When I hear the phrase “pitching business,” my mind conjures up a baseball machine that has perfect aim, but routinely shoots balls out without strategizing about the next steps or end results. I also think of the lonely person who lacks friends, associates, confidence and self-esteem, but uses the same pick-up line in hopes of conversing with someone other than themselves.
And lately, the phrase “pitching business” makes me think of the ill-prepared practitioner who agrees to assist a person without first assessing whether or not they can actually help. Needless to say, the term pitching business brings about a negative connotation of someone trying to hit it and quit it without even considering the other person on the receiving end.
I’ve been there, done that, was guilty of it and was victimized by those who “pitch” their business instead of at least getting to know me... first. What I have learned through the years is that ill-thought out, random pitches won’t inspire emotional people who have emotionally-linked problems to receive what you are offering. So the next time you attend a meet and greet, please consider these few things before you pitch someone out of your sales funnel.
First, people are only interested in others who can help them with their business, resolve a problem or fill a need. Unfortunately, most are not interested in your titles, your vocation, your degrees and/or pedigrees. Instead, emotional people want to know if you will listen to them and whether or not you impressed them with your listening skills at your first meeting.
Second, people need a clear and concise reason to remember you in their time of need. Nothing kills an opportunity more than being unprepared. If you don’t know how to introduce yourself by telling them how you can help them, you will not get to their email address/telephone number. In the alternative, you get their card out of pity, but they don't remember you.
Third, you should know who you are working with. Sometimes the person you meet may not be the person you can help, but that person may have a friend. However, if you start acting desperate by passing out business cards to anyone with a pulse without at first getting to know the others needs and wants, no one will take you seriously. Worse yet, your actions of unpreparedness will negate any possibility of receiving a warm referral.
Fourth, present yourself as an expert in your field. Instead of pitching someone out, show up as the expert who helps others be better. The best way to do this is to listen to diagnose the problem. Even if you started the week before your networking event, never let anyone see you sweat. And never share with anyone that you are new at the entrepreneurial game unless of course you really want to fail.
Lastly, nod, smile and be confident about who you are and what you do. You can be the most inexperienced person in the lobby or hotel, but if you allow people to talk and you show up to listen, people will like you. Additionally, when you actively listen, people will tell you how you can help them. And when you follow-up with your new contact with a solution to their problems, you become more than a business card, you become a solution.
If you follow these few tip, there will be plenty who will appreciate your willingness to help them seek better and do more. And when you give people more than they expect, they will keep coming back for more.
Toni Moore, Esquire is a Legal Coach, Purposeful Makeover Strategist who inspires women to reimage the endless possibilities of being more. For more information, please visit Toni at www.divamoment.org.
Toni Moore, Esq.
Toni is an attorney and business coach who is committed to helping women uplevel their success.
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