Creating a Successful Pitch

I recently spoke at a conference in which Kevin O’Leary aka “Mr Wonderful” was a keynote speaker. I have seen many well-known speakers as keynotes, and few actually live up to the hype. But Kevin did not disappoint. I wish he would have gone on for another hour. He was very likable and brutally honest. In this blog post, the first of three highlighting what Kevin shared, I discuss what he said about creating a successful pitch.

Personalizing The Pitch

On Shark Tank, entrepreneurs live and die by their pitch. While few of us will ever go on Shark Tank, we are constantly pitching ourselves to others. Whether we are trying to impress our employer for a promotion, a raise or just to keep a job. Or we work in a relationship business where trust and personal integrity are paramount. We are always pitching ourselves to others.

1. Articulate Pitch in 90 Seconds or Less

This is our elevator pitch. Our opportunity is what we are looking to gain. If it’s a raise, we want to have concise reasons as to what we have done to deserve such a raise. If we are looking to work with a new client, we need to specify what we do and why that would be a benefit to the prospective client. We need to say something to interest them enough to invest 30 minutes with us in a call or face to face meeting. This is really a first impression. We either get their attention or we lose it. This is not easy. I struggle with it. Sure it may only be 90 seconds in length, but it may take 90 days to actually create and perfect it.

2. Explain Why You Are The Right Person


This is your personal value proposition. So let’s say there is interest in what you are saying. The product is good or the service is desirable. Why should you get the business and not your competitor? What do you bring to the table that is unique? Why should your boss give you a raise over your co-worker? This also requires time to consider. Because many of us face a lot of competition, it will be difficult to figure out what makes you different and better than the other. But if you don’t differentiate yourself from the competition, don’t expect the prospective client to.

3. Know Your Numbers!

Kevin said that even if he loves the pitch and the person, if they don’t know their numbers they are “dead to him”. No chance at a deal. What are your numbers? Think about what you have contributed to your employer that justifies your raise or promotion. Do you have specific numbers about increased traffic, increased revenue or reduced expenses? If you are looking to sell a product, what is your desired sales price and bottom line sales price?

When it comes to a service, what will the person pay you and, more importantly, what will they get in return. How does that compare with competitors and why is your offering a better value for them, even if the price is higher?

I encourage you to check back next week where I will share Kevin’s “Attributes of Successful Managers”. And you don’t have to be a manager to benefit! It will apply in many aspects of life.