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Pitch perfect

Extend your network with a perfect pitch

In an increasingly competitive market, it helps to reach the right clients for your talents. Your pitch tells your story and helps qualify clients. It will always be a work in progress and will change depending on who you're talking to: a quick chat at a party, an interview or networking event requires a different version, but the underlying message shouldn't alter dramatically.

This post gives an overview of the CAPSTONE method of writing a pitch. It outlines 8 core aspects of a great pitch and is a shorthand for crafting your pitch. What I find useful when talking about what I do is to remember that you're just having a conversation. As a storyteller, use your pitch to see if you are the right fit for the person you're talking to, so you can engage them to tell you the story of their problems and requirements. If the stars align, great! Your pitch has started a meaningful conversation and moved you to the next step.

Each step in the journey from engagement to employment (sale) is a mini pitch in its own right. The CAPSTONE method gives you a mnemonic sequence that's not just great for remembering your own pitch (social anxiety tongue tie anyone?) it's a formula for any sales page on your site, or for writing client copy.

C: CLARITY

Be clear about who you are, what you do and how you do it for. Be clear about this at every point of interaction that shows what you do: site, social, published content, LinkedIn. Repeat this. Being clear here brings the best clients to you and qualifies others who aren't a good fit.

A: AUTHORITY

Make your expertise clear. Demonstrate why someone should listen to you: what's your claim to fame?

P: PROBLEMS AND PAIN POINTS

What are the 3 core areas that your audience will recognise? This reassures your audience that you know them and have the experience to understand and problem solve for them.

S: SOLUTION

The benefit they feel/see/experience from working with you. What does the client or business becomes through your service: more profitable and productive. People recognise a problem more than a solution. Once we prove we know the client's pain points, we then talk about the solution, in termos of the benefits people feel or what they become, not the services you deliver to get them there.

T: THE WHY

Why is this important to you? Sales is a transfer of enthusiasm, someone who's passionate has a clear why and a high level of enthusiasm, so demonstrate that you have an authentic passion for who you work for and what you do. Why do you have this passion? because you know your audience's problems

O: OPPORTUNITY

What it is that you do - it may not be the full delivery of your service at the first pitch, it may just be moving someone further along the engagement path with you, through (eg) scheduling a meeting.

N: NEXT STEPS

What are the next steps? On a website sales page, this is the call to action button. In a face to face, book a meeting, or a time to continue the conversation or follow up the lead.

E: ESSENCE

Sum up everything you've just said.

Extend your network with a perfect pitch

YOUR NEXT STEPS:

  1. Practice: tell your friends and family what you do and get feedback on your pitch.
  2. Save your pitch to your phone
  3. Print your pitch and pin it up
  4. You get what you pitch for: repeat your message: use your pitch on your home page, about page, blogs and social.
  5. Put together a basic slide show in case you've got an opportunity to present: visuals help reinforce your message.
  6. Be curious. Listen to other people's pitches and talk to your niche about their problems. The more you are able to show an affinity with your audience in your pitch, the more receptive they will be.
  7. Keep refining. Your pitch is never perfect.

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