July 11, 2022

#53 - Making Your Sales Pitch: Things to know.

Everyone need to be able to deliver a quick and compelling pitch. Whether you're talking to investors or customers, at a cocktail party or your kid's soccer game, you will inevitably find yourself needing to explain what it is you do and why it matters effectively and crisply. 

 In this 11 minute chat, Brendan and Bob talk about some of the nuances and considerations that go into a good pitch.

Everyone need to be able to deliver a quick and compelling pitch. Whether you're talking to investors or customers, at a cocktail party or your kid's soccer game, you will inevitably find yourself needing to explain what it is you do and why it matters effectively and crisply. 

 In this 11 minute chat, Brendan and Bob talk about some of the nuances and considerations that go into a good pitch.  

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Okay, Bob guess? Uh, well, you know, it's another episode of Let's Chat Sales, 

Let's Chat Sales!  

And so we're gonna talk about, I thought we should talk about these open mic pitch nights. 

You know what I'm talking about when you do like a pitch to someone, to a company, to an investor, to a room of people and you got there's or friend, what 

it could be to a friend, right. Could be what, Hey, what are you up to these days?

Yeah, well, I guess I don't pitch friends much, but, um, so I'm thinking, you know, we've done a couple of these pitch practice training sessions. 

And there's some common things that, that we're seeing, you know what I mean?

Mm-hmm,  things that are suboptimal. Let's put it that way. Yep. So, what comes to mind for you? Right? 

First one to me is not thinking about it from the customer's perspective. 


Yeah. Know, the other night we did one of these and you said at least four times. And I know I've said at least twice... 

everything should be from your customer's perspective.

Yeah. They don't care about you. They care about their problem. They care about their solution.

And even more so their language yep. And their experiences are what you're really trying to get to. 


Yep. And something as simple as switching from the phrase I, or they to you... makes a huge difference. 

Just being able to say... you've got this great idea. You're doing this. You have this problem. 

You probably have this concern problem. You've seen this before. Have you ever right? 

That sort of thing. That makes a big 

difference. Yeah. It also is a sign to confidence.

That you know what you're talking. Yep. I I've seen this happen as different than you probably are experiencing this.  

One that I find that's happens a lot is... the structure of this thing that we do these open mic pitch nights is a two minute talk.

Anyone can get up and talk about their company or themselves or whatever for two minutes.

And the thing that I think people don't recognize is two minutes is a long time. 

And you can get a lot done in two minutes. But people to have a tendency to, to rush. And there's something we said for pacing... and pausing...

and taking a moment and letting people, you know, you ask a question of someone

in the course of your presentation, you have to wait a second to allow them to ostensibly answer it, at least answer in their head.

Right. Mm-hmm . . 

Yeah, I think that's a big one. You know, you asked the question at the start, 

what's the biggest problem your company faces now, and you go right into it and you don't give 'em the second to be like...

well, it could be, finances could be, this could be this. They need to go through that.

Yeah. And also I think when you make a dramatic point, You've gotta stop. 

Or if you crack a joke. Yeah. You look at great comedians. Yeah. They crack the joke and then they wait for the applause to die down. 

So you've gotta give people that space or else the second time you crack a joke.

They're not gonna... they know that they're gonna get in trouble if they laugh cause they won't hear what you're saying. 

So you control that a lot.

That's funny among all the presenters we had the other night humor was not common, there were just a couple instances where there was humor.

That's kind of, and it works so well. It does. Yeah. It's it's um, it's disarming. 

I think it also shows that the person speaking is comfortable with their topic.  You know, if you can make a joke about it, like the other night, one of the people talked about funding.  And he said, we're looking for a million in funding.

No, no. And it was just funny. Yeah. It was just, yeah. Right. Legitimately 

funny. Yeah. 

At the time. Yeah. Because so many people pitch a million dollars. He's like, no, no, that's not what we want. 

He's actually 10, but yes. Was it 10? 

Okay. But what I found myself doing was after he said that, and I laughed, I was really eager to hear what the real number was.

Yeah. Right. It made me pay close attention to the next thing in a way that I wouldn't have. 

 That's a good observation. I like that.  What do you have? What else? I, I think, um, 

having command of the space. You know, we saw some presenters, thankfully they didn't have a podium to stand behind.

Yep but making eye contact. Some of those simple things, looking people in the eye. 

Moving around a bit. Using your hands. Not being a stick figure. Those go a long way. 



You know... taking a deep breath before you start.

One of the things I try to do when I get on stage is first thing I do when I go on the stage is take a deep breath.

 And just take it in. And the audience is anticipating at that point. And that's a good thing.

Uh, one for me that I spend a lot of time reminding myself of, uh, is that when you get in front of a crowd like this, 

they want, they want you to succeed.

there's a phrase.  You let, let yourself fall and the audience will catch you.  

That you, we create this pressure when we stand up in front of people and think, oh my God, I'm, I'm, I'm under this great stress now. 

And the truth of the matter is, is most people in the audience don't wanna see you fail.

They wanna see you succeed at this. 

They want you to be engaging and entertaining and meaningful. 

And so they're not out to get you. And I think that oftentimes a lot of um, presenters get up 

and they put that burden on themselves and they don't need to, 

and I've talked to investors and venture capitalists at various times, they are the same way.

They really want someone to give a great presentation.   They're not looking for flaws.  They're looking for great things. 

. And I think the more you can keep that in mind, the more powerful you can be in achieving

that goal of getting up in front of someone in two minutes and sharing something valuable.

I'm gonna, I'm gonna push back on, on you a little bit there, uh, because that's a crowd that's particularly critical. 

That's a crowd, the VC, the investor crowd. They are, they are a, a critical bunch as a general rule.

But they're looking for success. 

They, they wanna see good stuff, but they are, they're quick to figure out where the problem is.

And, and what they'll do is they'll point out the problem and then they'll see how you respond to it that. They'll, they'll look to see... 

what's your thinking process about this particular issue, but, that's my slight disagreement with you about VC. That's fine. 

They're a, I don't think they're going in there going.

I'm going to be negative towards these people. Yeah. That's certainly true. You know, and I think often when I talk to founders, that's their perception. 

Like I'm going into a den of bears ready to eat me alive. Yeah. Because they're all investors and venture capitalists.

What I've found in talking to them, the venture capitalists and the investors, is they go in that room really hoping.

Yeah. Eager to find something great. 

Well, yeah, certainly. Yeah. Uh, what else, what else do you have?

I'm running out actually. Really? Yes.  

You have more. Oh, I, yeah. Um, we talk about the, we talk a little bit about getting their attention at the very beginning mm-hmm  yeah. Very good.

And so, so the first sentence or two out of your mouth, uh, the first thing you say to this crowd is...

is it has to make it interesting. It's it's a little bit like writing copy, right? 

When you write copy, one of the objectives about writing copy is every sentence should make you wanna read the next sentence.

Mm-hmm, , that's kind of a mantra in the, in that field and this is the same is true with your pitch.

And that is... it can be short or long, but as long as, as you get their interest in the beginning...

that's, that's particularly important. And so that hook, that, that what you say at the front is gonna be very important.

Um, uh, what else was I gonna say? What 

that comes to mind is, uh, you can involve a personal story. 

We, we saw a great example of that the other night, where someone went from a very, I would say, sterile presentation to a very personal presentation. 

And it was like night and day. So much. So then the middle, she reached a point and the audience started to clap in support.

Of this moment that she achieved, which was just really amazing because if you can get the audience to clap in the middle,

you've got something going on. And I think so often people are trying not to make it personal. 

Not that we wanna know that you were sitting in your basement for eight years, thinking about this problem.

but why you're passionate about it.  You know,  if your uncle died of the cancer you're researching, that's a relevant factor. 

And that's what the audience needs to know. And I find people are very reluctant to be personal, to be vulnerable,

to share the part of it that really is at the core of it.

 I like you Brendan, because you're really passionate about sales.  And it's, it's who you. 

You know,  we were out for drinks the other day and you were doing some sales coaching in that moment and that's just who you are

(unsuccessfully. I might add), you might add. Oh. 

Uh, the other one I have, uh, is...

less is more.

And that is, I found that a number of people  in the session were, were trying to pack too much stuff into the two minutes.  

And it overwhelms the audience, but more importantly, it overwhelms the speaker because you have to remember all these details. 

So if you can chunk things  into smaller bites and, and you, you know, you mentioned stories.

 If you think in terms of one particular story and then it links to another story and it links to a third story...

and then you're done. That sort of thing. You know, you get that story comfortable enough ...

it's a little bit like telling a joke. You know, how a joke goes and you tell it a few times, you get the point where you know all the details and you can just, you know, rattle it off and you remember it.

And in the same way,  three different little stories can make your pitch, and put you in a position of comfort. 

Or two or one, it doesn't have to be three. It can be one really good story. 

Yeah. Right. The, the other thing. So last, just to kind of wrap up, unless you have something else, do you have me?

No, go ahead. So just to wrap up, the session that we did, we've done this now twice and we're gonna do it again in September. 

Um, I'm, I'm stunned at how much progress you can make in a couple hours.  It runs in like two and a half hours.

It was, it was remarkable how much progress the folks made in that period of time ...

just by having a structure and being able to have 'em go through it over and over again.

Several times... get critique from others. It was really, uh, you know, as, as many times we do this, it's still surprising.

Oh, yeah. And, and Brendan, we should offer this if someone's struggling with their pitch and they want to talk about it. I know. 

You'd love to talk to 'em. I certainly would love to talk to 'em. Sure. Yeah. We might be able to help 'em so you can track us down. Yeah. Not that hard to 

find. Yeah. hello@letschatsales sales. There you 

go. That's it. There you 

go. Okay. Com that is hello. Let's Chat Sales dot com. 

Yeah. I did not know that that was it. Oh yeah. Yeah. That was, I start sending an email to that daily. 

Oh yeah. Oh good. So, uh, with that, Hey, I thought we did a, I, we beat it up.

Didn't we? We did. Oh, there's more, but we'll get back to it. All right. Well, let's talk again soon, Bob. 

We should. I hope so really soon. See you, man. 

Okay. That was another episode of Let's Chat Sales and as always... thank you for listening and watching and the stuff that you do. 

And by all means, if you liked it... click the button, do the, thank you the like and subscribe things and share with your friends. And look at this one right here. This'll be a good one. 

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