How To Win Over Bankers And Other Skeptics – The Art Of The Pitch

art pitch

I pitch bankers for funding, companies for executive search business, landlords for more space, and suppliers for optimal terms to help my company thrive.

You want a job at Ivy Exec?  You need to win me over.  Here’s how:

  1. Advance work: Try to find out as much as possible before the formal interview.  One great candidate I interviewed a few years ago, asked for an informational interview with the second in command at my company before speaking to me.  She gained so much information from that informational interview that she came to our meeting prepared to dazzle.
  2. Project the real deal:  Beyond being prepared with your research, do whatever it takes – your  5 mile run, your Starbucks latte – to find your “Zen” before we meet.  You need to genuinely project confidence, enthusiasm, and an upbeat attitude, while still being authentically YOU.  Insincerity and self-doubt are easy to spot.
  3. Question rigorously–Question everything: Ask lots of questions – as many as possible.  You need to use your first meeting with me to understand my plans, goals, challenges and especially my pain points.
  4. Your “business case”: Base your business case on how your skills and experiences will help solve my challenges, as you understand them.  One person I hired a couple years ago – a totally left field candidate — brought few technical skills and no subscription business experience to the table.  However, she demonstrated a keen understanding of my challenges and how her extensive consulting background could resolve them.
  5. Follow-up & follow through:  This is your final sales pitch. It’s where you synthesize all the information you gathered and connect the dots between my company’s needs and what you can offer. The more tailored and on point the follow up is, the more you’ve convinced me you’re serious about the opportunity and you’re the right fit.  I quite likely have 3 to 5 equally compelling candidates to choose among for any given position, so “follow-up” is your chance to demonstrate passion by being “appropriately relentless.”
  6. Less is more:  I receive around 300-400 emails per day. To keep my attention, be as brief and to the point as you can. This doesn’t mean omitting important selling points.  It does mean communicating directly and succinctly.

About the Author

Elena Bajic is the founder and CEO of Ivy Exec, a selective online career network for top performers.