Strategy Series Lesson 5: Before You Pitch Your Biz, Do This…

One strategy that we TOTALLY dive into in the ReThink Strategy ebook and course is pitching and strategically pitching specific persons, through specific channels. But today, for lesson 5, I want to drop you 5 of the MAJOR mistakes people commonly make and musts your proposal or pitch should have before you hit send!
An Objective Clearly Stated
What is the purpose of this potential partnership, collaboration, event or to have you speak? What is the clear reason that you are pitching this potential company? It is important to do your research before pitching a particular company and learn what kinds of events they’ve done before and what types of companies they have and want to work with. After learning these things, you want to create a few options of how you can work together. Yes, you need to come up with a couple of really good ideas BEFORE you reach out to them ( a couple of options or one strong idea) of how you could work together or what you could offer. You’d be amazed at how many pitches are missing the key first step-telling the contact, ” why they should read this“. Keep in mind, that this is your most important step, as many of the people you will pitch are reading many proposals per week and yours must stand out AND have a well researched purpose and angle to get their attention. Make sure yours is clear to give your proposal a fighting chance. 
An Understanding of the Contact’s Goals/Mission
This brings us to the contact’s goals or mission. Sometimes simple research can tell you EXACTLY what the contact is hoping to do for the upcoming year. I’ve done research before pitching a company before and found a press release with the founder speaking on how he wanted to invest more in the ” women in business, lean in movement”…. What does this tell me? I have an awesome chance of at least getting his attention. Do your research to see what your contact or organization is saying in the news, what projects they are working on, and what they may need more of- it just might be working with more companies like yours! If their mission is saving the earth, using green products and services, and that is exactly what your company represents, this of course increases your chances. But if this is not what your company represents, this lets you know that it may be that much harder to pitch them. 
Benefits to the Contact
Ninety nine percent of the pitches I get are ALL about them. What they would benefit, what they need, why collaboration would work out for them…. Sounds funny right? But haven’t you done that? This will get your pitch thrown away. The way to engage someone, whether it be in person or on paper is to make it all about them. Why would this collaboration work for them? What would be all of the benefits to them, bulleted, step by step in a clear way that leans more to the benefit of the contact. The whole time you’re writing, proposing, or meeting, think like this, ” What’s in it for them and is it clear?”
Real Numbers & Marketing Plan
The worst thing you can send someone is a set of numbers on an event that you’ve never had. How do you know it will bring in xxx amount of people? How do you know I will get exposure? So you’re simply guessing and shoveling me some crap right? Don’t do this. If you haven’t done a particular project yet, simply state what you will do to make this one a success. List what you have been successful in and how you will transfer those skills to this current project. AS SOON AS I get a proposal with numbers and projections on a project that they’ve NEVER done, it quickly goes in the trash. Being a newbie is not a curse, I’d rather someone be honest and tell me they will bust their azz as opposed to blowing smoke up mine. Speak on what you know, tell them you’ll do your best. Show a well thought out marketing plan, and KEEP YOUR WORD!
Second part, this is where you need to do the work. Exactly how will you make this pitch worth their while? How will you market it? What is your marketing plan? is it simply Facebook posts? Scratch that, and start your plan again. You need to create a multi-level, multi-channel marketing plan to get the attention of big name companies and high level connections to collaborate or hire you. 
The marketing plan that I put together for that Fortune 500 company AFTER they hired me….. felt like I was creating a proposal to save my life. It involved a MASSIVE amount of research into different marketing practices, tested models and innovative ideas. When you’re pitching, you have to be ready to put in the work!
Simple Next Steps
Don’t make it hard for someone to give you a yes. This is a huge mistake as well. Don’t make folks find your phone number, or email address, or how to pay you. Make it easy to give you a yes or no. Have your email address readily available. Make it no more than 2 clicks to transfer money to you. Clearly state your purpose, your plan and the benefits, then ask for ONE call to action. Either to call to further discuss. Tell them that you will be calling in a couple of days to discuss, or a click to pay. These folks are busy and searching for a reason to say no… don’t give them one. 
So CEOs, who are you going to pitch first? 
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