Prospecting Problems: Complex Pitches and the Art of Simplicity
Post #4: In which we help you make complex pitches
If only everything in life was simple
Unfortunately, prospecting is often far from a simple proposition.
This is particularly the case when dealing with highly specialised and technical problems and solutions. For example, in sectors like tech, medical and electronic manufacturing, any innovation or service is likely to be meaningful to only a specialist audience. It is also likely to require an OED-sized technical vocabulary to explain it and be backed up by a thesaurus full of jargon.
The question for prospectors is whether to try and blind their audience with science – thus stamping their learned and experienced credentials all over the pitch – or, instead, keep it short and simple.
- The risks with the latter approach are that gains in making a clear, succinct, readable pitch are possibly made at the cost of dumbing down the solution.
- The risks with the former are that it assumes far too much of the prospect’s valuable time and risks being consigned to the recycle bin before the revelatory crux of the matter is even reached.
Prospecting is not rocket science
Prospecting, they say, is not rocket science.
But what if you are prospecting to a bunch of rocket scientists: should you outline the problem you solve in all its technical glory and outline your solution in all its devilish detail?
From the results of campaigns that we have managed, the answer is a resounding no.
The best complex pitch is not complex at all.
It is made 100% in everyday language and, if there is no way that the problem and solution can be outlined in a sentence or two, then the pitch should avoid spelling it all out.
It should run something like this:
Indeed, this pitch template could be pretty much adapted to any complex problem solved by technical wizardry, whether it is an IT network problem solved, engineering challenge overcome, medical innovation shared or atomic physics discovery.
If you are working in a complex field set your pitch out simply and rely on curiosity to do the rest.
Your brevity will be appreciated and will ultimately earn more trust than a string of arcane 13+ letter words ever could.
One final word of warning
There is a strong temptation to lay things down easy in the email but to say ‘I’ve posted my findings in more detail here’ or ‘you can delve into the science bit here’.
Do not give in to temptation.
The argument in favour goes that it allows those who like the technical side to access it while shielding those who don’t. It’s a good argument, but it wilts like a lettuce leaf on a hot summer’s day when you go back to basics.
Are you prospecting to spread knowledge or to be invited to make a call/set up a meet?
The answer is the latter. You want to be present when more is learnt about your solution so you can set the agenda and steer the conversation.
You are not looking to drive traffic to a web page but to sell to a lead.
Weblinks in prospecting mails are diversions rather than steps forward.
Stay on track! When it comes to complex pitches, everything in life should be simple.