Sales: It's more than a dirty word.

Hello friends!

Many people get stuck in business because they're adverse to the word "sales." It's become a dirty word. But what if we broaden the definition of "sales." Selling is about a lot of things, like:

  • Advocating for a cause that you deeply believe in
  • Negotiating a higher salary 
  • Persuading someone to buy a product 
  • Promoting an event that benefits a good cause
  • Coaxing a child to rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher

At the root of sales is persuasion. And persuasion is a critical skill we need to develop.

Oren Klaff persuades wealthy investors to give money to startups to the tune of $2 million per week. He's one of the best. Why is he so good?

Klaff says, “The difference isn’t luck. It is not a special gift. I have no background in sales. What I do have is a good method.”
In Pitch Anything, Oren Klaff illustrates that creating a winning pitch isn’t an art – it’s a simple science. There is a formula for crafting pitches that works and it's brilliant.

It goes like this:

Pitching your big idea (5 minutes)

1. Introduce yourself and your big idea

(less than 2 minutes) How you start your pitch is important. This is where you will, or will not, get attention. Find a super concise way to explain your track record of success. Don't focus on the places that you worked or your life's story. 

Like this:

Hi, I’m Susan Hughes and I’m a writer, designer, speaker, and marketing enthusiast.
I’ve been working in marketing since the Internet was in its infancy. In fact, I was the creative director for the development of AARP’s first member portal and Hershey’s first ecommerce website. That was a long time ago!
Since then I’ve spent nearly two decades working with clients like: the American Red Cross, the Human Rights Foundation, and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Now, I leverage my experience in business strategy, technology, messaging, and integrated marketing to help small businesses create winning marketing strategies that improve their life, brand, and business.
I’ve spent my entire career at the intersection of technology and marketing. And things have changed dramatically.

2. The “Why Now?” Frame

(less than 2 minutes)
Before you describe your idea, project, or product you need to frame the importance by pointing out three market forces that are at work. These market forces make the "Why" feel like it's an integral part of a much bigger picture. 

Like this:

    A website that used to cost six figures can be created by anyone for a few bucks a month. No coding experience necessary. Marketing tools are affordable! 
    At the same time, technology has dramatically changed our society. We're all becoming much more isolated. This is why we’re seeing an explosion of business incubators, accelerator programs, and co-working spaces.
    Technology has made it possible for anyone to build a website, blog, video channel, podcast, online store, virtual community, or online course to promote their platform. Everything you need to market your business is available to not-so-technical people. Technology has become extremely accessible and easy to use!

3. The Big Idea

(less than 1 minute) 
I read Pitch Anything so you don't have to. Here's the formula for ending the perfect pitch:

"For [target customers] 
Who are dissatisfied with [the current offerings in the market].
My idea/product is a [new idea or product category]
That provides [key problem/solution features].
Unlike [the competing product].
My idea/product is [describe key features].

Like this: 

For entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits that do their own marketing – yet feel unsatisfied with their brand and results – the Marketing Mastermind program provides a new way to look at marketing by combining business strategy, one-on-one coaching, a mastermind group, and hands-on professional time with skilled graphic designers, writers, and web developers.

Unlike expensive marketing firms, or individual consultants with one area of expertise, the Marketing Mastermind program puts you in control of your own marketing with support, assistance, and accountability.

Hear what people are saying about
Marketing Mastermind:

"Susan has a unique talent for helping others to believe in themselves as much as she believes in them. When you work with Susan, you'll not only leave her course with a fully realized professional marketing platform, but more importantly, with a belief in your own abilities to achieve your unique potential. I recommend Susan and her Marketing Mastermind course without reservation.” 
– Alana McFall



"Susan provided me the swift kick in the rear that I so desperately needed to promote my business. My career has not only taken a new and exciting direction, but I now have proof: a new logo, new business cards, a new website, and an energized approach to my work. Thank you, Susan!” 
– Louise Suggs
"Marketing Mastermind is the only reason I now have my beautiful, targeted, smart marketing materials and a plan to move forward. Susan helped to identify my needs, write copy, and most importantly, hold me accountable. I respond well to deadlines, and Susan’s passionate yet demanding demeanor instills confidence and gets the job done.” – Katie Daniels

If you're struggling with your marketing, Marketing Mastermind will get you unstuck so you can build a brand you’re proud of and improve your business and your day-to-day life easier and more productive.

Registration for Spring 2017 has begun. Space is limited and will fill quickly. We will meet at the Baltimore Impact Hub from 10am-12:30pm on Friday, April 28th, May 26th, June 30th, and July 28th

Tell me more about this mastermind thing.

You rock. Let it be known.


PS: Not ready for a Mastermind group, but need some immediate marketing? If you are looking to get insight into your marketing and action-oriented coaching, I offer ½ hour and 1 hour consultations that you can book through my online scheduler. For people who are ready to make marketing a priority and get personal assistance from a team of creative professionals, I also offer custom one-on-one coaching packages.

What's on your mind?

Want to chat about your business struggles and victories? Email me and let me know. I promise I'll get back to you.