5 Strategies For Pitching Yourself or Your Company
Posted on June 15, 2017
One of my employees asked me what strategies I use when I pitch myself to brands or companies – which I tend to do quite frequently. I didn’t have a go-to answer as it’s something that I really have to think about. How do I pitch myself to companies?
When I look at the successful external relationship I’ve built, I notice a few commonalities. Here are some strategies I use to pitch myself and my company:
- One of my business mentors, Adam Grant, who runs Campus Commandos told me that if I go into a meeting and do all of the talking – it didn’t go so well. He taught me the importance of listening and asking questions and really understanding the companies goals and way of thinking. Listening is probably the most underrated skill you can have. If I’m not listening to what a brand wants or needs – I’m not doing my job.
- Whenever I go into a pitch, I typically have a plan. However, I’ve learned that executives also have a plan and goals and initiatives of their own. Most of the time, my plan isn’t what sells through. It ends up being a combination of what I came to the table with and how that fits into the brands overall strategy. Have a plan but be ready to shift and move and change when necessary. Relationships are a give and a take.
- I don’t know if you can fake passion. If so, I was never very good at that. I’m not very good at faking anything. I started my company six years ago because I was passionate about internships and that hasn’t changed. When I get on the phone with strangers essentially, I speak about my business and my passion comes through on the phone. The brands and executives that I’m talking to notice that passion and I think (I hope) it’s contagious. When you talk about something you love and you don’t hold back, people want to be involved. I remember sitting on a judge’s panel for an organization called NFTE a few years ago. A student came on stage with an entry for the business plan and elevator pitch competition. The company was geared towards people who loved watching Monster Trucks. I know nothing about Monster Trucks but the way this kid spoke about Monster Trucks, the passion in his voice, made me want to learn more. I voted for him.
- In a business sense, confidence can mean a lot of different things. When I get on a call or in a meeting with someone, I need to be confident in who I am, what I’ve created, and my value. I’ve built a business that’s based on being professional but also being personable and it’s important for that to come through in every meeting. It’s also important for me to understand that I’m not going to be the right fit for every company and if I don’t get a certain deal – it’s going to be okay. Confidence gives me the power to walk away from an opportunity when it’s not right for me.
- Follow Up. If you’ve heard me speak recently, you’ve heard my story about how I got my very first internship. The internship coordinator asked for my resume and I sent it to her THAT NIGHT. Business meetings are no different. When you are in a meeting you take notes and you follow up IMMEDIATELY with a recap and a proposal. Strike while the iron is hot – what are you waiting for? Just remember, if you don’t send that proposal, someone else will.
For more business tips and ways to be successful at your job, read my new book, Welcome to the Real World.