So we’ve made it through the All-Star break and most of us are looking at who has playoff potential. I’m happy to see that the Phillies are 15-5 since the break. Playoffs mean summer is winding down and we will soon be back to a busier work schedule. With that in mind, here are the four things you need to know when pitching on your next business opportunity.
You have a list of people from various industries that you want to contact about a new opportunity. But before contacting each person, do some due diligence to learn about the person(s) you are speaking to, the company, and its interests. This is helpful to create a targeted approach for each person you talk to.
As you are developing your pitch, ask yourself, “why is this opportunity valuable to this person”? We are inundated with hundreds of emails each day and our goal is to make our message worth taking a few extra seconds to keep reading. Simply asking someone to review and think about your ideas will not create the response you want. If you are asking for a phone call or meeting, send dates that you are available so he or she can quickly check their calendars. If you are asking him or her to participate in a new group, outline the steps needed to become involved. Presenting actionable steps gives a clear direction for how he or she should proceed.
Send an email with an overview of the opportunity to begin the conversation. In the summary, outline the benefits of this opportunity utilizing keywords that will resonate with the prospect to become interested. Moreover, attach additional materials such as company profiles, sell sheets, or product summaries, to offer more information. Overall, your objective is to get the prospect to react to your ideas and to ultimately become engaged with the opportunity.
During the phone call or a meeting, be mindful of the time that the prospect has dedicated to you. The goal of this meeting is to answer his or her questions and concerns and to develop the next steps in this opportunity.
Most Importantly, Always, Always Follow Up
In your email message, let him or her know that you will follow up within a week to answer any questions. Before ending your phone call or in person meeting, close the conversation with a timeline for next steps. This puts a deadline on the opportunity that keeps your ideas relevant and no one is left thinking that they have wasted time.
What else do we need to know for making that perfect pitch? Share your comments below.