Published On: Tue, Oct 4th, 2011

Response to the Pitch. Are You Striking Out?

By: Gerald J. Sherman

What is “The Pitch?” It’s a word with many meanings. In baseball the pitcher throws the ball at the batter to get a response – strike, ball or a hit. In music it describes the different levels of sound. We also use it to describe a person’s voice, low pitch or high pitch.

In selling, it’s a verbal presentation which includes the talking points. In public relations it’s the talking points that are either voiced or written to the media in order to obtain publicity.

Gerald J. Sherman

It’s also a tool in the form of a pitch letter/press release that includes all the information to encourage the reporter to publish the information. This form of presentation is used daily by all of us in a business environment to communicate an idea, convince someone that what you are saying is important to them and basically tells them how your product/service benefits them.

Unfortunately, many people may look at the word “Pitch” as an expression used by a fast talking salesperson trying to push a sale. But, this is far from the truth.

Pitching, as we use the terminology, is an act of professional selling. It basically is the act of selling. In our previously published text book, “The Real World Guide of Selling & Management,” [Gerald J. Sherman and Sar Perlman, Fairchild Publications, (2007)], we indicated that selling is a professional endeavor and “not a dirty word.” We defined it as, “An exchange of goods and services designed to deliver a mutual benefit for both buyer and seller, resulting in a continual and positive relationship.”

In pitching a story, you are actually looking to sell the other person on the content of the story and to indicate how it will be beneficial to both parties.

Once the pitch is organized and all the possible information is in front of the person, the next and most important area is to determine if she/he is interested in what you are saying.  During the pitch one should be aware of the reaction the pitch is having on the individual who is on the receiving end.

Listening for an objection is essential during the pitch; it is a positive reaction because the objection usually indicates that there is a need for more information and your message is not completely understood.  If you determine that in this activity you have answered their objections and they show an interest, the story has a chance and it is time to “close the sale!” The simple act of closing a sale, asking for a commitment, is some times the most difficult thing. But, once you have received a positive response, you are on your way to a successful outcome.

By putting effort into researching the person or organization that you are pitching; you will find that striking out will not be an option!

Send me your ‘pitch’ and I will review it free and send you my recommendations.


Excerpts from the book, Fashion Public Relations, Gerald J. Sherman & Sar S. Perlman, Fairchild Publications, Division of Conde Nast, N.Y., (2010)
 Gerald J. Sherman, MBA, DBA, of Sherman & Perlman LLC., is a marketing and public relations consultant, sales coach and author who has written several books and articles on these subjects. 561.715.2788

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