When I was a networking newbie, an entrepreneurial woman I met told me she’d like 15 minutes of my time during which she promised to “dazzle” me. I agreed to hear her pitch. I was not dazzled. I don’t remember what she was selling. But I do remember her misuse of that word and my time.
‘Under-promise and over-deliver’ has been a mantra for me both as a giver and receiver in the business marketplace. So, when I read and article in the current More magazine that perfectly demonstrated a truly dazzling presentation, I wanted to share it with you.
Barbara Bigford had invented a product that she wanted to get into the Savannah Walmart. She promised the buyer to keep her pitch to under five minutes and held up a stopwatch to prove it. Already an irresistible offer, right? I’m going to quote verbatim what she said (according to the article) and add my editorial comments alongside.
- I’m the owner of Seabreeze Products, [~ names her position and the company]
- a newly approved Walmart vendor [~specified her credentials within the organization]
- with a fabulous item that I just know you’re going to love– [~confidence and optimism for that person’s buy-in]
- –a beach umbrella that does not, I repeat, does not blow away! [~names the product and the problem that it solves, twice for emphasis]
- She held one up. [~props are critical to the success of a presentation]
- This is the only umbrella that comes with a weightless anchor. [~paints a picture of a concept that raises a question in the buyer’s mine]
- You just fill these pockets with sand to weigh down the umbrella, then empty them when you leave the beach. [~answers succinctly and thoroughly the question she raised in the previous sentence]
- Isn’t it amazing? [~gives prospect/buyer time to take in the genius of her invention]
- No more chasing wind-blown umbrellas down the beach! [~reiterates the problem she’s solving with a powerful visual image}
This had to have taken weeks to write, edit, memorize and rehearse, but the payoff was worth it–sales to Walmart and 400% growth for her company in the two years before licensing her invention. Here’s an image of the product and a link if you’re sold too.