Businesspeople will be familiar with the word ‘pitch’ but may have a different understanding of what is meant when they hear it.
To some it means a short statement, well prepared and rehearsed that can be used as the answer to the question, “what do you do?” This is often called an ‘elevator pitch’ as it is short and can be said in less than 60 seconds (the time it might take for a lift ride).
For other people, for example in advertising, marketing or sales roles, a pitch is more of an advanced type of presentation. In these cases, a pitch can be the culmination of days, weeks, months and sometimes even years of work. The bigger the ‘pitch’ the more is riding on it.
Whatever the type of pitch, what both have in common is that they need to be designed, built, and delivered.
Improving design is a consultative process. Improving the building of the pitch is either an in-house or an agency process. Finally, improving the delivery of the pitch is a coaching process.
The process differs of course on the nature and importance of the pitch, but the ultimate objective is the same for both. You need to be ready.
Being ready for pitch means being prepared both technically and mentally. Being prepared technically is having everything ready. Being prepared mentally is having the right mindset and confidence.
Of course, both the technical and mindset elements work together. You need to be strong in both areas. For example, it is pointless having a great pitch but no confidence in delivering it.
Having worked in commercial environments for many years I have observed a huge variance between the capabilities between different companies, different functions within those companies and also the people.
Reducing the gap between high performance and let’s be honest, in some cases quite poor performance should be a priority for every organisation.
To reduce the gap, capabilities need to be assessed and addressed at both the functional and the people levels. This way improvements can be designed to work for both the function and individuals. That is how you can get both higher standards and consistency.
Adrian Hargreaves is the MD of Hargreaves Marketing Ltd which is a capabilities-focused strategic sales and marketing company which provides agency, consultancy, and coaching services to enable clients to experience continuous improvement in sales and marketing at both functional and people levels.
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