August 30, 2022
The Pitch - Part I
I'll let you know right off, this will be a multiple-part blog, a miniseries if you will.
Okay, for those who are still reading, let me start by admitting I did not think of the ten points I'll cover over the next few weeks. I learned about them in a webinar regarding public speaking. I think they're valid points, organized, in a logical order, and have been used in one form or another by salesman since the serpent tempted Eve.
I thought about this blog after I watched a webinar that used these points, one after another as if the guy were reading a script. I recognized what he was doing. Before I go too much deeper, may I be allowed to release some tension and frustration via a minor rant?
Have you ever been scrolling through the social media posts and come across an offer for a 'Masterclass?' Many times, you're seeing these because the algorithms of whatever platform you're on have determined you have a high probability of interest in the topic.
I'm not talking about the seminars by famous authors, because I haven't taken one. I'd like to but haven't found the time and money and opportunity for one. No, I'm talking about webinars offering resume writing, better ways of searching for your next job, how to increase internet sales, etc.
Most are nothing but 60-90 minutes sales gimmicks. They give you just enough material to lure you in, so they can offer an extended course that will cost you. The latest one I watched contained some decent stats and facts. I'm sure the guy did his homework, and much of what he related probably was true. However…
So, here's a quick run-down of the steps presented before we delve deeper into each one.
The pitch starts with an energetic person who's 'really excited' and will continue to say he's 'really excited' throughout the presentation. He's bubbling over with enthusiasm and wants you to join him in the excitement. He spends about 10-15 minutes telling you why he's qualified to speak on this subject and what he's going to present. Then he tells the problem explaining in detail, giving his stats, reiterating that the way you've been doing things is outdated. He'll take up another 10-15 minutes for this. Then he'll start sprinkling in what the solution is, maybe through several bullet points. Not a complete solution, just enough to lure you in.
These points are interspersed with testimonials and are the first clue that this is a sales job. He'll give examples of people at the bottom, who were ready to give up when lo' and behold, they ran across the answer through this seminar/course/program.
Then, the guy moves into his sales pitch. He has a sixty-day course and proceeds to lay out all the parts of the course, giving a 'value' to each course. Then, he'll throw in some freebies on top. He finally gives you the price and makes a limited-time offer and a guarantee. Then, he wraps it up with a call to action.
I know the tone here is a bit cynical, but I'm not trying to run down the method used. It's worked for years for many businesses. Not every pitch uses all the steps and sometimes, the presentation may gloss over a few while giving others more focus. The point is, that each is valid, beneficial in its way and when used properly, can work to present a quality service or product. My frustration comes in being forced into watching an hour or more of the video only to wind up discovering that what's being pushed isn't quite what I expected, especially when I realize I have to spend more for the 'really' good stuff.
If you'll follow me for a while, I promise not to lead you astray. My point is to show you the method, so you'll be able to better recognize it the next time you encounter it. Let's explore each of these points with an association to writing and software that has benefited numerous companies and one that is worth your time to investigate. A computerized maintenance management system. (CMMS)