What’s a Pitch?
The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines a “pitch” as “Behavior or speech intended to influence or persuade, esp. for the purpose of sales or advertising.”
For this report we’ll define it as “A speech intended to influence or persuade.” More precisely, for this report a PITCH is a series of words, transmitted by voice or other media that are meant to:
- Make someone act or think a certain way.
- Persuade someone to purchase
- Set up perceptions in someone’s mind.
- Create expectation or lack of expectation.
- Cause emotion that leads to pre-determined behaviors.
Just from this list alone, you can see that a pitch is more powerful than just mere words. A pitch can move people to action. A pitch can change the mood associated with activities. A pitch can create mental expectations that can make people move towards things with gusto or cause them to run in disgust. A pitch is power.
When most people think of a pitch they think of the sales pitch. The one that makes persuades people to buy something. But…
Are there other types of pitches
besides the sales pitch?
Here’s a list of various types of pitches I’ve classified. I’m sure there can be further variations, but these have worked well for me.
I categorize the types of pitches into two groups. Category one is “Mental Architecture.” Category two is “Action.”
Most people think of a pitch as something that leads to an action immediately at its close. You will soon see that is not always the case. Sometimes we just want to use a pitch to create attitudes, expectations, emotions and perceptions. These types of pitches are what I call “Mental Architecture” pitches. When you perfect “Mental Architecture” pitches, the prospect will often take the necessary action steps without an “Action” pitch. Isn’t that what we want? – For it to be their idea? 100% of the professional salespeople and businesspeople I have met have never heard of anything like my idea of “Mental Architecture” pitches. They have probably, by chance alone, used one from time to time. However, once I show them how to predictably create them and put them to use their entire world changes overnight – mentally and monetarily. I think you will come to the same conclusion they do – “Mental Architecture” pitches are the missing link in predictably superior performance in all areas of business and sales life.
Chances are you are more familiar with the second category of pitch – the “Action” category. These pitches ask for some kind of action or commitment on the part of the prospect. They take some physical action or commit to a physical action at the end of the pitch.
Keep in mind that any of these individual types of pitches can, and often are, combined in very creative and effective ways. Experiment and find out what works for you. My philosophy is this “You can never have too many pitches” If you can find a way to say something in an appealing and persuasive way that makes people change their behavior or alter their way of perceiving in a way beneficial for you – WRITE IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY – then figure out where it would be appropriate to use. Polish the pitch and put it to use.
The Sales Pitch
This is the classic pitch. This is the pitch normally thought of when people think “pitch.” You know a sales pitch when the final-action step is a request for money (in any of its various forms.) Obviously, this pitch falls into the “Action” category.
There are many formulas for the Sales Pitch. The most common is
The Appointment Pitch
A pitch that has as its action step a commitment on the part of the prospect to listen to a sales pitch at a future date. This pitch falls into the “Action” category.
The Expectation Pitch
A pitch that is used to create mental expectations in the listener. This pitch can be used on circumstances as varied as hiring a new employee to starting a romantic relationship. This pitch falls into the “Mental Architecture” category.
The “Pitch the Pitch” Pitch
A pitch that creates perceptions and expectations about how someone should process a pitch that is about to be given. I consider this part of the “Mental Architecture” category.
The Perception Pitch
A pitch that creates a perception of a situation, person or thing. Often used as a set-up pitch before a sales pitch or other action based pitch. This pitch falls into the category of “Mental Architecture.”
Copyright 2004-2010 Christopher Tomasulo
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