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  • Writer's pictureLinda Green

Pitch perfectly with psychology!

What do all of these companies have in common?

Well, they have all attended my pitch coaching sessions!!

After a great year of work, which followed a dismal, doldrum during the pandemic, I have finally stopped for a week and thought I would share three of my favourite psychological tips for pitching success. After all, why should only these companies reap the benefits?

  • Before you even start your pitch it is worth considering something called, 'Self serving bias,' which means that we favour those who compliment us on our choices or those that agree with us. One of the biggest shifts when pitching is to consider it as a longer conversation, you're building a relationship with the buyer. Let's face it, we rarely get a commission on the first go! So, to create a positive feeling between you and the buyer, do your homework: what do they like? what have they commissioned or bought recently? what are their beliefs? Find time at the start of the conversation to mention these, to agree with them and to put them and yourselves in a favourable light!

A self-serving bias is any cognitive or perceptual process that is distorted by the need to maintain and enhance self-esteem, or the tendency to perceive oneself in an overly favorable manner.
  • Rhyme as reason effect was most famously used in the OJ Simpson case, where Johnnie Cochran the Defence Attorney referred to his cap and said that, 'If it doesn't fit, you must acquit'. I spend a lot of time when I am pitch coaching, getting my pitching team to identify a simple and salient 'hook' of your idea; this is the need that your idea fulfils, why will the consumer or audience want it, why will it matter to them, why it will matter to the buyer. This is the anchor of your idea in the buyer's mind and it is what we return to throughout the pitching conversation. In addition to this, if you can make it rhyme, then they will believe it, remember it and buy it!

Rhyme-as-reason effect. The rhyme-as-reason effect (or Eaton-Rosen phenomenon) is a cognitive bias whereupon a saying or aphorism is judged as more accurate or truthful when it is rewritten to rhyme.
  • And one of my absolute favourites, because I just love saying it, is 'Hyperbolic discounting'. This is our preference for 1 cookie today, rather than 5 cookies in a week's time! If your idea or solution will take a long time to prove itself then this is a challenge. So, you will need to work harder to entice your buyer with shorter term gains; maybe there's a quick pilot offer, or fast-acting marketing gains, or they might save on something else right now if they buy your idea for the near future?

Hyperbolic discounting is a cognitive bias where people choose smaller, immediate rewards rather than larger, later rewards. Hyperbolic discounting occurs more when the delay is closer to the present than the future - to put it plainly, it is a cognitive bias that stems from impatience!

These are just three of my favourites. If you'd like to find out more then get in touch for my full 3 P's of Pitching, from the psychology, to persuasion and performance. Did you notice I rhymed my title (so sad!).

Linda 0791 508 2028,,

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