What’s your pitch? Or what’s your sales pitch?
Those questions give me the heebie jeebies.
Why? Because if we’re not on Shark Tank, they’re typically not asked from someone who is really interested in what we’re offering…
Premature Pitches Are a Waste of Time
I’ve long proposed we need to ditch the pitch because pitching information about what we offer, surely the best thing in the world, before we know that our information will be well received versus batted away or ignored, is a waste of time.
The Trouble with Offering Seashells…
Case in point: I’m a beach walker – almost every morning possible when I’m in southern Florida. While I’m walking for cardio benefits, I’m typically also getting in some good calisthenics as I bend down to pick up beach trash, and during this clean up, I often find fabulous seashells.
Yesterday was one of those mornings, and I was quite excited to find three beauties during my walk… the problem is I don’t need any more seashells.
How exciting then when I see three adults down the beach walking toward me. I noticed they were right on the water’s edge bending down and reaching into the water for seashells… or so I thought.
As they approached, I energetically reached out my hand, proudly showing them these three shells.
I blurted out, “Here you can have these shells for your collection!”
The response? All three people gave a startled look as they stopped in their track and then started yammering.
One said, “Oh those are pretty.”
Another said, “No we don’t need them but thanks for the offer.”
And the third just stood there looking at me.
Now, these are awesome shells and I was not to be deterred. So I said, “No please take them I don’t need them. They’ll be great for you to take home.”
Silence on their end. I then added, “I noticed that you were picking up seashells on the way and I thought all these would be great for you.”
To which the young man then replied, “We’re not looking for seashells, we’re looking for shark teeth.”
Of course, they’re not going to be interested in these beautiful seashells if they’re looking for shark teeth.
So, then I say, “Oh have you found any?”
And they said no. So I immediately started offering them tips for how to find shark teeth. All the while they started slowly moving by me and looking at me like I was a crazy woman. As I finally turned away I realized what I’d done was a premature pitch. And no matter how beautiful these shells were, they had no interest or need for them.
What’s in it for Them?
That’s the problem with the premature pitch. No matter how much we believe in what we offer and how valuable what we have is; if that person doesn’t see any relevance to them for it, and has not admitted that they are interested…ANYTHING we say makes us look like crazy people.
Connect Value…or Keep Walking
If instead I’d have greeted these people and asked them what they were looking for and what their experiences were, and whether they wanted any help or suggestions, that whole awkward conversation could have been avoided.
What a great reminder! If we can’t connect what we’re offering to that person and their situation and if they haven’t expressed a willingness to hear what we have, we should not share a pitch and just keep walking.
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