Friday, August 13, 2010

PERFECT PITCH - PLAIN SPEAKING

“I don’t know how to write, but I can tell you fluently what I do, what my product does.

“My spelling is atrocious. My grammar equally poor, but I am a confident and competent speaker who can communicate most effectively. Writing for me is a chore, although I have a sound technological brain.

“I have an eye for a solid business idea, one that’s interested some large companies already. I haven’t got a clue how to engage effectively with consumers, business or the public at large.

“I really need someone who can make my product, my idea visible to business, consumers and the media at large, both specialist and general outlets.

“I have no idea how costly, problematic, feasible this might be – so do you think you can work with me and help me by doing what you clearly have done, successfully, for a range of clients to date with a PR campaign?

“I think this is an important way forward for my company.”

I have paraphrased this hour-long conversation with a prospective client, obviously. I was so gratified by his beguiling approach on behalf of his company and his associates. Here was someone, needing PR support and positive media attention while admitting with a smile he knew little or nothing about how to pursue it. A company in his network circle had recommended that he chat with me. I was delighted to do so.

This isn’t a blog about me and my company and what it does, or is capable of doing. Nor a criticism of previous pitches I’ve attended. It is about the refreshing attitude of this company MD for whom a proposal is ready. It may come to nothing.

However, the big point, for me, is that this man was candid, said his expertise lay elsewhere and he wanted to buy in a specific form of help. He issued no demands and listened closely to what I had to say, the suggestions I put forward, the involvement he could expect from my company. I answered his questions openly and in detail.

It was a great discussion, which led on to a chat about many different subjects. Nothing has been decided. I have submitted a proposal. It was just a hugely refreshing way to talk about working together – possibly.