By: Isha Edwards
The best definition of a pitch is a concise verbal or visual presentation of an idea. In film and television, for example, a screenwriter or director will pitch to a producer or studio executive to garner funding. In business, a pitch is known as a proposal and it is used to garner sales. Even though the audience differs, strategies used to pitch in entertainment may be applied in business and in the workplace.
Here are four tips for selling your ideas:
1. Mention the need for a new position, change in job title, or primary/ancillary services in second person and indirectly. Why? Providing bits of information about what you need versus what I want creates a dialogue with the essential feedback needed to create a compelling pitch; rework or even dissolve the effort. Explain what you notice: Due to lack of (fill in the blank) XYZ is missing opportunities to increase awareness, credibility, and sales. Wait for a response. If interest peaks, move to Tip #2.
2. Demonstrate that your idea is vital by providing examples of how you would fulfill the need. In other words, instead of saying what should be done, implement part of the solution. Garnering measurable success is also essential so launch an initiative or two, in conjunction with an existing assign, which increases awareness or saves money. Having measurable success provides talking points for your idea.
3. Create a formal pitch when the appropriate person’s interest has been peaked and you have two or three supporters of your idea. When used for good, peer pressure is an ally. Financing is usually a major hurdle to cross. Some managers and leaders will welcome free labor without changing titles, pay, or providing acceptable incentives while others will renege on the promise to promote or retain your services once they have run your idea up the flag pole. Whether it is a client in need of primary/ancillary services or a company official (HR, finance/accounting, or a senior exec.) considering a new position, service, or a title change, money will always impact results. Have a counter for those who can make or break your idea. Your pitch should be brief, yet concise (try to keep it to one page), compelling, and profitable.
4. Ask for a commitment. If adding a position, service, or expanding an initiative positively impacts the bottom line, then when will the company implement your idea? If the powers that be provide excuses, move on; pitch your ideas elsewhere. If a company official speaks in the affirmative and asks for time, wait patiently as they work through the procedures to “upgrade” you. If a company official makes a less than stellar offer, counter with the request for comparable compensation, e.g., their offer plus commission/royalties, the option to telecommute, the option to work fewer hours for the same pay, an increase in vacation days, or contractual work by project.
The key to pitching effectively in business or in the workplace is to introduce the concept gradually. Although you certainly want to make your pitch as compelling as a movie trailer, you do not want to offer so much that those in authority can steal your ideas and work around hiring or promoting you to do the job. Exceptional ideas are both memorable and profitable (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.) so be sure that you are credited for your idea before it goes live.
Are you having problems selling your ideas? Let’s discuss solutions in the comment area below.
Isha Edwards (Social Networking) – an idea catalyst for individuals and organizations across 12 industries including music, media, fashion, film, academia, professional services, nonprofit, and small business administration. Through EPiC Measures, Isha provides brand-driven marketing consulting and business development services. For more information on Isha Edwards go to www.ishaedwards.com.