Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

All present and correct: four steps to delivering the perfect pitch

You can vastly improve your sales, marketing and business development success.
Obviously, you're wondering: how? The answer is by asking yourself four vital questions before you touch a keyboard. Or write a word. Or open a blank PowerPoint presentation.

Question one. What exactly are you selling?
It's not always the product or service. Nor is it always plainly obvious. You need to look beneath the surface.

It is not an insurance policy; it is peace of mind. It is not a mortgage; it is the ability to own a house. It is not a car; it is the ability to be free, to travel from A to Z conveniently. A charitable donation? It is given because it makes someone feel connected, helpful, better about themselves (rather than the fact that they can help fund the maintenance contract on the charity's photocopier).

Question two. Who is your audience?
You must know exactly who you are selling or marketing to, and where you'll find them.
Is it corporate managers? Is it business owners? Is it individuals who can afford to donate, or businesses? What are they reading? What are they doing in their spare time? What organisations, clubs do they belong to? In other words, where will you find their eyes?

As an example, let me take you back to a meeting I had last week.

The director of a charity telephoned, asking if I could help the organisation with its Web 2.0 strategy. As in Facebook, YouTube, viral marketing. Social media of this type was going to be the main fundraising and communication vehicle for the charity.

"I'm not a consultant and I don't focus on social media, but I'll be happy to come in and talk about your email and database marketing strategy if you like," I replied. As you would, I quickly scanned the charity's website and read through a four-page overview/donation request it sent me.

Six ladies sat around the table. The director and founder were 40-plus. One of their mentors, a lovely woman, was in her late 30s, I'd guess. Four staff members were in their 20s.

I asked them: "What are your business goals? People work on emotions. What hot button do you want to tap? What is your marketing strategy?"

The director replied, in essence: "Our overall goal is to grow the charity from its current Auckland base to a national scale. Then take it worldwide. It costs money to run our programmes, so of course we primarily need financial sustainability. We want to create a viral buzz, generate income and growth from people going back again and again to our website."

I felt compelled to give my opinion rather than yes-ing them. "Since funding is primary and absolutely required, who is your real audience, at least your initial audience?"

Like the famous "Show me the money" line in the movie Jerry McGuire, I suggested they were not focusing on the audience with the ability to give them the money.

"In my experience working with thousands of businesspeople over the past 10 years, the people with money - donors and sponsors - will come primarily from a business audience. People in business are fabulously busy and not going to spend time chatting online, or reading through posts on websites."

Knowing your audience also means understanding what their self-interests are. Then you can target those interests directly.

You've heard a thousand times before to sell benefits, not features. But something rarely suggested is to put everything you say in their perspective. In other words, having a high I/You ratio. Meaning almost nothing about you or your business - and everything about them.

Question three and four go hand in hand. How much is it worth to you and how much time do you have?
If you have 10 minutes to present a proposal to a committee of five and it's a $100,000 sale, each second of your presentation is worth $167.67. Don't waste time with the ordinary. "Gentleman, thank you for having me here and allowing our company to present this proposal to you" has just wasted 10 seconds - or $1676.70.

In closing and highlighting the four points, my suggestion to the charity was that instead of trying to drive young individuals to the website to congregate and hopefully donate, it should instead try to get in front of corporate social clubs, associations and corporations and aim to become the charity of choice for the forthcoming year.

If it knew the committee was looking at other charities too, its presentation could start with: "I know you are considering Charity X for your sponsorship this year. They're a wonderful charity and deserve your support. At another time. But this year, these are the three reasons you should partner with us" - then it should list:

How your company's members or staff will benefit.
How it assists your company's branding-image-sponsorship parameters.
Illustrate, by way of a story, the emotional satisfaction staff or members will get from taking part.

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! ( and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?

This article is copyright to Debbie Mayo-Smith & SuccessIS. You may use it for your newsletter, website or as an article. It can be reproduced - but in its entirety and with inclusion of Debbie Mayo-Smith as the author and the weblink


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