I can not count how many times I’ve heard members of a firm pitch their company. At trade shows, product presentations, marketing meetings, and other events. It’s the same dull pitch. A company representative gets up in front of the audience, clears their throats, asks how the audience is doing, and proceeds to tell them how great their company is and what they make, sell, or offer as a service. It’s a cacophony of words falling upon deaf ears. 

I recently attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting in Corona, California. After the meet and greet and general assembly, followed the opportunity for new Chamber members to stand up and give their elevator pitch, or in this case, list of what they do, sell or offer as a service. By the third company spokesperson, I had resumed my conversation with a colleague at my table. I lost interest, and it appeared that most of the other attendees had also lost interest in the monotonous pitches. Besides filling time, I do not believe that a single attendee went up to any of the presenting company representatives and asked for additional information. Here’s why the company representatives did not offer any value or solve a customer pain point. Instead, they read a laundry list of why their company is right and what they do.

If you want to be remembered by prospects and customers, you need to do better in your presentation or elevator pitch. Rather than telling your audience how good you are, tell them how your product or service helps solve their pain points. Sell the value of your product or service and communicate that often. Let’s look at a typical company presentation scenario and an improved company presentation that delivers value.

A Typical Company Pitch

“Hi, my name is Bob Gallagher, and I work for Jackson Accounting Service, JAS, for short. How is everyone doing today? Good!. I want to tell you about our company. We have been in business for 40-years and have over 30 offices worldwide. We have over 250 accountants working hard for our clients. We are working hard to meet your accounting needs. If you would like more information, please stop by my table for business cards. I would love to help answer any of your questions.”

The above example does not communicate value, nor does it help solve a customer pain point. It is what I hear too often at events or meetings.

Now, let’s see how we can improve the presentation to demonstrate how we can communicate value and solve a customer pain point.  

Improved Company Pitch that Sells Value

“Hi, My name is Bob Gallagher, and I am the Chief accountant for Jackson Accounting Services. We help customers like you all across the globe cut costs so they can keep earning more hard-earned profits. Our proven and proprietary methods have saved our clients over $500 – Billion over the last 40-years. We are committed to your financial success, and if we cannot save you money or reduce your taxes, we will not charge you a dime for our services.” 

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that the second presentation delivers more value, solves a pain point, and offers a guarantee. Furthermore, the latter company pitch generated more business for the company than the first pitch did.

The Takeaway

Give customers and prospects a reason to want to engage in a conversation with you about your company. Your initial company pitch should focus on the value you deliver and how you solve a pain point, not how great you are. Once you hook the prospect, you can tell them all the great things about your company to help close the deal.

According to eMarketer, B2B buyers are switching from their current suppliers to new suppliers amid COVID-19. The top reason for the switch is that existing suppliers are unable to offer delivery. The pandemic has placed a strain not only on suppliers but on the supply chain as well. 

Other reasons B2B customers switched suppliers include the supplier is out of stock; their existing supplier cannot offer online ordering and a limited product range with the current supplier.

COVID-19 has exposed operational vulnerabilities within B2B firms. Many firms cannot react quickly to the crisis and lack effective contingency plans to manage such a shock to their business operations and industry. 

Why B2B Customers are switching suppliers emarketer graph

Looking ahead, B2B companies need to create plans that include contingencies in managing unexpected surges in demand, sudden stock shortages, restocking delays, and employee shortages due to illness or fear of catching the virus.

The solution is not simple. However, if B2B firms want to reduce the impact of COVID-19 or any other potential industry crippling event, they need effective processes and procedures to manage some of the suggestions noted above.

Deliberate human decision making is both a complicated process and a vague concept. Often, we make decisions without cognitively thinking about the process. That is, our choices are fast, automatic, and emotional. It’s what Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, calls system one thinking. Unlike system one thinking, Kahneman explains slower, deliberate, and logical thinking as system two thinking. It’s this system two thinking that requires more cognition when making complex decisions.

When it comes to simplifying the complexity of deliberate decision-making, decision-makers can incorporate a process introduced by consumer psychologist Ryan Hamilton, in his lecture series, How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making. Hamilton simplifies the process of human decision making as analogous to a manufacturing process.

In a simplified version of a manufacturing process, there are three parts; raw materials that serve as input, the machinery which processes and assembles the raw material, and a control mechanism that regulates the machinery within the manufacturing process.

decision making as a manufacturing process

We can sum up deliberate decision making, in the manufacturing metaphor, in three simple components, informational input, informational processing, and motivational control. Leaders engaged in crucial dilemmas can use the process to understand the choices they make and to make better decisions.

The Cognitive “Manufacturing” Process in Decision Making

Informational Input

In the first step of our manufacturing metaphor, we need to identify the decision we are trying to anticipate. We want to know the “raw” information that we want to input into our cognitive process. We also understand which options we have available to us. Additionally, we want to understand what decision rules are used to process the information and how our decision options are scrutinized.

Informational Processing

Next, we want to understand what biases will play a part in our decision-making process as a natural result of how our minds operate. What steps would we take to make our resolve easier by being aware of these biases and working to eliminate them from the process? Biases tend to affect our decisions, thus being aware of them can help us make logical choices and better decisions.

Motivational Control

In the final step of the “cognitive manufacturing process,” we ask what the motivations that are likely to determine your decision making are? What are some deep-rooted drivers that may influence you to make your determination? What are your ultimate goals?

The Takeaway

In summary, to better understand complex decision making, we equate the process to a manufacturing process. We input raw material, thoughts, and machinery that produces the final goods, decisions, and cognitive ability to understand and eliminate our biases. Finally, the machinery’s control mechanism is our motivation or deep-rooted drivers for resolving. However, there are limitations to human decision making. There exists a chasm of variances in the mental quality of our choices between people and within ourselves. Each variable along the process must be considered carefully and weighed against our motivation and goals for the decisions we want to make.