How many times in your life have you pondered the question: “Why am I doing this for a living?” “Of all the possibilities on the earth, why do I continue, day after day, to pursue this way of making money?” You could be an African safari guide, a minister, an underwater search and rescue diver or a Google analyst. You could be a Starbucks franchise owner, a personal trainer or librarian. Why do you do what you do? This is an answer that could require many hours or even years of digging to truly discover. Just as we all find beauty in different things, we all find occupational fulfillment in different ways. Until you know why you do what you do and why you are the person who should be selling your product, you have nothing people will want to buy…you have no pitch. Your pitch is not a statement from a series of checked boxes that lead to success..it is not a guaranteed formula within rigid guidelines. It is fluid and alive. It is foremost a journey of self-discovery. When done well and with personal honesty, that journey can deliver an innate ability to speak with passion, genuineness and believability. You are no longer speaking just about your product. You are speaking about yourself and THAT is 80% of your pitch. Facts, stats and features are only 20% of your delivery. They are important, but are not the heart of your appeal to people. People want to listen when someone throws open a window to their intimate self and says “have a look, I believe in this product and so should you!” Your customers will always ask themselves “why should I believe in this product. Why should I believe in YOU?” That last sentence must be answered by you through self-exploration. Be prepared! It is the underlying reason for failed sales attempts. There is a scene in Mission Impossible 2 where Tom Cruise is hosting a dinner party. He is, of course, not known to be a secret agent, but is believed to be highway traffic analyst by his guests. A group of women ask him about his career. His response is awesome. The women sit there riveted by his expressions and his every word. He describes traffic like a living organism…one little ripple in speed can be traced 100 miles away. His delivery is fascinating, uncompromising and natural. It lasts only a few moments, but when he walks away, all the women immediately agree that they would marry this traffic analyst in a heartbeat. Are you kidding? A traffic analyst? To be fair, Tom Cruise’s athletic build, good looks and innate ability to charm anyone helped, but that’s not where I am going with this. In that moment of explaining his job, he knew exactly who he was. For the people in front of him, he was a man who loved what he did. He was a man who had bought into every facet of his career and was willing to throw open the floodgates, showing those women his most intimate feelings on the topic. He did not seem to be a man who fell into that occupation. His passions chose it. He did not need to deliver a 10-minute monologue to convince people. He did it in a few sentences. Every one of those women bought Tom Cruise in that moment. If any of those women ever needed traffic patterns analyzed, no one else on earth would suffice. Your very first step in crafting a good pitch is not to write any words on paper unless you are journaling for self discovery. You must answer this question: “Why am I selling this product and why am I the only person on earth others should buy this from?” To answer that, you must dig deep to understand yourself. Unless people understand you and buy into who you are, you will have nothing to sell. In the next blog, we will dig into the “Who” of selling your product.
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