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This week we are bringing you behind-the-scenes on both sides of the pitch! We sat down with Robin Pulford, Former Supplier Diversity Manager at American Airlines, and Tiffany Ricks, CEO of Hacware (and experienced pitcher), to narrow down the formula for the perfect pitch.

As a former Supplier Diversity Manager at American Airlines, Robin Pulford has heard hundreds of pitches.  Last year at Power to Potential she met Tiffany Ricks, CEO of Hacware. She was  immediately impressed by Tiffany’s ability to deliver a strong pitch, and asked her to record it for the AA Supplier Diversity team.  We talked to Robin, and today she is giving you the details on how to create your pitch for Connections to ContractsBelow she gives some general tips to help you resonate when speaking with a corporate professional, as well as a sample formula to use a guideline when putting your pitch together:

  • Keep it short - 60-90 seconds at most. 
  • Be succinct and quickly identify your strengths.
  • Stick to the most important elements – it should be an introduction, not a full sales pitch.
  • Gather intel about who you will be pitching to prior to the event.
  • Show your brand voice and positioning through your marketing. Consider hiring a professional to help optimize your marketing plan to make your message more attractive to corporations and government entities.
  • Start networking with supplier diversity professionals now, even if you are not quite ready to bid on contracts, as they can introduce you to Tier 1 Suppliers or give referrals. Learn from your connections and be creative to find new avenues for business. 
  • Keep in mind that you don’t need to meet everyone, concentrate your time and energy on the connections that are relevant for your business.

Sample formula for creating your pitch:

  1. Start by identifying yourself and the name of company. Speak slowly and articulate clearly so they can catch your name.
  2. State the #1 service you can provide. Don’t go in to every capability you have – use this to brag about the one thing you do best!
  3. Explain how you can help their company, and why you can do it better than anyone else. 
  4. Finish by asking to extend the conversation at a later time.

So now you know how to create your pitch - tomorrow we'll bring you advice from Tiffany Ricks on how to prepare yourself to give your best pitch at the event (read it here)!