You’ve got a great product. What next?

You need to convince other people it’s a great idea.

Triana Group’s most recent event, held at the French-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City, focused on just that.

Pitching, or conveying your idea to a potential partner, is the first step of putting your product out there. A pitch is, in essence, a business plan expressed verbally. You’re explaining to other people why your product is different, better, and more exciting than your competitor’s. The problem is that people don’t have much time in their day to listen to you explain the ins and outs of your product. That’s where creating an excellent pitch comes in.

Here are five important things to consider as you create and perfect your own pitch:

  1. Know Your Audience

It’s a waste of time and energy to pitch to the wrong people and to tell them about something that doesn’t really matter to them. Do your research in advance: who is this person, and how can your product be of use to them?

  • Google them. Find out their industry, their experience, and what you share in common. Build a story that connects your interests to theirs.
  • Are they technical? If not, they probably don’t care about the specifics of your product, but rather want a brief overview of what your product can do and what problem it solves. Save the specifics for later and focus on the general.
  • Are they a decision maker at their company?
  1. Choose Your Information Carefully
    You should have pitches prepared for any amount of time, from two seconds to ten minutes.
  • Force a question with a one-liner. When you tell someone that you save lives every day, they have no choice but to ask, “How?” You didn’t have a second of their time, but now you have their full attention.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid technical details and focus on two areas: the problem you’ve identified, and how your product solves that problem. Avoid unnecessary jargon, and simplify it to the point that anyone can quickly understand what you are trying to do.
  1. Make it Memorable
    Companies try to sell us tons of stuff every day. Just look at any magazine, website, or billboard and you’ll see for yourself. But we forget most of this information quickly because it isn’t important to us. Make your pitch memorable by incorporating a personal story, or identifying the problem in a way that targets the audience’s emotions.
  • Why did you start this company? What personal experience did you have that made you want to make a difference in your industry?
  • What have other people experienced in their lives that would have been better had they had your product or service at hand?
  1. Value, Value, Value

It’s not enough to simply be excited about your product or service and explain all the details about what it can do. You need to provide a unique value proposition, and help the person you’re pitching to understand exactly what types of benefits they will receive from using your product/service, or partnering with your company.

  • Turn features into benefits. What great things does your company do, and how do they benefit others?
  1. Follow Up

You’ve met the right person, and it appears to have gone well. You have their information and they have yours. What next?

  • Don’t wait. Follow up with a call or email thanking them for their time and asking them if they have any more questions.
  • You might need to contact them multiple times. According to Hubspot, 44% of salespeople only follow up once, but 80% of sales require five follow-up phone calls after the meeting! Don’t be afraid to reach out to your target more than once.
  • In our experience, the most successful follow-up strategy isn’t via e-mail or phone calls, but creating opportunities for quality conversations and interactions that add value to your potential prospect or partner.

These are only the basics of pitching that we shared at the event, and we received outstanding feedback from participants.

Pitching to Strategic Partners” facilitated by Mike Arresta of The Triana Group and Sophie Lechner of GCE was one of the most relevant and useful events sponsored by the Chamber in ten years. While touching on some of the cultural differences underpinning approaches to selling in different areas, it offered practical skills-building in a format that encouraged group interaction, so you got to learn something while also exhibiting your experience, a sort of group pitch. No matter one’s experience level in selling, we can all benefit from improving our pitch.

John F Bennett

Principal & President, Alouette Communications & Paris American Club

Looking for some ideas on how to implement this? Interested in learning more about what we can do for your company? Contact the Triana Group today using the form below.

Check out this page for more information on our speakers and their companies.

Written by Gina Aylward.

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