Maybe you’re a great web designer
Maybe you’re a great coder
Maybe you’re a financial wizard
Maybe you’ve got a flair for industrial design
Maybe you’re a craftsman with unique skills
Maybe you’re great at managing and building a supply chain.
Maybe selling isn’t something you enjoy, like or even care about. Maybe making presentations is the part of business that really isn’t your thing.
Problem is this: There’s plenty of great ideas, businesses and people who never reached their full potential because the selling bit was missing.
Step forward the ‘Sandwich man’
Startup blog definition: Sandwich Man – a gun presenter and public communicator who presents the ideas and sells the dream on behalf of the business.
A sandwich man is called such, because he holds together all the good things like the bread does on a yummy sandwich. Without him all the ingredients, nutrition, ‘reason for being’ could all fall away.
A good sandwich man would start and close any business presentation to people like venture capitalists, suppliers, key accounts, customers and the media.
Quite often successful businesses are run by a team where one of the members is the tech genius and the other is the Sandwich Man. Who then communicates the ideas and vision to get people on board. Rarely people are lucky enough to have both skill sets. Regardless of which skill set we have, we always need a sandwich man. We can even bring one into the team on a needs basis.
But without one, we may end up with a great product or business which never gets the traction it deserves.
I took this quote from Seth Godins latest micro book Tribes:
“Do you beleive in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy”
This resonates with me because it will motivate us to find solutions that ‘non believers’ will be too inept, apathetic or bored to uncover.
Entrepreneurs ought launch something they beleive in conceptually, not just financially.
Below is an elevator pitch ‘workshop’ I gave for the ‘Agents of change‘ entrepreneurs club of Melbourne University. The video below is the one of 6 x 10 minute videos. The first (the one below) includes an ‘example’ pitch I did for rentoid – then has ‘alot’ of questions and answers. The last of the videos, workshop 6 – all of which are here has some ideas on great pitcing practice.
It’s kind of long, but the largely due to the discussion afterwards!
London Advertising Agency Prima, were pitching for the Ford Motor Co advertising account. This was in the halcyon days of advertising circa 1969.
They decided to do the following:
They dismantled a Ford Escort car. Took it up the stairs piece by piece, part by part and then put it back together in the board room. This was where the pitch was to take place. The people who did this were not mechanics. It was the people who would be working on the Ford account. The creatives and the account managers. The idea was entirely conceived and executed by the people who would be working with Ford on their advertising.
When the Ford people arrived for the pitch. They were flummoxed to say the least. And immediately asked how they got the car in the building? Given there was no obvious way for the actual car to get in the building, let alone up the stairs!
The pitch then commenced with the Prima advertising team telling the story. Which no doubt included some of the trials and tribulations of dismantling & building a car piece by piece. But more so, showed all the intangibles which ultimately won them the account:
Passion, Ideas, Creativity, work ethic…
And a willingness to stretch themselves as a partner and an understanding of what Ford do, beyond that which any other advertising agency could have.
This is the benchmark. What will your next business pitch look like?
I was in a session with the ‘School of thinking’ founder Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson on Friday. (he co-founded this organization with guru Edward De Bono)
The session was amazing. I wrote down a particular quote which resonated with me:
“The perfect pitch being worked on at your desk can send you out of business. The imperfect pitch being presented to a customer can keep you in business.”
Get out there.
Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”) and is said to have called it his best work.
Heads up from wired.
There is a phrase I learned in College called ‘having a healthy disregard for the impossible’. That is a really good phrase. You should try and do things that most people would not.
Chances are we’ll still fail to do the impossible most times.
If we don’t try we are certain to fail every time.