This is a guest post by entrepreneur Farah Gheith.
When I was in college, I thought that the point of “pitching your idea” was just so that you can tell potential investors and get funding for your startup. I always thought to myself, ” I don’t need any investors. I don’t need funding. Why should I stress so much about my pitch?”
However, when I finally started my business, I realized that if you will be a leader in your company, you have to be prepared to pitch AT ALL TIMES. You’re hanging out with your friends, at a dinner, sports function or music festival and someone asks you “What do you do?” It took me a couple of tries till I finally got my pitch streamlined and comprehensible. I would tell someone what I did and what our company did, and a lot of the times people just looked at me with a confused look on their face and I would go home rethinking what I said. I would beat myself up about not saying the right thing, and forgetting to mention this or that, and I would even laugh at myself because I said we offered services that we hadn’t even done. No one wants to feel this sense of embarrassment–trust me!
So I finally sat down, and I wrote down an outline of our major services. I memorized it in a way to where it’s not pushy as well as making it engaging for the person I tell my pitch to. When structuring my pitch, I made sure to stress all the important points, but make it to a way where the listener would be intrigued to ask more questions. This would make it easier to spark up a longer conversation with this person, and their curiosity could even lead to a sale. I’ve been in many situations where I’m just at a coffee shop minding my own business, and I run into someone I know, and I pitch to them what I do. Chances are, they most likely need some help or know someone needing help with services that you offer.
At the end of the day, a pitch is what you feel comfortable talking about. It doesn’t necessarily have to include funding numbers, growth statistics, or an lengthy structured implementation plan. To me a pitch is all about making your listener interested in what your services have to offer and getting them engaged in the conversation. If you can do this, you have created a lasting impression on the other person and could even come home with a new buyer!
Farah Gheith is a Marketing graduate from Louisiana State University. Her first startup was a Coffee Shop/ Hookah Lounge that she opened in her senior year of high school. Farah is now CEO/ CO-Founder of an experiential marketing firm, AddoSpark, that specializes in creating direct marketing campaigns and events that engage individuals to “spark their own movements” in society.