our little pitch

We spend so much time trying to pitch. Whether you like it or not, we are pitching. Selling an idea, trying to get a job, trying to convince our significant others to buy a gadget…we are pitching.

I have so many students asking me and sending my questions, wondering why people are not hiring, people are not buying, just plain not accepting their pitch. But why? Economics and supply/demand tell us that this is one hell of a competitive market. We have to be on our “A” game. We better have all of our “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed…we better dress for success and make sure we can sell ourselves. We must make sure we position ourselves as “thought leaders” with a piece of differentiation that makes us rise to the top. But does this really make us relevant?

why pitch?
I have been thinking through this little “elevator pitch” concept. Get it down in 60 seconds so if we are trapped in an elevator with that one person…they might be interested and buy what we are selling. We are selling…selling…pushing…selling…pushing….CREATING NOISE! Why? Because we are conditioned.

During NetworkBash Excite at Clemson University, my friend Robbin Phillips took the time to talk about the relevance of Social Media in the job search today. She shared a piece of paper with some notes…her “Sixty Second Speech.” The first line:

“Let your passion shine. Share who you are and what you stand for with the world. Your hopes, your dreams, your life. Then like magic, you’re going to start drawing kindred spirits and like minds towards you.”

what are we seeking?
Hmm…why are we selling what we are not passionate about? Why are seeking jobs that are just jobs, not careers. Why are we not chasing the dreams, finding like minded people like our tomorrow is our last? Why are we pushing our stuff instead of learning more about the people we share a common interest. Why are we not trying to create our lasting legacy?

Each time we spend more time selling and less time learning about the people that might have a common interest…it is like cold calling at 7pm when the person answering is having dinner. It is like we did not take the time to do the research and put the “To Whom It May Concern” at the top of the letter.

So what is your story? Now think…who are the people we are trying to connect with daily? What is their story? How do you know you can help them until you know their story? I am just as much a victim to this un-human approach to connecting.

my little confession…
Over a year ago, I went to a conference in North Carolina. When I walked in, they gave me a great list of all the people that attended and their email address. These people were decision makers. So when I got back from the conference…I defaulted to my old way of thinking. Created a boiler-plate email, changed out the name and email address, and off to the races. I sent out about five emails…but I had a slight twinge in the back of my mind that just did not settle well. It was confirmed in about five minutes. A response that indicated that they did not attend at the last second. I was embarrassed. NEVER AGAIN!

It is about people…STUPID! I am talking to myself.

Next time…I will just call, say hello, introduce myself, and ask to take them out to coffee…then LISTEN.

Below is Robbin Phillips’s little paper called “My Sixty second speech.” Enjoy!

My 60 Second Pitch