Quarantine can be uncomfortable for normally busy people like us. But rather than resigning yourself to becoming a couch potato who rarely changes out of her pajamas, if, in fact, you have any, use your newfound downtime wisely. Now is the time for you to hone your marketing strategy. Start by perfecting your pitch and practicing it often.
A successful pitch shows that you have clarity about your passion and you can clearly articulate the value of the services you provide. Do you have a compelling answer to the question “What do you do?” An answer that invites questions? Clarity is the ability to communicate your message in a way that is convincing.
Without “pitch,” you can’t communicate your passion clearly. Pitch leads into everything else; all the rest of the marketing fortes build upon this cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign. So it is important to pitch at least three times a day. You’ll need to get a bit creative about your pitching during this time of lockdown and social distancing. Strangers may not be as inclined to speak with you as they normally would be.
On the other hand, my experience at Publix each week leads me to believe otherwise. It seems as though we all are so starved for socialization that, despite that my features are mostly masked, everyone is happy to chat.
I remember the time (before the pandemic struck) when I was waiting at Sam’s Club to make a return. Bored to death on a line that might as well have stretched to the moon and didn’t seem to be moving, I was standing behind this guy who was dressed head-to-toe in Gator garb. He was blue and orange all over! I commented (not my most inspired opening, by the way), “Oh, my gosh, you’re a Gator, aren’t you?”
He responded, clearly tickled to have someone to talk to, “No, no. But my daughter is a double Gator. Undergrad and law!”
Of course, he asked me what I do. I wasn’t dressed like a lawyer. I certainly had no makeup on and I just as surely was wearing jeans and sandals, my standard shopping-at-Sam’s-Club gear. It was early; I’m not sure that I had even showered yet that day.
But I gave him my elevator pitch. Which interested him enough to start asking questions. My social pitch ensued. One thing led to another, and, two days later, his lawyer daughter (who had never heard of collaborative practice before he exhorted her to consult with me) was in my office asking me to tell her more about “this thing called collaborative divorce.”
Of course, this conversation might not land well today with everyone you see when people are very rightly concerned about contamination. But if you perfect your pitch with your quarantined family and practice it three times every morning in your shower and three times on your way to pick up groceries, you’ll be ready to give it to anyone who will listen once quarantine is over, when people are more-than-ready to be social and to converse with anyone who is not in their family and who is not their dog.
What meetings are still happening for you on Zoom or Go-to-Meeting? I have several cocktail parties and coffee meetings every week with attendees from around the world. I am regularly asked to introduce myself. The perfect opportunity to give my pitch! Consider whether you, too, have that type of opportunity; don’t wait to be asked to give your pitch.
Don’t wait for it to be pitch perfect before you give it. Consider how one of the attendees of my marketing workshop received a referral the very same day by utilizing the tips that we had discussed. Nancy Sponseller wrote and learned her pitch at my workshop in Tampa. That evening, on her way home from her Ohio airport, she pitched her cabbie and ended up getting a divorce referral from him!
Perfect Your Quarantine Pitch
So what are the most crucial tasks that you can undertake to create the perfect pitch during quarantine? Start with these five:
- Rewrite your resume to emphasize your background, education, nature, and/or experience, as well as your passion.
- Create an easy-to-read, single-page self-profile, highlighting your goals, your achievements (what gives you credibility), your interests, and your networks.
- Review your contacts; list all potential referral sources you already know, and any that occur to you on this first go-round. Schedule virtual one-to-ones with your existing referral sources using websites like Zoom.
- Craft your first quick pitch and your social pitch.
- Start pitching! Record yourself giving your pitch, and then email the recordings to your family and friends. Discuss their reactions to it, and make appropriate changes. Work on perfecting your pitch, based on their comments. (One of my attendees reported that he pitched his own college-age daughter at dinner after the first day of our workshop. How did she respond? “Dad, I didn’t know that’s what you did! I could have referred you lots of clients!”)
Start working on these important tasks, and they will help you to develop your pitch. Write your pitch down. Say it out loud. Learn it . Memorize it. Practice it on your friends and family, asking for feedback each time. Once you are happy with it, practice it daily, and pitch as often as is appropriate.
Practice your pitch so that it becomes ingrained, so that you can give it with confidence. Tape a copy to the mirror in your bathroom, and practice it every morning three times before you leave the room. Tape it to your fridge and repeat it every time you open that door. Repeat it at night before bed while you brush your teeth. Memorization will allow you to focus on your listener, on his reaction to your pitch, and to then hone your pitch to perfection. Practice, practice, practice while you’re stuck at home, and, when you’re back in the marketplace, you’ll be more than ready to effectively market yourself and your services.