Posted: Mon 23rd May 2022
Whether you want to approach potential customers, investors, partners, influencers or suppliers, your business's success hinges on your ability to get attention from the people who matter. When you're trying to do that remotely, you should get back to the basics of what business development is all about: building relationships.
Here are some of my top tips for crafting a pitch that resonates.
To learn more about Dave's innovative approaches to business development, why not connect with him on Enterprise Nation?
1. Personalise your pitch
It is impossible to underestimate the importance of personalising any pitch you make. According to research by LawnStarter, 90% of customers prefer working with companies that personalise customer service.
You won't get a rapturous response by sending generic messages because a one-size-fits-all approach aligns your business with the negative associations of spam. People respond best when they feel appreciated, and the best way to achieve that is to tailor your pitch to suit the recipient at every available opportunity. Nothing will more greatly influence its success.
2. Choose innovative channels
If you want to stand out, don't follow the herd. Marketers have saturated cold outreach channels to the point of exhaustion.
On average, recipients click fewer than three in 100 emails. The cost, invasiveness and futility of cold calling have consigned it to the deep freeze. Direct mail, networking and events have returned to the table now COVID-19 working restrictions have passed, but do they present genuine opportunities to make proactive pitches, or are they a waste of precious time and resources?
Social media has never been noisier, but it offers direct relationship-building opportunities that other channels cannot match. It makes sense to tap into the potential, but be very careful how you do it; there's no faster way to alienate a person than forcibly selling.
Video is a great medium to exploit because it retains the appeal of face-to-face contact without the limitations of geographic location. So compelling are videos at cutting through that 90% of customers say that videos help to influence buying decisions. Just be sure you don't mistake content marketing with cold outreach (hint: the difference lies in adhering to the principles of point one above).
3. Focus on quality
Pitching a product or service isn't just about starting a conversation. It's about setting the bar at the appropriate level. There is no point in getting someone's attention if you leave them with a poor impression of your business.
The profitability of your business lies in your ability to control the perception of value. If you want to make a solid pitch that lays the foundations for profitable growth, take the time to do it as well as possible. It will pay you back tenfold should those conversations start meandering towards price.
4. Consider the journey
It's essential to make a great first impression with your pitch, but have you thought clearly about what happens next? If you don't take the time to plan the journey you want to take the person on, your efforts in getting their attention are in vain.
Fact-based case studies demonstrating your work's impact help to back up your words with real substance. Creating unique insight leaves a lasting impression beyond the initial conversation and marks you out as someone of genuine value.
Such content takes time to prepare, but it works wonders in establishing the credibility of both you and your business.
There are no shortcuts to pitching success and be wary of anyone or anything that make promises as such. Nonetheless, there are many things that you can do to improve your chances, and all involve a more empathetic approach.
Empathy is the missing ingredient in so much business development activity. The hunt for quick wins may occasionally deliver, but it's hard to repeat, and the ultimate value is always questionable.
The only way to improve your chances of pitching is to put the recipient front and centre. If you can consider everything you do from their perspective and craft your pitch accordingly, you will always create space to leave a remarkable impression.