Archive for November, 2007

I got two pickles

This video speaks for itself – what a classic.

The Art of Making Your Point

It is an art form and a very hard art form to master. I’m guilty of being far from perfection.

Making your point is part of your pitch, and as part of a pitch you need to understand:

  1. Who am I targeting?
  2. What will they understand? and most importantly;
  3. What are their hot buttons? What benefits will they get out of me and my business?

I repeatedly make the mistake of assuming that people already understand where Don’t Tell is heading, what its about and why it’s great for them.

It seems to reach the perfect pitch you need to become the other person, put yourself in their shoes.

The other night I went through the following thought process:

  1. I’m the person being contacted
  2. I receive an email from someone I’ve never met before describing some website.
  3. What is this website really about?
  4. Where is it heading?
  5. Why do I care?
  6. What do they want?

I know it’s simple but it’s something I often forget.

Golden Quote About Listening

From David Cohen on the TechStars Blog talking about listening:

If you can’t listen, you can’t improve. If you don’t improve, you’re going to die. It’s important not to die. Listening is a prerequisite.

Spend your next day of meetings listening more than you talk. You will notice the difference. Just don’t get in a Mexican standoff with another reader of this blog. That would be weird, what with all that listening and so little talking.

Building relationships – it’s all about face time

Evan from YoungEntrepreneur.com posts Young Entrepreneur’s Prefer Email:

It was found that when going after clients the rate of phone use drops by 30% for entrepreneurs in their 20’s compared to their counterparts in their 40’s.

My more meaningful professional relationships only use email for organising meetings – everything is done in person. People need to start picking up the phone, calling and meeting people in person. It’s all about face time.

It doesn’t need to be face time discussing business, it just needs to be face time. People become comfortable with your face so they’re more likely to want to be around you or work with you.

Face to face meetings have still been found to be the number one way to get new clients. An in person meeting was found to have a success ratio of 57% while those who tried getting business via email only found the success rate drop to 37%.

1300-eatout: the power of a good pitch

1300-eatout. It was a great pitch but unfortunately the idea behind it lacked, in my opinion, any real business opportunity. So, I wondered, how did 1300-eatout make it to the final round of the first PitchClub Sydney event?

  • The pitcher’s message was clear, you knew what he was proposing: 1300-eatout. It was repeated constantly throughout the pitch. (My repetition in this post will probably make you remember 1300-eatout!)
  • The pitch was short and sharp. Contrast this to pitchers that went on or over their timelimit and seemed to be rambling without mentioning the clear benefit or reasons as to why I would use their product.
  • The pitcher spoke very clearly and loud enough for all to hear. At the other end of the spectrum I struggled to hear a lot of the other pitchers.

The message was clear, everyone knew what the pitcher was talking about but the business idea, a number and website to book a restaurant, just didn’t cut the mustard. He had no real idea about how many people would use his product – “imagine if 5% of the $X million people spend on eating out went to my business…” He had no clear path of reaching those customers. He was also just in the “ideas stage”.

It still goes to show that if you pitch well, you might just get that foot in the door sooner.

Kids say e-mail is way dead?

A recent article, Kids say e-mail is way dead, on ninemsn wrongly points out:

“Tech-savvy teens reared on a diet of social networking and SMS have a message for their elders — that “newfangled” invention called e-mail is boring and its role is fast becoming redundant.”

It is not becoming fast redundant at all. “Kids” have rarely used email to contact each other or organise parties in the first place.

Contacting each other has been done via IM, SMS or phone since the dawn of Gen Y. I can’t recall ever sending anyone an email. I can’t recall ever receiving an email.

Furthermore, email has never been used when it comes to parties as Gen Y has always used SMS, word of mouth or traditional party invites. What is becoming redundant is the use of SMS in this area because it is far more expensive than using social networks. Traditional party invites, however, will remain because they add that level of importance and class (and some people seem to just love making them!).

Email will remain for professional conversations, the role it mainly plays with Gen Y. There are no two ways about it.

 

Passion behind street signs

Yesterday on the bus ride home I was looking around at the buildings, schools, restaurants and brands. It’s so interesting when you consider that behind almost everything in our world is a man or woman with passion.

Someone has had a dream and made a decision that they’re going to follow that dream. They’ve followed up on it and disregarded the negative comments of the unpassionate and the risk averse.

It’s hard to convey the sort of emotion I’m describing, that raw passion, through the English language. I hope it came through at some level.


Scott Middleton
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