Pitching An Experience
Would you door knock and cold call? I'm gonna give you some choices to pitch. Would you like to learn how to door knock and cold call or would you like to create a kickass video for Youtube?
Oh really, nobody wants to cold call? Oh nobody? Yeah, so why are you crying about cold calling? When you could be amazing videos? If you can't afford a video or a camera that shoots video, turn your phone around. Spend what, four dollars 99 on Filmit Pro. You can even focus and expose two different buttons. Shoot it this way. Do it on your iPad. Edit it on iMovie and Animoto Unlimited. Come on, what would you rather do? And tell me a story about your pitch. Can you think of a story right now that you could make a video of? I'll give you a couple of options just to prompt you. I shot a mother and daughter shoot on Friday. I was photographing the little girl because she's an actress, nine years old, for her acting folio. And I said to the mother "Can I photograph you too?" And her husband...
says, "Oh this'll be fun." And I looked at him and I said "Why?" and he goes "'Cause she hates all photos of herself." So I look at the mother and I go "You hate photos of yourself?" And she goes "Ah yes, much better behind the camera." And I was like, "Okay." That's my story. That's my story. So I filmed it. Myself, nothing fancy, I'm not a videographer. I filmed the shoot, I took the photographs, I'm making a video for photo week on Animoto to show you how easy it is to tell a gut-wrenching story. And on the video, you see me on the video taking the shots. But you know, it's not about me. It's about the woman who's standing there in there having a portrait taken who is hiding behind the camera. Watching her daughter being photographed over and over again, but when I look at that woman and I say, "When your daughter's grown up, "what would she own of you? "What photos does she have? "'Cause you throw them all away?" Do you think that made every woman in the room cry? Every woman who had children, every woman who had lost a mother? Every woman who had walked away from the camera over and over again because they didn't feel worthy of having their photograph taken? You don't think that is a story? I'm gonna pitch that. So I recorded it and I voiced over how I felt about it. And you're gonna see that next month. And I'm so, I wanna show you today and I can't. But you know what, that is a pitch. Why are you crying?
I was just thinking that, you know, when you lose somebody, to have beautiful, like you said earlier, to have beautiful portraits of them is priceless and I can't wait to see your video. And I'd rather have a video like that than, and I shot somebody and we're promoting an event and I was just thinking, I could video. And we videoed it. But I don't have the voiceover.
But you could do that.
And I thought yeah I could do it after and redo the video with her telling her story and it really made an impact on her life. And that that would be really touching.
You know the best part Jamie, it's your pitch. So you're not relying on talent or story to tell your pitch. You're relying on a strong visual component to an incredible message that comes from your heart that is true and that is real. And you can put that music into a video on an mp3 and record it on garageband. Susan and I have done it. We recorded it talking onto our laptop computer on Garageband on the Mac. And then dropped it in and the audio was good enough. Not bad, it was good. You know, the truth is is today I know that a lot of people are looking for pitching. They're looking for, to me, when I did pitching for work, people were looking for confidence, permission, ideas, self-belief. Some information that would help them get to the next level. I feel like this is a humongous hurdle, pitching. But I feel like the results or maybe the solutions to pitching are actually quite small. Once I started to break them down. See, I'll break down more for you because this to me is like why would I talk you through cold calling when you could just make this video? It would get way more traffic than cold calling would. And you'll actually get it done. Would you rather, I'm gonna give you another choice, go and print 10,000 pamphlets and deliver them in your car with your child running alongside the car, putting them in the letterboxes or you running along while your husband's driving the car or you walking the dog and dropping pamphlets in. They all get you 0.001 phone calls return. And I think that number's even gone down since they invented the internet. Or would you rather speak at an event? I just heard a whole lot of people go, drop off the pamphlets. (laughing) I would rather drop off the pamphlets. Yeah, I would run next to the car, I'd get some exercise. Honey, we're printing pamphlets! We're printing pamphlets! I gotta tell you a funny story. I went to speak at an event long before I could speak at events. And they said right, you could stand up on stage and just present for five minutes without a keynote. So I didn't have any photographs to stand behind. I couldn't stand up and hold up my card. So I had to get up and talk. So what I did was, I did what most reasonable people would do when they were jacked in an event like that, I left. I didn't know what else to do. I left, I stopped at a garage down the road. I bought a meat pie. I'm not kidding. A meat pie and pack of cigarettes. I ate the pie because my first reaction was to eat something. But I was an Olympic eater for a while there so that was just my, that was my kickback. So I was like, I ate the pie. Promptly pulled over on the freeway and threw it up because the adrenaline in my gut went oho, not a good time to eat pie. So I was like (mumbling) Ate the pie really fast, don't know why I was eating a pie. Threw up the pie on the side of the road, got in the car. (hyperventilating) Still panicking. Was driving towards my house. Like I'm now 15 minutes away from the event that my entire work studio is set up at. Smoke a cigarette, gag 'cause I had given up smoking five years before and I was like (groaning) And I'm silly. And then I went off an on ramp. I went off an off ramp and back on an on ramp to go back towards the event. So I drove 20 minutes away, drove back again, threw up my pie. Smoked cigarettes constantly until I gagged on them, walked back into the event, and they're like you're on in five minutes. I'm like, okay. That's what I did. (crowd laughing) Could have gone to the toilet and just prepared myself. But no, I was prepared to run. And eat. And smoke. Then I got up and I gave the worst five minute talk of my life and didn't book a sitting. It was brilliant. I think about that moment, oh my goodness. You can go to toastmasters.
I was a member of Toastmistresses now called ITC for many years. But at least in Vegas it's like 10 people.
But you know, 10 people and 10,000 people are no different. And I've gotta say, what it takes is you've gotta find your authentic voice. You've got to stop, you've got to stop any idea that people are gonna judge you. 'Cause they are. So what I did for my first Creative Live was the night before I just shut down. And I was like, I can't do this, I'm not good enough to do this, I'm not smart enough, I'm not educated, I'm old, I'm overweight. I went through all the reasons why I was gonna get knocked down. And every one of those things did come up. But I also went to this public toilet to get to the toilet and there was this graffiti inside the toilet that said I speak heart. And I took a Instagram of it and it became my mantra. And so whenever I felt scared or losing confidence in myself I would say I speak heart. Like I speak with my heart, I speak through my heart. I speak the truth. I speak, you know. And sometimes I don't speak so good. You know, I don't have the best elocution. I don't even have a high school education. I've made no secret of that. But I thought if I tell people the truth of what it was like to be in business and what it was like to struggle and what it was like to feel fear, then surely people will resonate with the truth. Not the I have an MBA at so and so and shh, I also don't have a high school education. I also didn't have a student loan. So put that in your MBA pipe and smoke it, you know what I mean, I was like pff. And I thought, you know, it's okay. You just find your truth, find your truth voice. But in public speaking, it's crippling but I'm telling you right now there were so many opportunities to share. There are women's groups everywhere. There are groups everywhere. What you're trying to do as a marketer is pitch to an audience. The more people you can pitch to and sell to the more chance you have of booking work. You almost have to overcome that notion of fear in order to excel at business. Because I will say one thing. We're pretty incredible that we hide in our studios or at home in our homes and write on Facebook how it's not working out for you and when I ask people directly what they're actually doing to give them work, they can't tell me. So I'm always like, hang on. You're not actually doing anything. And it's the idea of doing something that can make you more fearful than actually doing it. Right? Okay, I'll give you another option. Would you rather hope your clients refer you and complain on Facebook when they don't? Or sponsor an Evangelist? Okay, do you currently have anybody that you photographed that is sending you lots of business? How many? I'm gonna say, I probably have about eight now. Real Evangelists. I mean these women are big talkers, big, big, big sharers. Does anybody here have one that you can think in your mind? You need to call them every year. You need to shoot them for free. And you need to send them a gift. You maintain that relationship and you are home and housed. Do you know how many people ask me for stuff? I get it. People think I'm, you know, I'm very generous or they think I'm a moneybag or they think I'm something. But people email me daily asking me for things. If only you could fly to here and photograph my daughter because she's had trouble too. And I would do that in a heartbeat if it was a viable business model. But I can't work for free. It's not how it works. I will do a free shoot every now and then but you know what we did with Jill, I can't do that. I can do that once a year and find somebody and photograph them like that. So people ask me for things a lot. But it's the people that maintain a friendship balance with me that have stayed in my life. You know what I mean? You've got to give something to get in. And so many people ask for stuff. But what am I getting out of it? So the best business advice I could give you right now and think of this when you're pitching is what's in it for me? Okay? Best business advice you could have right now, put it on your computer, what's in it for me? When somebody says, I want you to come and photograph this event for free, you say, cool, what's in it for me? Well I've just told you I can't pay you. And I say, but you can give me other things. You can give me contacts. I can give vouchers out to all the people in the audience. You can introduce me to somebody who will. You can auction a shoot, you can give away a shoot. You can give away 100 vouchers to your database, to you friends, to everybody coming to this event. What's in it for me? That's balance. If you're not asking what's in it for me, then you've missed the point of business. So the best advice I ever got, Robert Cauley told me that, oh, changed my world. Okay, so when you're pitching to somebody imagine they're thinking what's in it for you, what's in it for me? And if they're thinking that, you gotta tell them what's in it for you, like I'm asking you for something right now, Jeffrey. And you're thinking what's in it for me so I better tell you what you're gonna get out of this. And if you think that's a viable exchange, you're gonna say yes. Right, if you don't, you're gonna go hmm, hmm, I'll think about it and you're not gonna call me. So I kind of think to myself, right, what's in it for me is one of the biggest things we can learn. Learn it, learn it as a business person. Learn it when you're pitching. What's in it for me, what am I getting? I recently had the incredible experience of shooting for a large commercial company, Olay. What was so incredible about it is I got to photograph women, everyday women, not talent. So it was my clientele, but through a commercial client. And they immediately put me into media training. I've never had anything like that. I've never had speaking training, I've never had media training. I was blown away by the experience of having the media training. One of the first things they teach you in media training is how to bring your words back to campaign. So let's say I'm a movie star and you're interviewing me about my movie. And you know that I'm secretly dating the husband of another star from my movie. And so you wanna keep trying to get off the campaign. And campaign is to sell my movie. They teach you how to go back around and come back to campaign and just keep bringing up the campaign. So in your pitch, when you're talking, it's really important that you keep coming back to your campaign, okay? Be careful. Because are you talking or are you selling? So this is an experience that I recently had so tell me if you're doing this. A guy, wedding photographer said when he was doing expos, he was struggling to get people at the expo to engage. I got around that by giving a gift with purchase. Right, remember how you did that? I bought the whole gift with purchase thing because it made people come up to the table. And then I had a periphery to advertise on instead of just selling the shoot. I was like if you buy this beautiful gift today you get a double makeover and a photo shoot with 190 dollars, blah blah blah. That was my pitch. But he was like, okay, so I talk to them about their wedding day. And I was like, okay, let's do a roleplay. I'll be a bride. And he said to me, "Tell me about your dream wedding day." And he said it just like that. And I kind of threw up in my mouth and then swallowed it. And I went "That's what you open with?" He was so offended. He was like, "Yes." And I was like, "Oh dude. "Can I give you a couple of pointers?" And he was like "Yeah." And I was like, "What date are you getting married? "Tell me about your dress. "How many bridesmaids are you having? "What color are they wearing? "Have you picked your shoes yet? "(gasping) Where's your venue? "How many guests are you having? "Ah, are your parents still together? "Ah how cool is that. "Oh, you've got both your grandparents, ah!" Interesting conversation. And all of a sudden the "Tell me about your dream wedding day." Just sounds so wrong and so sleazy. We wanna talk about ourselves. We wanna talk about what we're doing. We wanna talk about it. You're pitching without pitching. You're selling without selling. You're connecting easily by asking interesting questions. Really interesting questions, right? Are you excited or are you reciting? The problem is that everybody wanted me to write a script. If I write a script, you will read it. It sounds something like this. Is there anybody you would like to be photographed with? What I mean by that is, included in the price of your sitting you could be photographed with your sister, your mother, your best friend, your partner, for no extra charge. And I was like okay, I know it well enough to not read it. But these are the key words and phrases that you need to hit on but you cannot recite this. You recite it, you're doing yourself a great disservice. I want you to practice and practice and practice and practice and practice until you believe it. All right, we're gonna finish this segment with doing this. These are all about pitches. A consultation is about designing their shoot and pre selling with education. Now, do not tell me that your client did buy anything if you didn't educate them correctly on what your finished product is and how much it costs. But the idea of how you pitch your consultation is about how you wanna be photographed. So the focus of my pitch is how do you wanna be photographed, Niki? What do you wanna wear on your shoot, Mapwana? Tiffy, who do you wanna be photographed with, because your sitting can be with somebody else. You can bring your partner, your family members, anybody, your children. Are you interested in getting more portraits or a folio box, because I sell both so, if you're interested in the wall portraits, I have this really neat thing called the nine up and now would be a good time to show me because if you wanna do some dancing shots, this takes nine images like this. You know, ask them. Ask them the questions that relate to a finished product without sounding like you're selling or pitching. Try it, it really works. Imagine that you're imagining instead of them thinking it's too expensive, imagine that they're imagining that they're very excited about being photographed and you're really interested about creating a photoshoot that they're gonna love. Okay, what we're gonna do, Aaron is define, is design your shoot. So let's talk about how you wanna be photographed. Let's talk about what you and your husband are gonna wear. Like I did a really great shoot that was really kind of Calvin Klein-esque. They had white boxer shorts and it was, you saw a lot of skin. So clearly, you're both hot so you can both do something like this. Or if you want something more conservative, I photographed this couple in black polynex and did this black backdrop. And your gorgeous blonde hair, and you know blah blah blah. Design it like it matters. Like you're putting all this effort into shooting them but don't not talk about money. But just make your focus about them, do you get it? So you know, shift the focus of the pitch to what you're getting and then add the education. So Anne, the shoot that you're gonna do with your husband, do you think you'd like a beautiful wall portrait of the two of you together in your lounge or are you kind of more of a folio, I don't want to show this off sort of person? Okay. The good thing about the folio box is you can actually pull images out and frame them. You can hide it under the bed if you want sexy raunchy images and just make that a folio box for you two. Or you can put them on a gorgeous little easel and switch around the images and you have 20 images in that folio. So I'm building the value of the folio box. Now, let's say I don't go through that. Let's say I say, "Are you interested in a folio "or a wall portrait?" And you say folio. It's 1800 dollars.
That's what people do. They're more worried about the money than actually talking about the product or the value of it or that she's gonna love it or she can frame it or use it or hide it. What is she getting? It's 1800 dollars. And it's kind of like, do you know what I think when people say that? Okay, I'm gonna own up to something else. I don't know if ever said this. I might have said this. I don't think I have. I have a Philip Lim bag that I bought at Macy's. A gold one. I never take it anywhere because it's really gold and really ostentatious. I paid 700 dollars for it. I can't believe I paid 700 dollars for a gold purse that I don't even use. But I did it because the woman treated me like I couldn't afford to buy it. My name is Sue Bryce and I spent 700 dollars on a Philip Lim bag. Because a woman treated me like I was worthless and I wanted to prove to her that I could afford to buy it. Isn't that humiliating? I should have taken it back and then I found out that even if you return it, she still got the commission so I kept it. Every time I look at that Philip Lim bag, can I just say the other day I got it out and I put it in my lounge so that when you walk into my apartment, it's actually on the right hand side on a stand? And everybody that walks in goes, wow. Look at that. And I said "Yes, it's a Philip Lim bag. "It's to remind me to value myself." And people go. Funny story, yeah, all right. I feel like when people focus on money, they're telling me I can't afford it. And I instantly feel either really rejected and repelled or so defensive I have to spend money but I'm not happy about it. And I certainly don't put any energy of I own this incredible bag, I bought it 'cause I'm worth it and value it. And so don't bully people into giving you money and also don't talk about money in the way, because people get very offended by what we think. Now the reason I spent the 700 dollars on the Philip Lim bag. Stupid, I'm not stupid. I don't spend money on things that I don't need. You know, I'm not frugal, but I'm also not stupid. I save my money, I'm clever with my money. It was a stupid thing to do. I bought it for the wrong reasons. I bought it 'cause she looked at me like I could not afford it and looked down her nose at me. And then I saw afterwards, it was probably a good sales tactic. But it didn't make me like the experience. Doesn't make me want to go back there. Doesn't make me proud of that bag. Doesn't make me feel good about spending the money. So overall negative experience even though I got a 700 dollar bag. So when you talk about money with people and you don't talk about what you're getting, I'm the one serving you. You're paying me for that honor. I'm serving you, I'm pitching to you. The pitch is what you're getting. The pitch isn't it's 1800 dollars. The pitch is it's an incredible box. I get them made by Saudix Faneo. It holds 20 images, they're all self mounted. There's a beautiful ribbon. I pack it up, I give it to my clients. I show them. I get them to hold it, I'm proud of it, I love it. I've given 10 reasons why it has value before I've said how much it is. Okay?
One thing I've noticed in the pitch which is kind of eye opening is you're putting them in the experience versus just saying you get this and this and this and this and this is how much it is. You're actually drawing them in with the conversation like how we've been going over to get that conversation started.
Well this is the weird path.
Just eye opening to even do that.
If you say to me I wanna do a photo shoot, I'm already assuming you wanna do a photo shoot. Wouldn't you? No, no, seriously. So you think, what you're saying right now is perfect because most people are like, right, now I've gotta tap dance. And I've gotta do this dance. And I got to make him want me. You've already called. Nobody calls you unless they want something. So what they're doing is looking for an excuse to just be pushed over that edge to do it. So I look at it like this. Right from the moment you say you're interested in my work, I'm gonna ask you questions as if you have booked with me, as if you want a shoot with me, as if right at that, you have called me to do this. I said to my girls one day, all of my staff in New Zealand, if somebody emails you or calls you on the phone, and you don't book a shoot, you dropped the ball. 'Cause nobody calls you or emails you unless they want to do it. So it's something you did, you either didn't answer quickly enough. You either talked about money, you pitched wrong. You didn't follow through. You were incompetent in some way. How do I know that? I've done all of those things. Whenever I don't make a sale, I have done something wrong either in the preparation, in the execution or in the, in the preparation, the execution or the education of my client. If my client does not buy with me, I have done something wrong in one of those three areas. Okay? I have done that. Because from the moment you're attracted to somebody, you want what they've got. And there's really no reason that somebody shouldn't book with you once you're instantly giving them service. All right.
So I love to speak with them, gives you the power. You know, a lot of us feel powerless in that situation like the client has all the power. But when it's your responsibility and you're doing something wrong along those three lines, when you lay it out like that, it's really, it's only up to you.
If you meet a guy, when you go back to your dating days, 16 years ago before you got married, you meet a guy, you don't spend the whole energy thinking I hope he likes me. What if you don't like him? I mean, you know it's kind of like oh, oh this is a two way thing. Yeah, we so work from the wrong place. Let's go through our list. So consultation is about designing the shoot, preselling with the education. Preselling meaning I'm gonna talk about my products as if you were going to buy them. But I'm doing it in a way that you actually are gonna buy them. Because that's the result. I take incredible photos, you buy them. It's a good business model. It kinda works. The shoot is about experience and connection and building a relationship. Let's talk about that. I'm no longer selling in the shoot. If I'm selling in the shoot, I'm gonna probably be a little bit repelled. So the shoot is about you and your husband. Okay? I have to manage really good people skills here because let's say husband turns up and he's not that into it. I've got to make you feel comfortable and win him over at the same time. I've gotta use all of my power and skills to relax both of you enough to make the sort of photograph that you're gonna wanna buy. I've gotta educate him on the price because he didn't come to the consultation and I have to assume that if I fail in the education and or the execution of this photo shoot right now that I will not get a sale. Let's say he's into it, home and housed, I've done all my selling. All I have to do now is get you two back, give you great service, and get to my next pitch which is the viewing. And the viewing is about delivering what you promised and what you wanted. So if I deliver in the viewing exactly what you wanted in your shoot, beautiful photographs and the outfits that we designed together and the style that we spoke about, and I've already educated you on cost, the sale is already done.
Sue you said that you don't do any real selling when they're there doing the shoot. I tend to at the end of the shoot go for the tactile, sort of version and give them the box because many times they get to see the box in a PDF. I talk about the box. So I take that moment to let them touchy feely the box.
Always. Always give them the box.
Right? Yeah, good. 'Cause I was thinking I shouldn't? And then I tell them look, let's not worry about you know, what you have to select now, you have to come back for the viewing and you select it but this is how the box is gonna look to let them feel it.
So if I've done their consultation on the phone, they haven't touched the box until they come in for the shoot. So I go this is the box that I was telling you about. They'll instantly hold it.
Now in the beginning or at the end? Would you have a preference?
In the beginning I walk them through and I say this is my viewing room which you see. These are the boxes I told you about that you really liked. These are the ones, these are the wall portraits I was telling you about. Blah blah blah and I just show them everything, walk them through it, yeah. The viewing is about delivering what you promised and what they wanted. Six, the pickup. The pickup is where you get referrals, right? Don't bother trying to get referrals at the sale. Do you know how disgusting it is to try and get 2,000 dollars out of someone and you're already asking them if you can give them to your friends at the sale? Um, the person's like, isn't this about me? And already you want my friends? No, you are not to do the pitch on referrals at your sales session. You do your pitch on the pickup. When they're holding the product and they're happy 'cause you've delivered exactly what you sold. All right, and you do it promptly and you do it well. Then you sit with them, you don't send it off. Don't send it off to them. Sit with them. And say "It was so great meeting you. "It's great, I included some vouchers "if you want to give them to friends. "I've got this, I've got that. "Feel free to come back with your spouse at any time. "If you wanna do a girls day out shoot, "I do this really amazing day. "If you got any next, "And you know, when you end up getting pregnant, Marg, "make sure you come back next year "and do some maternity shoots." There's a million different referrals in that moment and that's when you pitch for referrals. Now, something that I've always preached is that if you do not follow up with this product and you don't deliver what you say you're going to deliver then the first thing that's gonna happen is you're gonna fail at that pickup. And when you fail at the pickup, they're angry 'cause they've paid for a product that they're not getting that you screwed around and taken too long and they're not gonna send you any referrals.