How freelancers can win a 3 minute pitch

3 minutes to unlock new business

3 minutes to unlock new business

Okay – you are sitting face to face with a potential client and you’ve got 3 mintues to win the business… what do you do?

First off – you don’t want to win all the business!

Yes, think about it for a minute, if you make 20 pitches – each 3 minutes long – that is an hour. Now, if you won all 20 pitches, would you be able (or willing) to deliver what you just promised?

Right then, what do you want to achieve? Let’s assume that you’ve done your homework and know a bit about the businesses that you are meeting.

Your goal might be to find 8 businesses with which you can connect and perhaps 3 or 4 for whom you can meet a current need.

Okay, so you only want 8 out of 20 – and of those, around half might have a current need.

So, how do you build a 3 minute pitch that will deliver you this kind of result?

Here’s how to do it…

0 to 30 seconds, say hello – find out how they are doing – make contact, decide, on first impressions, do I like this person, could we work together, would we get along?

30 to 60 seconds, ask what they do and what they are looking for? This will help you understand why there have come. Some may not be too sure – or may say ‘that’s what I’m here to find out’! Okay

Second minute – you now have 1 minute to explain what you do. A whole minute can be a long time – you can bore the pants off someone in 60 seconds, or you can really engage with them and find common ground.

So what do you say? Go for these three things

a) I can help you achieve xyz (remember you asked them what they wanted in the first 30 seconds) by using my skills / experience/ knowledge of abc.

b) my particular skill is ‘writing proposals to help you win tenders’ or ‘writing copy to help you sell more’ or ‘building websites that keep your customers’ or ‘bring more traffic to your website’ or ‘helping you generate more repeat business’ or ‘help you cut your marketing costs in half’ or ‘attracting new clients’ etc…

Okay, there are hundreds of different skills and benefits you might offer – don’t worry if I haven’t listed yours above, just don’t forget to stay focussed on what that one special thing you – and perhaps only you – can do. This way, if you distinguish yourself, you’ll be remembered.

c) lastly, tell the person you are meeting what you are passionate about – so if you love business, economics and strategy – say that. If you love clean simple design that looks good online, on paper and on a business card – say that. If you are passionate about working with entrepreneurial people – say that.

The last minute. Okay, you’ve now got 1 minute left.

This is where you do two things

a) firstly, find out – is the person you are speaking to is interested in what you are saying? Find the common ground

b) secondly, swap details and contacts – or get a referral. If you are not right for each other, find out whether it would be good to stay in touch, or if they know anyone who can use your skills, talent and passion?

Lastly, have fun. If you are enjoying yourself, you’ll do most of this naturally. So, relax, don’t expect to like everyone and don’t expect to win all the business. Just keep focussed on finding a few gems and some good leads to follow up and you’ll find that your couple of hours of investment pay off winningly.

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Written by Editor on June 1, 2010 and filed in Featured, News, Opinion , , , , ,

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