Sometimes you are all alone in your enthusiasm. You believe in your product, did your market research, know the potential and now need support (official, theoretical, financial, whatever). You walk into the office, give the obligatory firm handshake and make your pitch. You give it your best shot. You try to listen as much as you talk. But you are hoping for a contagious enthusiasm where the official sitting on the other side of the desk stands up and says, “Hell Yes! We need this on PEI NOW!”. But it doesn’t happen.
What do you do then? The Official is polite enough, providing their own insights, often sharing their personal experiences and background. What do you do when you don’t get the sense that they think what you have is a good idea? You listen to them. You ask them engaging questions. You make it a positive learning experience. Then you thank them for their time, go home and make a sad strawberry milkshake.
Before you drown your worries away, know that you aren’t alone. Making a sales pitch is hard. I know you know that. But the experience is a lot harder when you so passionately believe in the product and you don’t feel the love. Don’t take it personally. Really you shouldn’t. Make sure you takeaway something from the meeting, make slight modifications to your pitch or presentation and send a thank you email. After all this person did take the time to listen to you. And maybe they might not be on board right now, sometimes ideas take some time to percolate.
The person needs to reflect on your idea. Maybe they have an alternate view you hadn’t considered before. Maybe they see this idea working in a different capacity. While making the pitch may be hard at first, it should get easier. And you never know where that new connection may lead you.
Being an entrepreneur can be a tough slug. But you don’t have to go it alone. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on getting through “The Pitch”. Do you present differently to government officials than you would investors? What approach do you take? Strong and confident, or mild and focused? Let’s hear it!