The Fight Club pitch

How do you know an entrepreneur is pitching?: his lips are moving.

Maybe.

This is the best pitch ever:
Joe, what do you do?: “We make and sell soap.”

I’ve used this many times.

If you make soap and you can tell people what you do in one line, without any context (knowing what they find interesting)… well awesome. Most things need some context before you move on.

We attended the Net Prophet Startup Exceleration workshop this week.

It was basically sales training. Ask questions. Have a conversation. Know the context. Figure out the need. Help people buy.

Groovy, but it does not mix so well with startup pitching idea… which was also part of the workshop.

I show up, give you a 2minute monologue on what we do.. are you going to buy it? No.. but if I give you one sentence to start a conversation I suspect I can, within 5min tell if you get it. If you do, I’m happy to tell you more.

The 2min pitch is lame and people who ask for it are lazy.

4 thoughts on “The Fight Club pitch

  1. I have found that the more you talk (2 minute pitch), you can actually notice people’s interest and attention fade after the first 30 seconds. I often walk away with people more interested when I listen more and speak less, as well as with a general enough understand of what I do. However, I think being able to gauge a person’s interest level is quite key.

  2. I think you should have more of a 30 second overview so that if there is interest you can figure out how to go further.

    Perhaps the more fundamental point though is that if you are ‘pitching’ you are selling what you have to someone who may or may not be interested. “Ask questions. Have a conversation. Know the context. Figure out the need. Help people buy.” –> This sounds to me like as much product management as sales. Which is exactly my point. One in isolation from the other is not likely to work. You can have the coolest product in the world (according to you) but if customers won’t buy or won’t buy at the price you need it doesn’t really matter.

  3. I don’t believe that you should expose anybody to a 2 minute pitch. The who, what and why… is an exercise best reserved for those still figuring out what they and their business are about.

    Your best opportunity for connecting with someone new is to shut up and listen. Your best prospect is the person who knows they have a problem or that a problem exists. These are the people that are happy to find/buy a solution. To establish all of this you need a conversation not a speech.

    Who would you do business with – the man rambling on about what he does OR the man that just tailored his message with a solution to the problem you were facing?

    In theory you could still do that after the pitch – but by that time it’s less effective as the person has formed an opinion or expectation.

    A pitch means the receiver has to process it. But if the sender does the hard work, the processing, by figuring out the problem and presenting the solution – the hardest work the receiver will be doing is writing a cheque.

    Conversation starters win.

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