, it also occurs when we are simply ‘selling’ ideas, both inside and outside the work context.

A pitch is a moment when we have a chance to present our case and therefore ourselves. If after a conversation or an event etc. they could feel somewhat differently about you and evaluate your performance, then it’s a pitch.

Different situation, same rules

In business and in life, both big and small pitches occur and the same lessons apply when it comes to putting our case forward – understand your audience and be a good listener, be confident and express yourself simply and quickly. Getting these steps right will develop your own brand of charm.

Pitching is the difference between success and failure

Given how frequently we present our ideas, it’s not an exaggeration to say that how we pitch our ideas to that prospective employer, the bank manager, our new client and our life partner… determines the course of our life.

The pitch is the hinge on which the door opens, whereas everything else is about process. Get it right and everything follows, get it wrong and nothing follows. Life’s a pitch…learning how to do it effectively is nearly always the difference between success and failure and yet too often we get it wrong.

The 7 sins of pitching

  • No central theme – If more than one or two big issues have been identified, it means you haven’t identified the big issue!
  • Not spending enough time – Not taking enough time to reflect on your key messages at the start of the process means your preparation will take longer and the outcome will be less effective
  • Not engaging, visually – Without diagrams which outline your key messages, the process is less involving and misses a central focus. Good storytelling needs to be visual, not just verbal.
  • Not using Powerpoint properly – Viewing each slide in isolation as a tool to transfer information by, rather than how each slide contributes to your compelling story.
  • Getting stuck on the detail – Getting obsessed with detail and losing sight of the big picture. Without a single sentence that sums up your big idea, you are less likely to emerge the winner.
  • Not concentrating on the problem – Skipping over the problem without defining, discussing and developing your understanding of the problem means your audience won’t be fully aware of the value of your proposition.
  • Obsessing over a perfect solution – Your solution doesn’t have to have a ‘Eureka’ moment – pragmatic common sense and real passion about delivery will do. The commitment to making a workable solution happen (and not the originality of the idea) is what drives business success.

In summary…

You may be the best at what you do, but if you can’t communicate your value clearly you’ll miss out on the business you deserve.

Are you attracting the ideal clients you deserve?

The benefits of developing a Perfect Pitch can be substantial. If you don’t have the in-house expertise to do so – seek help. Customer Return help small and medium sized firms to help them attract more of their ideal clients, faster.

Got the Perfect Pitch? Try our perfect pitch self-evaluation today.