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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » Anatomy of a good pitch. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

NathanHimes
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I want to get your opinions on what you believe to be the most effective way to write a pitch.

Not necessarily referring to magic or toys. (Svengali or worms and the like)

More a generic template, or flow chart of how a pitch should go.
Hopefully this makes sense.

I've always loved a great pitch, even if it were for door to door magazine sales, or carnival games.

I want to learn more before I write my own pitches.


Thanks in advance for the knowledge and experience.

Nathan Himes
DonDriver
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First off you have in a ptich how it will make everyone's life better and easer.Second you have to tell them what a great deal this is and how much money they will save by buying it from you right now.The "right now" is very important.If you have a kicker in the pitch ( a give away with the pitch item, you say "you get a---- FREE as long as they last don't come back later because I might be out and once they are gone they are gone etc.

The pitch has to also show how easy the item is to use.

Just watch some pitches on TV and you'll see they all do this.

Don
mrunge
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Nathan, you can take Don's advice to the bank!

Mark. Smile
sethb
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And if you USE Don's advice, you'll have plenty of bank deposits to make, too!! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
NathanHimes
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Thank you Don, that's what I was looking for.
I have recently been interested in getting out there and pitching for fun, practice and hopefully some extra money.

Most likely you guys will be hearing from me more and more.
And hopefully it will all be success stories. Grin.

I am open to any and all advice you can give to a beginner, or if you know of anyone in the fort worth/Dallas area I should get in touch with.

Thanks again. I appreciate it.

Nathan
DonDriver
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Nathan,
You are so lucky because my good friend David Walker lives in Dallas.He is the one that broke me in way back when.He started to pitch svengal's back in 1948 with Harry Laryane.David is like me and totaly retired ...althou it wouldn't take much to get him out on the road again.

He dosen't have a computer so I PM you his phone number.David is a sweet heart of a man and very funny.He'll be happy to talk or have lunch with.Also a friend of his and mine is Jerry Spaulding who also lives in the area.Jerry started and owned a multimillion dollar pitch co. till his kids fired him.David will put you intouch with Jerry.

http://www.usjesco.com/Default.aspx?Aspx......upport=1

Hope all this helped.
Don
RiotStrike
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Nathan I think dwayne andrews lives in your region. last I saw him he was doing a ton of pitchwork. I talked to the guy who just got his camera back from ya lol and he says hes got the hookup.
NathanHimes
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Yeah, I have heard a lot from The guy with the camera (lol) about Dwayne, I didn't know he did pitch work, thanks for letting me know.
iugefu
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USJesco has positions for demonstrators should anyone be interested.
Wonder how the 'pay' compares with having one's own pitch?
joe yang
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On an added note, a good, live pitch is more than a script. It is interactive. With a live audience we can connect with the crowd and tune our pitch. We can run with what the audience connects with, include the audience and get them on our side.

This means learning not to exclude anyone. Audiences sense when little things, when we ignore people in the back, or demographics, like teens, or seniors.

It also helps to learn to watch for the most receptive audience members. There is a tipping point in pitching a crowd. When enough people start nodding in agreement or approval it is easier to get the crowd on your side.

Straying from the script, finding the strongest bits and new buzz words can help too. I used to keep notes, time of day, weather, location, special events, duration of pitch, crowd size, turnover, cash volume. I tried to tune my pitch accordingly.
aka Mike Booth
sethb
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It's true that a good pitch is more than a script. But I also think you need to know the basic pitch so well that you know it forward, backward and in your sleep. That way, you don't have to wonder or worry about "what comes next," and your moves are almost automatic.

But this doesn't mean that you are just a robot. On the contrary, this leaves you free to concentrate on the crowd, make good eye contact, react to situations, speed up or slow down the pitch, or to add whatever little bits of business may occur to you from time to time.

It's also true that the basic Svengali Pitch is deliberately structured in a certain way, for good reasons, the result of countless trials and errors over the years. You can try to re-invent or improve the wheel if you like, but I'd strongly suggest doing the tried and true way first.

Joe also has a good point about not excluding anyone. In fact, in my experience seniors and teens are often the best potential customers -- the seniors buy for their grandchildren and the teens buy to amaze their friends. I once had an older lady come by my spot in a motorized wheelchair. I demoed the Magic Worm for her, which she thought was the funniest and most amazing thing she had ever seen. She bought six of them for her grandkids. So don't make any negative assumptions about anybody; you may be very surprised to see who buys your stuff. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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The problem I have, once I learn the pitch so I CAN say it forward, backward, etc., I tend to just rattle it off instead of giving it the "illusion of the 1st time" that actors do when playing a part over and over. Putting emphasis where I should. I have to REMIND myself to slow down, especially on the close. "Magic stores sell these...." When I do force myself to slow down, I can HEAR the difference in my demo and virtually SEE the difference in the people.

I have to admit I used Don's demo as a foundation but now have many deviations. Dunno whether that's good or bad but it IS different. And even tho I had a hard time convincing myself to raise the price from $5 to $7 (David Walker and Seth made me do it!) and then to $8, I've found that raising the price not only earns more money per sale, in my mind, IT SELLS MORE CARDS. I've gone thru my last gross in only 4 shows.

I think most of you know, I not only sell cards, I also sell strippers, so don't concentrate on cards excusively. But recently, it seems that I spend more time demo-ing cards than strippers. There might even be a time when I begin selling more $ volume in cards. What a switch THAT would be!

Jon
sethb
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Jon, you are the Svengali man! I agree totally about slowing down, I believe it makes a BIG difference. First, it gives people time to understand and absorb what you are saying, which makes the demo even more impressive. Second, it really helps to emphasize and dramatize the effect. Finally, it also helps you to conserve energy, so you can do more pitches.

I forget where I heard it, but someone told me (probably Don) to slow down by half, and then to slow down some more. When you think it's too slow, it's probably just about right! And slower does not mean boring or less effective. In fact, when I slowed down, I found the pitch was more effective and I got bigger tips and better turns. The slower delivery might be adding another minute to the pitch, but it's well worth it, in my experience.

Funny thing, too, about the price. It has to be cheap enough for an impulse purchase, but not so cheap that people think it's not worth it. When you charge a little more, people think it's worth more. BTW, I think David is getting $10 for the deck now. That would be as far as I would be willing to go, at least in my neck of the woods. I may go to $9 for the coming season, given the higher wholesale proces and the ever-rising spot fees. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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I stress SLOW a lot n my DVD.It sooooooo important.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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David is selling them for TEN AMERICAN DOLLRS PER DECK?????? Why....THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE!! Smile (Remember when they were $1?) And I thot $8 was outrageous because Seth and I were a buck higher than he! Will it never end???? Smile First thing ya know, I can stop selling strippers altogether and ONLY sell cards--20 bucks a deck! Wow!! One good thing about $20, don't need any of those pesky one dollar bills. Just change for the HUNDREDS!! Smile

And Don, you are so right (AS ALWAYS!) about talking slowly. I demo the strippers very slowly but seem to hurry with the cards--primarily because in the back of my mind, I'm afraid that (Since I ain't YOU!!) the kids are gonna get bored and leave. But what I've found is that slowing down gets MORE interest. And more sales. So I TRULY am slowing down more.

Gimme another decade or so, I'll get it!

Jon

P.S.---Really??? TEN BUCKS????
sethb
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Jon -- I'm pretty sure that's what David said on one of his DVD's. But Don would know for sure.

Personally, I think $9 is about the limit (and it SOUNDS a lot cheaper than $10, even though it's really not). Same theory as why gasoline sells for $2.99 a gallon and CD's are $9.95.

Anyway, if you're moving a gross of decks in four shows, you must be doing something right, and you don't need any more advice from us JCL's!! Smile SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Seth is right David did say the.It brings back found memeries for me.When I first went to work for David well over 35 years ago and I first learned the pitch.I would be on the joint doing a pitch at some fair and trying so hard to remamber all the words and moves and not wanting it all to sound like I was reading it off a scrip page and seem to be spontaneous to the tip.I would hear from behind me "SLOW DOWN" David would be in a chair behind me in the top and take naps on his hour off.He would have his head down and his eyes closed and without opening his eyes or lifting his head he would say "slow down' hahahaha.Thoses were the days.

Later,Don
sethb
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Even at $8-10, I still think the Svengali Deck is a pretty good deal and a good magic trick. As long as you are selling a decent quality deck and not some cheap Chinese knockoff, I think the buyers are getting good value for their money.

BTW, when I bought my first Svengali Deck on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ, back in 1961, I believe I paid the grand sum of $2, and I didn't even get a TCM with it. If you adjust that $2 price for 50 years of inflation, I'm sure it would be a lot more than $8 or $10. So as you can see, the deck really is a good value. Now who wants one, just raise your hand and we'll get it right over to you. Buy it now, before I go on break and they're all gone . . . SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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