Why ‘let’s hear your pitch then” are words no one should ever hear (and what to do if you hear them)

12 Aug 2019

"Right, let's hear your pitch then."

There are very few word combinations that can cause by heart to sink quite as quickly but unfortunately it has become the automatic default for far too many people at a first meeting. 

The only problem is that while the person asking for the pitch thinks it’s going to speed things up, it actually wastes more of their time because the person who’s been asked to provide pitch has no understanding of what to say to keep things relevant and interesting so they’ll just fill the air with waffle.

And this is why so many attempts to spark up a potential working relationship fall at the first.

I often wonder why people (and I very much include very experienced salespeople in under that umbrella) feel the urge to hurtle into a pitch at the first opportunity.  Expectation and tradition are definitely contributory factors but a lack of training is also a massive reason; people simply aren’t being shown how to manage a first meeting … from either side of the table.  But a first meeting is only going to have value for both sides if it’s a conversation and conversations can’t work without both sides asking questions and listening to (and reacting to) the answers.

If you find yourself sitting opposite a prospective client and you hear those dreaded words - "right, let's hear your pitch then" – don’t just launch into a pre-prepared spiel.  Instead have the courage to take a step back and say that before you do, you’d like some more details.  Ask for a clearer idea of the issues they’re currently facing, what they want to achieve in the short and medium terms and ask what they think is stopping them from doing so.

This will not only help you to build rapport and open up a proper conversation, it’ll also give you what you need to provide the right answers, to accentuate the right points and drop in the most relevant examples/stories/names to back up what you’re saying ...

... And because the person you’re speaking to will have heard more of what they actually need to hear, it’ll increase the likelihood of you leaving the table having already agreed that all important second meeting.

If you’d like to have a chat about how you could improve the way you manage your first meetings with prospective clients or potential referrers, please drop me a line and we can find a convenient time.

Posted by Douglas  |   0 Comments

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