5 Pitching Don’ts and How To Avoid Them

pitching clients don'ts
Pitching clients isn’t rocket science, nor should it be, it’s simply a matter of tapping into prospective client needs

 

Pitching clients is simply a matter of reaching out to the potential client, understanding his or her needs, and addressing those needs in a thoughtful manner. Unfortunately, too few people understand these basic insights and actually push clients away.

Having participated literally in hundreds of new-business pitches, I tend to be not only critical, but also detached when I am being pitched to. And recently, I went through two experiences that reinforced my long-held belief that hardly anyone knows how to pitch.

 Our House

About six months ago, we got a call from a broker, an acquaintance of a friend, who said he had tons of contacts in Latin America who had to invest in the U.S. to get a green card. Would I be interested in selling my house to one of them?

Now, my wife and I built and love that house. So naturally we told the broker that if we could get some obscene amount of money for it, sure, we’ll move out in a week. And then we signed a contract for three months.

Long story short: Of course we didn’t sell the house for some obscene amount of money. Rich Latin Americans aren’t stupid.

This week, the MLS listed the house as “out of contract” and we got no less than 20 calls from realtors, brokers and salespeople (not to mention three who just knocked on the door) with the same pitch: “Hi, Marcelo, I’m sure you noticed that the listing on your house expired and I’m calling to see when you’re going to start interviewing sales people so you can get the right person who can make this sale for you.”

This was instructional for several reasons, including the two rules below:

Rule #1:

Canned pitches are plastic. Everyone can see through them. If you can’t even take the little extra trouble to customize your pitch, why bother?

Rule #2:

Don’t have a “credentials” deck. They’re canned. Refer to the first point.

 

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About the author

Marcelo Salup

Marcelo Salup's 30+ years career in advertising covers a wide range of everything. A wide range of roles -he began his career on the creative side, won 2 Addies, changed to media, included strategic planning and consumer insight and has been an agency owner several times. A wide range of venues: Spain, Latin America, International and the U.S.  A wide range of clients that go from automotive through banking, electronics, fast food, soft drinks and much more. His professional philosophy can be summed up in four words: “Only performance is real”. Today, he runs a successful strategic planning consulting, Iffective.

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