“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

When I got out of college, my first job was selling billboards. In Buffalo. In the coldest winter they’ve had since the 1850’s. Brr.

Needless to say, it was the world’s worst first “real adult” job. A girl had to cut her teeth somewhere, right?

My boss was an entrepreneur trying to be innovative in an old school business. He gave me billboard stats about impressions. He told me how to mine the phone book for potential clients. Google was still relatively new – AOL & Yahoo were the best places to find information. I had a Blackberry – just recently graduating from a Palm Pilot.

I pounded the pavement. I knocked on doors. I asked for the business. The crappy CRM installed on my computer was my coworker.

I was cold. I was hungry. But not hungry enough to “sell.”

Six months later, I quit and moved to Santa Cruz, California. The opposite weather as Buffalo.

I got a job selling real estate ads for the local rag. (That’s what we called the non-mainstream newspaper back then.) It was (and still is today) called The Good Times. A throw-back political paper on all things Santa Cruz. It hit every aspect of the hippy AND multi-millionaire lifestyle.

Nine months in, my little classified ads outsold the retail ad reps. I was really good. I knew my market and taught my clients how to sell themselves to this very wealthy, tight-knit community. 1-800 numbers worked everywhere but Santa Cruz. If you didn’t have a 916 number, no one wanted anything to do with you. I got my stats together and went to my boss for a raise & a promotion. Much to my chagrin, he said I was too valuable to the classifieds for a promotion – and I quit. All my relationship-building and audience-knowledge walked right out the door with me.

My next job brought with it sales tapes by Zig Ziglar. And yes, I really mean tapes.

I was selling the Wedding Yellow Pages (yep, that’s a thing) in Sacramento, California. I networked, made friends, sold ads like crazy – and promptly quit. When I found out my boss would rather me use the Ziglar method of getting clients to nod and say yes – or to get as many business cards as I could proffer, I knew it was wrong for me. She wanted me to be a machine. I wanted to be a human.

That’s when I met Talis. My sales background, albeit just 3 years long, gave her a fresh perspective on an old industry – recruiting. She believed in relationship building first. The twinkle in her eye showed me she trusted me. That trust allowed me to take my $36k base salary and make 6-figures my first year.

How?

I met & developed the most intimate business relationships with my clients – they trusted me implicitly. They knew I had their best interests at heart. They knew it wasn’t about the money for me – it was about being human.

My first client as a direct-hire recruiter was with a German solar energy company. They needed a team to launch their offices in the US. Because of my talent for finding the right fit, I gave them great candidates to choose from. Because of how I interviewed these candidates as humans, they asked if they could pay me even when they brought me additional candidates so I could help them choose the best ones regardless of the money. They brought me into their own processes. Within my first three months, I hired over 10 people and made the company over 6-figures in fees.

Recruiting was not meant to be my life path. Building relationships, NOT selling, would become my lifeblood. From selling billboards to placing humans, relationships are at the center of it all.

Pitching is something we do on a daily basis in every aspect of our lives. And yet it only becomes authentic and human when we can make a deep human connection with those we are pitching. Because, here’s the thing – we all think “pitching” is about getting people to do what we want them to do. Yet, truly effective, world-building pitching, is about making connections and creating a path forward that works for all the humans involved. Pitching is so much more than nodding heads and mechanical “yesses.”

Much like I did, salespeople get trained on a step-by-step “how to get them to say yes” process. They teach us to get our “subjects” uncross their arms, to sit forward, to nod – to say yes. We learn to get them to show us buying signs. And yet, no matter what they show us – if they don’t trust us, we’ll never get them to yes. All the tactics in the world won’t get us what we want.

A few years ago, I created The DISH Method to give myself a handy way to share my knowledge. And then I used it to process the information I was teaching to create the methodology. It’s simple – and yet goes deeper into the relationship-building than we’re used to. It’s the basis for the Rock Your Pitch workshop and retreat.

I can show you how to use The DISH Method and how to Rock Your Pitch – yet even if you use it perfectly and don’t connect with the person you’re pitching, you won’t get them to buy from you. THEY HAVE TO TRUST YOU.

So, before you even get to the HOW in how The DISH Method works, let’s start with the WHY. (Hat tip to Simon Sinek over here.)

  • Why would someone buy from you?
  • Why are they going to trust you?
  • Why are you the human to ask them for whatever it is you’re pitching?
  • Why would they give you their hard-earned dollars before anyone else?
  • Why wouldn’t they use the same money for something else that isn’t competing with you?
  • Why does what you’re pitching really matter?
  • Why are you worth their time?

Relationship building isn’t jargon. It’s not a part of your marketing plan. It’s not a tactic. Relationships are built on real trust. On honest feedback. On response times. On human connection.

You can have the most practiced, most thought-out, most practical, most efficient whatever – but if you don’t have connections, you have nothing.

Go to your why. Every time.

What is your lifeblood? What makes you tick? What makes you smile? What makes you vibrate?

If it doesn’t feel good, quit.
If it doesn’t fit you, move on.
If it feels slimy, it is.
If it feels inauthentic, they’ll smell it.
If you’re desperate, they’ll know.

Stop and re-think what you would do if you had everything you ever wanted. Why are YOU the person who must do this?

I still think back to my Buffalo days – those 6 months in that cold apartment trying to hit my numbers. Sitting there wishing for ANYONE to say yes.

I still remember the look on my bosses face when I quit the Good Times. I remember how he begged me to stay and even figured out how to use House ads to pay me what I asked for after he knew I was really going to leave.

I pitched my heart out – and I am so grateful I knew my worth – my why – my lifeblood. No regrets. Only forward momentum. Pure gratitude for the learning along the way. Such rich lessons – such great historical data. (More on that later.)

Begin your next step with human connection. By building relationships. Go from your why to your how. But now before fully knowing you’re why. After all, until you know you’re worth, you’ll never be able to tell them why you’re worth buying from.

xoxo
Melanie



Are you ready to find your voice, get more buy-in, and be the expert? We’re ready for you!

The Rock Your Pitch Retreat is the only pitch raining that walks you through a proven 4-step presentation workshop to craft, deliver, and show up for your presentation – your way. As you. Completely, unfalteringly, YOU.

When you sign up, we’ll send you a printed workbook. Yes, real paper! Then we’ll get you set up on 4 group calls over 4 weeks to work through our methodology for perfecting the perfect pitch or presentation. You’ll have all the pieces in place before you show up IRL (in real life).

Then, you’ll come to play in-person at a 2-day, 3-night interactive retreat to do the work to make your pitch or presentation yours. You’ll get the training to write it, practice it, and give it in front of other rockstars just like you. Grab your spot at letsrockthispitch.com

 

 

 

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