Episode 499. John Livesay, The Pitch Whisperer
January 16, 2023
John Livesay is the pitch whisperer – he helps people calm down and deliver a winning pitch. He believes that the best way to win more sales is to tell a story that includes your own personal story, a company story, and then turning a case study into a case story. He was approached by Anthem insurance to be their sales keynote speaker and ended up staying for their improvisation session to help people with their pitches.
Ink Magazine dubbed Jordan a pitch whisperer after she gave an example of how she helped a client tell a better story. She was working with Olympus medical, who had a piece of equipment that could make surgeries go 30% faster, but they couldn’t understand why more doctors weren’t buying it. Jordan explained that people buy emotionally and then back it up with logic, and then she asked the client some questions. The client told a story about how their equipment had helped a doctor at Long Beach Memorial put a patient’s family out of their waiting misery. The other doctor saw himself in the story and decided he wanted the equipment. The client was amazed and said they had never thought to make the patient’s family a character in the story.
4 Steps to Effective Pitches
John Livesay talks about his process for pitching and how he uses a four step structure to make his pitches more effective. He gives an example of how he used this process to pitch for an airport renovation project. He first paints the picture with the who, what, where, when. Then he highlights the problem and the stakes involved. Next, he provides a solution. Finally, he brings the story to life with dialogue that allows the listener to see themselves in the story.
The speakers discuss the importance of focusing on the problem statement when seeking independent consultants. They tell a story about a fictitious client, James, who needs the caliber of consultant found at a big firm like McKinsey or Bain, but without the full team. James exhausts her personal network and then has trouble finding the right person. The speakers argue that this is a problem that their company, UpWork, solves.
Pitching Tips for Independent Consultants
In this conversation, John Livesay discusses some tips for independent consultants who are pitching their services to potential clients. He stresses the importance of selling yourself first, as people are more likely to buy into your energy than anything else. Additionally, he talks about the importance of using stories to connect with potential clients, as this will help them to see themselves in your experiences.
Will Bachman and John Livesay discuss the importance of finding a mentor, and how to go about finding one that is a good fit. They advise against simply posting a request for a mentor online, and instead recommend reaching out to people you know personally or have worked with before. They also suggest stacking multiple problems to solve, in order to make the mentee more attractive to potential mentors.
Cold Email Subject Lines
John Livesay, a sales trainer, recommends focusing on empathy, listening, and storytelling when making cold calls or emails in order to build an emotional connection with the person you’re trying to reach. This will help you earn the right to have a meeting or conversation, rather than be seen as an annoyance.
The conversation discuss tips for writing cold email subject lines and John Livesay shares his tip of funneling potential contacts on LinkedIn. He believes that by staying connected with potential contacts, it won’t feel like a cold email when you do reach out.
- 0:01: What is a pitch whisper?
- 4:18: How to find the right story to sell.
- 9:15: The importance of telling the best story.
- 11:55: How did you get into the field of consulting?
- 18:50: How do you find the right person?
- 23:34: How to open your email with a compelling pitch?
- 28:07: What’s a great open?