Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Poker Faced Pitches

Have you ever been in a pitch meeting that right from the beginning felt like you were in a meat locker? You could see your breath because it was so COLD? I am not talking about the room being cold at all, if you catch my drift. Yup. That was a pitch meeting we had this week. It was like a meat locker inside. And really, it wasn't our team. We actually came in because a big executive wanted our concept to be heard by some of the folks underneath them. We pitched this big corporate place before and experienced the same cold bone chilling feeling.

Picture this, your executive walks in. He or she shakes your hand with the "cold fish" handshake, smiles slightly and sits down. Every word that comes out of your mouth they are examining. The whole pitch they are poker faced, no inflection, no smile, no real interest and are set on hating what you have? When they finally do make a comment - your left going hu? No personality, no presence, nothing to add value to even try and act like you like us or the idea of the project or yourself for that matter!

I have been in many pitch meetings where if they like a small bit of what you have - you talk about ways that it could be better. We brainstorm together and make the outline of what we came in with be something even better. That happened to us when we went to pitch USA recently and the exec loved the conceptual idea and we sat there for two hours talking about how we could make it better, bigger and fit into what they had. It was one of the best meetings that I have had in a long time, outside of a few great ones at FremantleMedia.

I really didn't want to pitch this place again esp after our first meeting with the uninterested Jr. executive. But my TV intern reminded me that this meeting doesn't mean that it will end up the same way...I had my doubts and boy was I right--again. When you pitch someone that has a job just to have a job and hasn't ever gotten anything green lit EVER - and has only had one production job...it makes you wonder what the heck you are doing there.

Granted, I appreciate any time given to me to hear my ideas. But what I don't appreciate is the hardness and the lack of personality when meeting with someone. At the end of the pitch they didn't even walk us out! They disappeared so fast that they were not even in the hall when we left! I am actually still scratching my head 5 hours later going, what happened there? What do they like anyway? ESP since their big exec wanted them to hear the pitch...

The bottom line, you should pitch people you like but sometimes when a bigger contact initiates that they want their team to hear the pitch, you go do it. You smile, you say thank you, you shake hands and then you walk away talking about them outside of their building...

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