As a small business you know that every communication counts. When speaking with customers, suppliers, investors, competitors, or peers, the way in which you present yourself and your business will have a lasting impact on whether or not they do business with you, or in the case of competitors treat you as a genuine threat or potential collaborator.
Thinking of your business communications as ‘pitching’ may for some appear a little salesy yet there is nothing further from the truth. Pitching in this sense is simply about understanding, developing, and effectively communicating your authentic ‘personal brand’. It really doesn’t matter how many times you’ve won an award for excellence or how many features and benefits your product/service has, decision makers want to know about the person behind the business and will normally be influenced in their decision making by what they think of you rather than your business. I am reminded of a quote by Malcolm Levene who recently said “Being in demand for your services…is a direct response to how you behave and express yourself to others. These days that’s what counts”. I think Malcolm is right and that engaging authentically with the customer or supplier, getting your ideas and passion across is far more likely to lead them to the next stage of buying or supplying.
If you’d like some tips and ideas to improve your pitching skills, take a look at the series of short videos from Paul Boross (aka The Pitch Doctor) on his You Tube channel. His message is simple – “You are the message, You are the Product, You are the Pitch”.