Your BREAK THROUGH, Vol. 1, Post 38 (reprise, originally written in Fall 2014)

(This was in response to LinkedIn’s “What makes a pitch unforgettable?” prompt):

There is most definitely an art to pitching a new idea. And investors, collaborators, and the movers in your industry might need you to throw that perfect pitch like in #SharkTankWeek to know that you’re serious and ready to bring lofty ideas and game changing products to reality.

What if it’s actually not about the pitch? Taking free reign with the baseball analogy, pitching implies that you are going after the hitter with everything you’ve got, throwing that deceptive sinker or screaming fastball, striking out the hitter. But in the case of a business pitch, the hitter is actually the one you want on your side; you want to throw a pitch that they can knock out of the park.

With my lack of sportiness ringing loud and clear, I’ll throw my own curve ball and get to the point: if you’ve built a genuine working relationship with someone, then the respect, candor, and trust that you need to “sell” them on an innovation, already exists. Instead of pitching, you’re sharing in the incredible experience of a human-to-human connection. You are allies and collaborators, eager to assist one another as best you can.

I’ll share a post in another couple weeks about Network Building vs. Networking, that touches on similar themes of transformational relationships instead of transactional interactions. Both that post and this one illuminate a practice that has served me well as an independent contractor and entrepreneur: what’s unforgettable are the human beings involved and the relationships we’ve built.