Daniel Pink outlines six pitches to help sell yourself, your ideas, and your products and services.
If you’re wondering about the curious title today, it’s something I learned from Daniel Pink and his chapter on Pitches in his new book “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.”
Pink offers a fresh look at the art and science of sales and makes the point that most of us spend an enormous portion of our time persuading, influencing, and moving others. We may not realize it, but we’re all constantly trying to convince people of many different things like how to furnish a room, who to vote for, and what direction to take a project or business.
Pink outlines six types of pitches that we can use for better leadership and business development:
- Pixar Pitch. This is the classic story structure that Pixar uses for its films. It goes like this: Once upon a time…. Everyday… One day… Because of that… Because of that… Until finally… You fill in the blanks between the phrases. Enlisting the power of story in a pitch can be a powerful technique.
- Subject Line. Email is a pitch. It is a request for attention and a request to engage. Good email subject lines should pique curiosity or be extremely useful and helpful. In the Obama 2012 campaign, the emails they sent with the “Hey” subject line got opened the most because people were curious.
- Rhyme. Rhyming helps processing fluency. Processing fluency leads to better understanding and more absorption.
- Questions. Questions are active and compel a response. They get people thinking and they promote interaction – a conversation.
- Twitter. Information, education and questions via Twitter are very interesting to people. Make sure you’re using this platform.
- One Word. Being able to encapsulate an idea, brand or pitch in one word can be very effective. Some great examples of single words that inspire include believe, forward, rise, action and clarity.
Pink makes one final point about pitching: Don’t expect your pitch to gain immediate agreement or adoption. It’s not about selling someone on something instantly.
Rather, think of your pitch as an invitation to have an intriguing conversation. A good pitch is about give and take, back and forth – an exchange of ideas.
What ideas are you pitching? More importantly, what ideas are sticking?
(John Stevenson is the founder of ClientKudos and helps companies capture their best customer and client stories so they attract more great customers and clients. Visit the ClientKudos website to find out how to put customer stories to work for you.)