The art of the pitch: Create a “belief” !
How to make an effective communication is always a tough question that need time to answer. Understanding communication is very important in many fields, I decided to conduct an interview with a sale person, who has to communicate with people everyday and experience many presentations. Her name is Hanh, currently working for Prevoir company.
Prevoir which was established in 1910 is one of the most sustainable life insurance companies in France. With the long history of operation and experience, Prevoir was confidently expanded its business to the international scale and in 2005, Vietnam government agreed for Prevoir to open its branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with the capital up to VND 710 billion. Ms. Hanh, who is currently working as Sale Manager in Prevoir has worked from the its very first day of establishment and she has directly witnessed the successful development of this company.
At the first met, Ms Hanh has really impressed me with her appearance and confidence. Pretty blue dress, long curly hair and a smile on her face, she looks really professional, confident and impressive. Her voice is a bit hoarse because of her sickness but she still talk with a confident voice. Before the interview day, I had prepared many different questions in order to have a deep understanding of her tips about effective communication, however, she made me very surprise when after being asked about 2-3 questions, she answered almost all questions that I want to ask.
Photo taken by author (2013)
Ms. Hanh believes that communication is the process of receiving and delivering the message. In her field, it is really important to communicate with people because by making the pitch, we will understand the expectation of the target audience then, help them to understand how the product is matched with their expectation. She also states that an effective communication would enhance the value of the products because if the product, is not well presented in the pitch, is a just a raw product, nothing special.
‘Belief is a key to success’
Reproduced from Garman
Create a strong belief is the key point to make a pitch successfully. But how can ‘belief’ is built? Ms Hanh will answer the question by providing many practical tips. If you still read the article, I’m sure that you will gain some interesting and useful information. There are some key points that she made during the interview:
- Last impression comes from the first impression
A usual pitch has three parts, the opening, the body and the conclusion part. In Ms Hanh’s opinion, all of those parts are really crucial; however, if your opening is good, it will make the customer follow your stories till the end. The ideas should be presented concisely, briefly but easy to go to people’s heart. I noticed this from the beginning of the interview because each of her answer was concrete and simple but sufficient. According to Health & Health, the similar thing as Ms. Hanh said, one of the key points to make our ideas ‘stick in people’s mind’ is to be simple. Finding the core and delivering the complex message in a simple way with simple words are very powerful (Health & Health 2008) .
- Be honest in a clever way
Reproduced from MydearValentine 2013
The term ‘Honestly’ describes the act of being truthful to ourselves or the others and being honest will enhance our confidence when we communicate with people (Mangum 2007). As a result, honestly is really necessary, but Ms Hanh said it must be in a clever way. If you are honest but not flexible when answer the customer’s questions, you will destroy your profession and credibility. When facing a tough question from customer, Ms Hanh suggested, “, I will try to answer all of the questions in my knowledge but I think this is a really good question and I need time to discuss with company then I will provide you the best answer” is a honest and clever way to do.
- Fail to prepare is prepare to fail
According to Solomon 2008, while it may be harder and riskier to present without power point slides, the presentation will become more effective than usual. In contrast, Ms Hanh believes that, power point slides are really needed whenever she wants to make a presentation to the clients because through slides, clients will understand clearly the points that we want to made. However, she also admitted that it just a tool to help us illustrate the messages. After all, you have to know your content, messages and prepare the materials in case something could go wrong with the projector. Preparing for the problem is a clever way to show your profession and create a belief for your customers. Doing rehearse before the pitch is also required. ‘If you are not ready, you should quit’ is what she said about this point.
- Listening is more than just talking
Reproduced from Peck
Interactive is the what Ms Hanh usually do in the presentation with customers. She said when you integrate with the atmosphere there, the audience will immediately feel more closer and friendly with the product. Then when they have questions about the products, they will more natural to ask and share with the presenter and the decision making process would be pushed up higher than usual. But how to interact with the clients? She continued to share me her tips:” Instead of just talking, put the customer in the real situation by asking questions and let them answer the questions on their own”. For example, We don’t have to ask: “What is saving?”, instead, “How you usually save your money? “. This is how you listen and know what the customer wants and needs then to provide them the appropriate products. Indeed, the goal of the pitch is not to deliver all of your points, the goal is to be effective, engaging and easy to share ( Solomon 2008).
The interview was closed in 20 minutes. Before, during and after the interview, she still kept her enthusiasm, friendliness and definitive of a leader. Before I left, she still asked me: “ Is it enough? Do you need more information?”. The interview was very relaxing and meaning to me because I could learn a lots from Ms Hanh. As a person who listened to her answers, I understand deeply how communication is important in affecting people’s emotion. After this, while there are some key points that Ms Hanh provided is different from what I have learned in class, I think all of the points are really important and it depends on the experience with different clients. I also think that forceful, enthusiastic voice, appropriate dress code and being confident is the other key factors to become a successful presenter in communication.
Word cound: 1076
Garman, C, ‘Belief affirmations’, image, affirmyourlife, viewed 7 August 2013, < http://affirmyourlife.blogspot.com/2009/07/belief-affirmations.html>
Heath C & Heath D 2008, Made to stick : Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck. London: Arrow Books.
Mangum, J 2007, Look, speak & behave for women: expert advice on image, etiquette, and effective communication for the professional, Skyhorsepublishing, New York.
MydearValentine 2013,’ In a relationship don’t try to be perfect, be honest’ , image, mydearvalentine, viewed 7 August 2013, < http://www.mydearvalentine.com/picture-quotes/in-a-relationship-dont-try-to-be-perfect-just-be-honest-p-243.html>
Peck, S ‘Listening? What did you say?’, image, connxn, viewed 7 August 2013, < http://connxn.net/building-relationships/listening-what-did-you-say/>
Solomon, R 2008, 58 things every advertising & marketing professional should know: The art of client service, Kaplan Publishing, New York.