According to Kevin Allen, we pitch business ideas every day. But how do we ensure our pitches will be successful? Allen’s forthcoming book, The Hidden Agenda, teaches readers how to connect to their audience on an emotional level in order to win pitches. Entrepreneurial spoke with Allen about how to find and connect to what he calls the hidden agenda.
You write in your book that each of us makes a pitch every day. What do you mean by that?
Whether you’re trying to get a group of people to follow you for the first time who you’ve hired or you’re running a small company, at the end of the day there’s an organization you’re trying to reach and connect with. In business (that’s) an audience that you’re trying to get to do what you want them to do and to buy your product. So the notion of pitching, that is reaching someone and connecting with them so they will follow you is a universal thing in business we do each and every day.
Over the years of pitching, I realized that behind every decision is an emotional desire. People don’t buy with their heads, they buy with their hearts.
While everyone was listening for the functional stuff (in meetings), my antenna would go up and I would say I think this person is nervous or this person has an ambition. If I could connect with that in the form of what makes me special or what I believe or maybe establishing a shared ambition, I’ll connect with them and they’ll believe in my business. Once I started to codify this and use this as a process, we won much of the time.