Saturday, April 25, 2009

Country Living, Pitch Your Product tips #2

(Click here to read: Part One)

I was there, I pitched and I was chosen!

My company, Subscribe To Delight, was a 2007 Pitch Your Product winner - see the Country Living write-up here.
To be one of seven honorees out of the hundreds that applied to Country Living magazine's "Pitch Your Product" event was an incredible experience.I have decided to post a series of hints & tips (from my perspective) to make your "Pitch Your Product" experience the best that it can be.

Part Two: Preparing your Pitch

Don't memorize. I do not think that you should memorize a pitch. Although three minutes is fast, no time is so short that you want to sound like an over-rehearsed sixth grader. Adults can explain a concept in a short amount of time and passionate people speak from the heart. That being said, I do think you should think in "sound bites." If you have a few expressions that sound interesting and are memorable, that is something that the editors can take away with them mentally. For example, it is important to me that everything about my company is beautiful (the photography, ink color and message). Therefore when I showed them my "Subscribe To Delight" gift card (that announces that someone has been given a subscription to delight), I told them that it was designed to be "refrigerator-worthy." Meaning that this gift is so special that the announcement of it should be pretty enough to hang on the refrigerator for weeks. They laughed, "got it" and I guarantee that they did not forget the message that Delight was something special.

Little things mean a lot. If you have a "hang tag" that you tie on your product, bring it along to show the editors. If the ingredients in your soap are all natural, perhaps you should bring a glass shaker of herbs & flowers to illustrate your "secret recipe." If you make accessories, some 8 x 10 color photographs of the pieces on models or artfully displayed can enhance the editors' understanding of your style. Don't be afraid to hand them your samples. It makes the experience and evaluation more "real" if they can see the quality of your work up close.

This is not a bank meeting. They are not going to evaluate your bank statement or approve a small business loan. The editors are strictly looking for a great mix of new products or ideas that can enhance their magazine. Remember that your company existed before this opportunity and will be just as solid tomorrow. The pitch is simply a chance to expose your business to a wider audience - if the time is right.

Next time I will discuss interacting with the other women entrepreneurs.


MmeBenaut said...

Sounds like excellent advice to me, Anne. Not that I have a business that I need to pitch to anyone but some of the principles apply to other situations too.

Anne Reeves said...

Yes, absolutely!