THE BUSINESS PITCH …………………
By Noelene Feldon
The purpose of writing to a company to request their permission to provide a quotation, is done for the simple reason of gaining more clients/customers. The “Pitch” as it is known in business terms, should therefore be concise, factual and contain information about your company which would be of interest to the reader.
Consider the following “pitch” received via a corporate web-site:
“Hello, my name is John, I want to sell your products”
No company name, no contact details, simply (more often than not), a gmail e-mail address. A company reading this, cannot hope to take it seriously. (This, incidentally, was sent to the “Complaints” section of a company web-site.
Firstly, you do not send a pitch for business via the company’s web-site. In order to approach a company, you should firstly research that company (via any means possible, including their Corporate web-site), then write to a person who you know will actually receive your e-mail and pay it some attention. A contact person’s name could be obtained by phoning the company. It is not safe to assume that “The Marketing Manager” deals with everything from Marketing to Sales, to Procurement. Most companies have these departments compartmentalised and it is imperative that you send it to the correct person, otherwise you have literally wasted your valuable time (and theirs).
Generally, using a “shot-gun” approach never works, as your communication is going to simply land in someone’s spam folder. As most employees are receiving in excess of 100 e-mails every day, it is important that they see your approach as worthwhile – otherwise, it is destined for the Trash section of their Inbox messages.
Another very important issue when pitching for business. Use FULL AND CORRECT SENTENCES! This is one that has actually been sent to a company:
“Hi, pleas let me be yr sles agnt. Pic me”
Companies do not speak “sms jargon”. If an organisation or company receives a message like this, they will not even spend one minute looking at it. Understand that companies do not have time to phone people begging them for information. That information must be provided when approaching the business or organisation. This must include:
- Your name
- Your designation (owner, sales manager etc.)
- Your company’s physical and postal addresses
- Your company’s contact details (landline or cell phone number)
- Your company’s e-mail address (in this regard, gmails are very seldom taken as a serious business contact).
In closing, this is plea to anyone wanting to sell a product or service to an established organisation ………. Be professional in your approach, do research on the company to whom you are pitching and above all, leave some plausible contact details.