August 30, 2022
The Pitch - Part II
This is the second part of what many of us have experienced throughout the years, the sales pitch. As mentioned last week, there are ten steps to this. Let's delve into the first three.
The way you eat may be killing you! Did you know that each cigarette takes eleven minutes off your life? The way you're looking for jobs is completely incorrect.
The first job of the pitch is to grab your attention by making a statement or asking questions that resonate with you. There are variations in this first step, but companies have to be careful of the questions asked. For instance, if the above question regarding cigarettes is asked and you say, "Yes, that's why I don't smoke," then you're off the hook, so to speak.
I attended a business seminar regarding the promotion of martial arts. One school grabbed attention at family-oriented community events by stating, "Hey, I'll bet your child would love karate." The instructor held out a plastic re-breakable board to entice the youngster into breaking it with a front kick. If the parent(s) expressed interest after the break, the instructor would guide them to the next station to continue the discussion.
Many commercials or late-night half-hour commercials for a product will start this way. Sure, many of the products are cheesy, and you wonder why they are still using the playbook from decades ago. However, you find yourself watching, nonetheless, don't you? At least for a little while, right?
Don't feel bad. At least you're intelligent enough to recognize fluff when you see it. Retail stores use a version of this. How big are those SALE signs in the windows? How about the guy in the costume at the entrance to the store holding a sign promoting the sale?
It's part of the psychology. It's akin to putting the milk in the cooler in the back. Grocery stores make you walk to the rear of the store hoping you'll be enticed to pick up a few more items along the way by attractive end displays.
Writers are encouraged to use a hook when querying agents/publishers. In this instance, though, it is advised to not ask a yes/no question because if the agent gives the incorrect answer, you're sunk right away.
I remember an early writers critique group meeting I attended. One of the topics discussed was a book's first chapter/scene/line. How the author needed to grab attention. One of the members grabbed a new release by a literary author and read the first line. I don't remember the book (honestly, I don't. I'm not claiming ignorance because I want to avoid trashing the particular book, I really don't remember), but the first line did not make me want to read more. It was pretty dull.
In relation to a CMMS, let me ask these questions: Are you having serious issues in your maintenance department? Is your inventory disorganized? Does your equipment not last as long as it should?
Let me tell you a story.
This is the credibility part of the pitch. You're not going to automatically purchase based on what this guy says without some backstory. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing. If he's selling something, I'd hear a little bit of where he came from and the situation that led him to a solution. Unfortunately, most of the time, I received an extended biography of the problem, a couple of attempts at reconciliation, then finally came across either the method or a friend who used the method and together they expanded it. As mentioned last week, in many webinars, this lasts 10-15 minutes. I admit to being sucked into today's fast-paced society at times. After a few minutes, of this lengthy history, I'm bored and just want him to get on with it.
When the speaker relates his personal story, that's supposed to put him on a similar level to his audience. "I had the same problem as you. Let me tell you about it." The speaker may give other examples, but more often those are saved until later.
Authors have the same credibility issue. Yes, the adage is 'Write what you know.' So, you have doctors writing medical thrillers; lawyers writing legal mysteries; cops writing police procedurals. There's nothing wrong with this. These people have had experience in the field in which they're writing.
Let me offer you some CMMS history. I promise it won't take you too long to review it and it won't bore you. It does show that the experience level is long-term, that we didn't just start last month.
You've grabbed the audience's attention and related a personal story. Now, show some results and detail the benefits.
I learned aspects of this idea in a former position. Often, the team held discussions regarding what images to use for certain ads. Having a guy in a work shirt holding a wrench with a car on the lift in the background was kind of amateur to use for a car mechanic. You know he's a car mechanic. Ditto with the stereotypical doctor with the stethoscope around his neck or the realtor handing over the keys to the new house to the smiling family.
Another aspect involved medicines or medical devices. For example, why show the rendering of pain or a person on the ground holding his/her ankle? You don't want the negativity. The audience already knows what the pain feels like. Instead, you want to show the person running along a forest trail or playing tennis and smiling. Positive images.
Regarding a CMMS, the benefits are numerous. It all depends on how they are presented. Can your system increase productivity by 40% in 90 days? Result in a reduction in emergency work orders? 100% accuracy audit rating?
Some things to think about, right? If a CMMS can offer this, wouldn't you be intrigued to investigate further? Join me next week as we investigate the next few steps in the pitch. Meanwhile, to jump ahead in the line, call 800-922-4336 to talk to a Mapcon representative. He'll steer you down the right path to success.