There are many types of pitches. Some pitches are for raising money for a new company. Other pitches are designed to pique the interest of a book publisher or a movie producer.
The pitch I’m going to help you with is designed to get you in front of the person who has the power to hire you, specifically in the Sports Industry.
We’ll call this pitch, the “First Pitch,” because it will be the first pitch you’ll make to the Hire Authority.
The primary goal of the First Pitch is to establish a connection. Making a connection is a lot different that just making contact. A connection with someone is more personal, more meaningful and much more memorable. (Please note: The First Pitch is not designed to land you a job on the spot. Think of it as the “first step” toward getting an interview.)
Below are the 3 Keys to a Killer Pitch:
At this point, you’ve targeted the companies you want to work for and have identified the Hire Authority at each company. Now you just need to make a connection.
To make a connection, you have to be relevant to the Hire Authority. Relevant, in this case, can be categorized in two ways: 1) You’re relevant because you can make their job easier; and 2) You’re relevant because you make them feel good about themselves.
Relevant is NOT you asking for a job. The minute they feel you’re about to ask, “Are you hiring?” is the minute your pitch goes down the toilet. (Note: asking for a job is the Final Pitch, which I will cover another time.)
Below are four ways to become Relevant:
• Ask to interview THEM for your blog, newsletter, or special report
• Let them know you just read an article about their team (or client) and it sparked an idea you’d like to share
• Establish a new media clipping service and give them a free subscription, but had a few questions first
• Let them know you have an affinity for their [charity] and would like to help out (read: volunteer)
In other words, be yourself. Since you’re pursuing your “dream career,” I’m going to assume that you will automatically be PASSIONATE about what you’re doing. Passion sells. Passion wins people over.
However, the biggest mistake people make is that they are passionate about the wrong thing. They’re passionate about the team, the players, and sports in general. (Who cares?)
Everyone’s passionate about sports. But not everyone is truly passionate about the specific job duties surrounding the position you are pursuing (with the exception of you, of course). Your passion for the actual job is one of the things that can set you apart from the competition. But the passion must be real. You must be authentic!
Below are a few ways to communicate you’re Authentic:
• Demonstrate how the Sports Industry [insert specific job here] plays a big role in your life by subscribing to industry rags and blogs
• Show your commitment thru memberships w/ Sports Industry associations (e.g. Sports Executives Association)
• Start your own Sports Industry organization on campus or online
• Don’t say things like, “I’m a people person,” or “I love the Patriots” (that doesn’t mean anything; it’s just noise)
It’s a proven fact that people are drawn to individuals who are self-confident. Employers will hire the super-confident over the kinda-confident every single time.
However, don’t confuse confidence with being cocky or arrogant. As a matter of fact, arrogance will have the complete opposite affect. It’s a thin line. The difference? Cocky people care about themselves. Confident people care about others.
Below are ways you can achieve complete confidence:
• Do your homework about the Hire Authorities
• Do your homework on the targeted companies
• Do something in the sports industry worth bragging about
• Develop a First Pitch you fully believe in
• Practice delivering your pitch without sounding canned
When your homework is done and you know you’re out-worked the competition and you believe in who you are and where you’re going –- and can articulate that –- you will be unstoppable.
• Be very clear from the start
• Never imply you need a job
• When you make a connection, stay connected