Leann Webb, Business CatalystWhat’s a BBQ pitch? Well, everyone has heard of an elevator pitch. You know, for the times that you’re in the elevator and randomly chatting about work to the other people in the lift? Nah, me neither. So, instead, I think of it as a BBQ pitch. For those times when you meet someone at a friendly neighbourhood BBQ. Exactly, much more likely.

So, you’re standing with your plate of salad and a BBQ sausage, maybe a glass of wine or a beer as well, and the person you’re chatting with says “So, what do you do for a crust?”.

Your BBQ pitch is your answer that gives them an insight in to what you do. In an ideal scenario, you can succinctly explain your work, grab their attention and find an opportunity to work together.

The difference between an elevator pitch and a BBQ pitch (aside from the likelihood of ever needing it) is that the elevator pitch is typically open and shut. When they get off at their floor, end of conversation. But the BBQ pitch is an open-ended conversation.

Here’s the structure I find works wonderfully:

I start by identifying two things:

1. the key frustration or challenge that clients have that my business solves, eg submitting a tender is time-consuming and frustrating; and

2. the preferred outcome that the client would want, eg to win more tenders with less headaches.

Then, I turn the challenge in to a prompt which I can use when someone asks “So, what do you do for a crust?” For instance, “Well, you know how putting together a tender is time-consuming and frustrating?…” (Person nods head, agrees, adds their own comment… eg “oh, I hate tenders… ugh…”)

And then I turn the preferred outcome into a statement of what I do, eg “Well, I help companies put together their tenders so that they win more without the headache.”

This approach works wonderfully as a BBQ pitch as it cuts straight to the pain points for the client and helps them see how my solution solves their familiar problem. And it has the added benefit of helping to qualify the prospect as well: if they haven’t experienced the pain, they are not going to buy anyway.

Try it for yourself and see how well it works, even outside of the BBQ scenario. ☺

Leann Webb

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