Precision is everything. When pitching in golf, aiming for the green is a good start – it’s better than hitting and hoping. However, aiming for that precise point on the green from which your ball will roll towards the pin ensures a far better chance of success. A business pitch aimed in the right direction is a good start, but a precision shot on target is always preferable.
There are plenty of good pitches; pitches which not only showcase a business and its features but also explain the benefits a product or service can bring. These are aimed at the green. Where they could be more precise though, is by directly addressing the benefits they offer to the specific needs the potential client has.
A golf hole is marked with a flag and that flag serves as an indicator of where to aim. Whoever is hearing your pitch may well have published a brief, which acts in the exact same way. Of course, if your pitch is delivered at the spur of the moment with no warning – a genuine elevator pitch – you’ll have to think on your feet and react, but in general you should be prepared to answer specific questions before they’re asked.
Unfortunately, success is often the cause of many people’s problems. They prepare something truly spectacular, something with real punch that uses the flag as an indicator and aims for the pin. It’s so good that they then replicate it. And replicate it. And so on…
Professional golfers have good fundamental skills, just as successful pitchers have good fundamental skills in listening and persuasive speaking. However, the golfers know that every course is different and every hole on that course is unique. The technique serves as a base but the shot has to be the perfect one for that place and time.
Your perfect pitch needs to be perfectly tailored for the moment you’re in. This can involve making some tough choices. You may have some key statistics or references which have bowled over audiences in the past. However, if they are not relevant to the people listening now, they need to be jettisoned.
It’s not easy leaving out killer material but, when you’re dealing with an audience whose attention span is likely to be between 20 to 45 seconds, relevance is the real wow factor. If you can demonstrate in that time that you can solve their problems, you’re on to a winner.
For absolute precision, you also need to consider the humans you are pitching to, not just the business they are representing. Do you know anything about them in advance – how good are you at reading them in the moment? If you are able to identify their PRISM profile, you can tailor your pitch specifically to their brain.
A pitch to a predominantly Gold individual should prioritise data and statistics. A predominantly Green individual will be more wowed by creativity and innovation. Pitching to a board will likely mean having to address a number of personality types and require you to cover many bases. For more information on PRISM and using neuroscience to pitch precisely, sign up for one of my monthly workshops.
Aiming for the target is good. Aiming for the bullseye is great. Aiming for the centre of the bullseye is precision. Work on developing sound technique that can be adapted to suit the situation, but remember to adapt! Each pitch will be to a unique person and connecting with that person on a level that will ensure you win business requires precision. Aim for the green, but aim for that perfect spot that gets you next to the pin or, better still, in the hole.