Business communication topics include business writing, speaking, interpersonal communication, and team and group dynamics and tools.

Why Your Company Pitch Sucks and How To Fix It

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. Other than 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 as a company. Once you hook the prospect, you can tell them all the great things about your company to help close the deal.

Three-Step Writing Process for Business Communications

Effective business writing is important to a company because it helps create efficient communication that leads to increased productivity, faster problem solving, stronger decision-making, and increased profits. It also helps boost the organization’s credibility.

To some professionals, writing is a daunting task. So much so, that they have a fear of penning ink on paper and often miss deadlines or poorly communicating company or marketing information. This ends up wasting company resources such as time and money. The truth is, writing, like any other skill, takes practice to master.

Business writing skills are an important – hard – skill-set for marketer’s to master. As part of the job, a marketing professional is often required to write advertising copy, press releases, sales copy, internal reports, social media postings, blog posts, and a lot more content.

The three-step writing process helps business writers, like marketing professionals, create effective messages in any medium. It helps them communicate their message effectively while meeting their target audiences needs. The three-step process also ensures writers make the best use of their time and their audiences time. As the writer gets more practice with the three-step writing process, it becomes easier to write and writing becomes more automatic.

Below are the steps to the three-step writing process (For a visual representation, see the Three-Step Writing Process chart below.).

Three-Step Writing Process

  1. Plan
  2. Write
  3. Complete

MB-three-step-writing-process-diagram

Three-Step Writing Process Details

1. Planning

Analyze the Situation
Define the reason or purpose for writing and develop an audience profile.

Gather Information
Determine the needs of the audience and gather information required to satisfy those needs.

Select the Right Delivery Vehicle
Determine the best medium (delivery vehicle) for communicating the message.

Organize the Information
Define the main communication idea and select a direct or an indirect approach. Outline the content to be communicated.

2. Write

Adapt to the Audience

Connect with your audience by being sensitive to their needs and using a “you” attitude. (See explanation of the “you” attitude below.)

Build a strong relationship with the audience by establishing credibility and projecting your company’s brand image. Use a conversational tone, plain English, and an appropriate voice to deliver the message.

Compose the Message
Choose strong words that create effective sentences and coherent paragraphs.

3. Complete

Revise the Message
Evaluate the content and review it for readability. If required, edit the content and rewrite for conciseness and clarity.

Produce the Message
Use effective design elements for a clean and professional layout.

Proofread the Message
Review the communication piece for errors in the layout. Check the spelling and mechanics as well.

Distribute the Message

Deliver the message using the chosen communication vehicle. Make sure that all documents and files relevant to the communication item are successfully distributed.

While the process of writing may seem challenging at first, practicing often and implementing the three-step writing process will help improve writing skills. The more a business professional writes and uses the three-step process, the more automatic their writing becomes.


 

The "You" Attitude

The “you” attitude is an audience-centered approach to communicating that involves understanding and respecting your audience and making every effort to get your message across in a way that is meaningful to them.

The “you” attitude is in contrast to messages that are in stark contrast to messages that are about “me.” The goal is to learn as much as possible about your audience. Learn things such as their biases, education, age, status, style, as well as personal and professional concerns. Using this informant you are able to satisfy their need through communication.