The process of pitching and what we can learn from Hollywood

The process of pitching (and what we can learn from Hollywood)


  • A  Hollywood movie, the Shawshank redemption
  • A top selling novel – The DaVinci Code
  • An awesome comedian – Jerry Seinfeld
  • A musical extravaganza – Phantom of the opera

Between them they generate 10s of billions of dollars each year by following a formula, a formula that has remained successful since the dawn of time.

Ask someone what their favourite movie or novel is, and they will likely struggle to choose just one.

And for most the reason the movie or novel is so memorable is the story that is being told.

How the characters are brought to life, the unexpected twists in the storyline.

All leading to the final action sequences where everything is revealed.

While Hollywood producers, script writers, authors, composers are paid handsomely to get it right, there are a high proportion of creative ideas that never see the light of day or bomb spectacularly.

And the reason?

Usually a poor story, the characters were weak, I knew what the ending would be, it was boring.

The difference between a blockbuster and a bomb

The story and how it is told.


We business owners and salespeople could learn a lot from Hollywood if we listened but for the most part we don’t.

We are blissfully unaware that the secret to our sales success we are watching most nights on Netflix, at the movies or in reading in  a novel before we go to sleep

The process of pitching is easier than you may think.



The process of pitching your business your product your service is all about telling a story.

And every business has a great story, a masterpiece and how you craft and deliver that story is critical to the success of your sales process.

How well crafted and delivered is your story?

And what happens when we put your story, your pitch in a busy world, in a competitive post Covid marketplace, how does it stack up?

What makes you stand out?

Does your story have clients paying attention and wanting more like a good movie or is it straight to video, no one really cares?


Every great story has these three ingredients, and everything starts with a setup, the foundations of the story, the structure.

Then intrigue is created to hold the attention of the reader, what will happen next, the hero is in harms way, you want to know more.

And then at the end, the big reveal.


Let me ask you all this, when you choose a new movie to watch do you Fast forward to the end and watch the last 15 minutes first?

When you purchase a new novel do you read the last chapter first


Because if you know the reveal at the end, why would you pay attention to all the rest?

AND THIS is the biggest issue that I see with company pitches and presentations, they are all presenting the last chapter first, it is all reveal and once you have revealed everything the buyer is no longer paying attention.


The process of pitching – Creating your content.

The set up

A Hollywood movie or a bestselling novel story starts with a set up

When a story or a pitch starts, and you are talking about you, wrong way, go back, not interested.

So Start with a big change in your industry

Technology, consumer behaviour, regulations, supply chain, interest rates, labour shortages, fashion, colours, environmental,

What is the big change in your industry and how is it relevant to the buyer

The process of pitching starts here.


The Hero

In the novel I wrote one of my favourite parts was the character development. I just loved creating a character. But any great character does not just start there right.

Each character has its origins.

It usually starts out when they are a kid.

And all heroes generally find themselves in a situation, something out of the ordinary occurs, they have a situation that they have to confront.

Maybe it involves a quest and at some point, in the movie the hero is tested, things go wrong and the hero is force to confront his demons and overcome.

No rise is ever complete without a redemption story, a metamorphosis occurs, and the change is apparent.

The hero triumphs over adversity.

What’s your story?

If you are a business owner, CEO, salesperson you have all have overcome challenges in your life, sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against you.

Every one of you has overcome adversity

What’s your story. Where did you originate

I love working with clients on their origin story, go back, all the way back and make it compelling.


The big idea

What else do you need to create a good story a good pitch?

Well, you need a big idea, what’s yours?

All stories start with a big idea.

A great movie starts with a big idea and not many ideas are bigger than Star Wars

The novel I wrote started with a big idea.

A big idea is actually not about you, your company or your products, it is an actual high stakes idea.

The Big Idea is an actual high stakes idea, it provides insight, simplifies something complex and captures a changing world

What is your big idea.?


While there is a lot more to a pitch than a set up, a hero and a big idea if you can write a pitch that encapsulates these basic pillars your pitch will be a lot better than 80% being delivered today.


How can you improve ?

If you are a business owner, CEO, salesperson of manager, what you are doing now is already successful. You would not be  in business if you did not have a basic framework.

But just how tight is it.

How well scripted are the stories you are telling your clients about you, your origins, your big idea, what is changing?

And can everyone in your organisation deliver your sales pitch, your story, your big idea with the same degree of confidence and surety as you can?

If the answer is Meh, no, hell no or I cant even do that then it is an indication there is work to do.

And no matter how successful you may or may not already be at sales, just by investing a little time and effort in your process and your scripting , it will yield big results to your bottom line.



I work with clients every day helping them construct their pitch which allows us to create pillar pieces we can insert into their sales process that has clients engaged, intrigued, and wanting more.

If you would are unsure how to get started, would like some feedback on your current pitch or just want help, click on the link and lets chat.


You may also like to read this recent blog The process of selling and what we can learn from elite athletes.

The process of selling

The process of selling (and what we can learn from elite athletes)

If you are an elite sportsperson, you have a defined passion and purpose, you have trailed and proven routines, a focussed mind, you have committed to continual training and coaching, have a high pain tolerance, and have demonstrated resilience.

If you are striving to be the best Gymnast, golfer, sprinter, tennis player or swimmer, name your sport, your technique, your process is one of the most important elements.

A slight deviation at that level has dire consequences.

Some may be more gifted, think Michael, Jordan, tiger woods, some may be more flamboyant, Usain bolt, some may be dour but get the job done, Novak Djokovic.

For me my sport was rowing

Rowing is a highly technical, you require strength and endurance, and I had the good fortune to be coached by some of the best in the world.

Rowing by its nature is about process and then you layer on top strength, cardiovascular fitness, mindset, diet.

Did I ever row the perfect stroke in the hundreds of thousands I rowed?

Probably although during the 6 minutes of a 2000m race there would likely only be a handful as the conditions, fatigue, and other factors contributed.

But what has this got to do with the process of selling?


First you need a sales process.

Think of it as your golf swing, your tennis serves, your free throw, your floor routine, your rowing stroke.

We would have all either swung a golf club, hit a tennis ball, or tried a free thrown in basketball

And to start with we would have been pretty shit at it.

We had no process we just did what came naturally.

But the more we practiced and learned, the more we followed a process and got coached the better we became.

As you get better the basics become second nature, you do it without thinking, your highest level of ingrained learning kicks in enabling you to perform on bigger and bigger stages.

Closing the multi-million-dollar deals, competing at the Olympic Games.

Anyone competing at this level will tell you, if you deviate from your process your goose is cooked, your deal or game is over.


So what did I know about the process of selling?

I was fortunate in that I competed at World championships and commonwealth games at the same time I was starting to sell.

And back then no one showed me how to sell, I was thrown a set of car keys and had to figure it out myself.

So what did I know?


  • I knew the power of a process, so I started developing one
  • I knew the power of a winning mindset, so I used it
  • I knew you learn more from loosing than winning so every rejection made me stronger
  • I understood perseverance so I never gave up
  • I had an abundance of confidence, so I believed.
  • I knew I needed coaches, so I searched for and found then
  • I knew I needed to learn so I read as much as I could (which wasn’t much back then)
  • And I kept showing up, day after day
  • I never gave up
  • And eventually I started winning more deals than losing them
  • I was never satisfied, I always wanted to improve so I sought out bigger and bigger challenges


Elite athletes from all sports follow a similar recipe for success.

And they all understand that their process always needs to be put under the microscope as when you are at the top of your game the one percenters are not little.

They are the difference between an Olympic gold medal and failing to even qualify.

Can your sales process compete at this level?

I was recently invited to facilitate for 90 days with one of the worlds most recognisable equipment brands, in Australia a sales team of over 60.

And as you would expect with a multi-billion-dollar multinational their process of selling was tight.

But as I dug deeper it was obvious that this high performing team needed some assistance.

What I was seeing from their sales process was incongruent with the brand they represented.

I started coaching them to make some small changes and to their credit the management and team embraced fully the techniques and changes I was asking them to make.


  • Ninety days later discounting which was standard practice had reduced to a trickle
  • They were getting better at selecting their clients
  • The salespeople started getting time back
  • Lead conversion rates started to rise.


As a specialist sales coach I was able to see things they could not.

Just like an elite athlete they needed an extra pair of eyes who is trained to pick up on the little things that make a big difference.

To improve their golf swing, their tennis serve, their sales process

What can we learn about sales from elite athletes?

Turns out quite a lot.


If you can see the benefit in having a professional coach look over your sales process, step 1 is to book a call.


You may also like to read this recent blog on the steps you may choose to take once you have identified underperforming sales talent

The twelve symptoms

The twelve symptoms that indicate your sales process may be sick.

As an elite sportsman in the late 1980s I was 10 feet tall and bullet proof until one day I felt a lump.

I was aware enough to go to the doctor, the diagnosis,

Testicular cancer.

Saw a specialist and within 24 hours of me noticing, well, feeling the symptom that presented, I was undergoing surgery.

That was followed up with five sessions of radiotherapy every week for three months before I finally got the “all clear”

A potentially life ending illness cured.

Now over thirty years later I am fitter than ever but maintaining my health and wellbeing takes work.

You cannot take it for granted.


What your personal health is to you, your sales health is to your business

And it is the same in business because like you, your business is a living entity, its health can be adversely affected by a myriad of issues.

As a professional sales coach, I see symptoms of ill health being ignored every day,

And I understand why.

Business is not for the faint hearted, it consumes your time, your energy, your focus, and many I interact with are just busy getting through each day.

And a large chunk of time is invariably treating the symptom, not the cause.

A tight cashflow, margin erosion, increased marketing spends, lead conversion rates falling.

All symptoms of a larger problem that if diagnosed can be worked on and cured.


Sales is the heartbeat of your business

Every business understands that sales are important.

And if you are in a business reading this then your sales process is working, it is generating income, so you are already successful at selling.

But just how healthy is the heart of your business?

Has it been showing and symptoms of fatigue or ill health?

The top 12 Symptoms that indicate your business could use a sales health check include:

  1. A tight cashflow
  2. Sales teams not hitting KPIs
  3. Margin erosion
  4. A softening of sales conversions rates
  5. An increase in marketing expenditure
  6. Continual buyer objections
  7. A blocked sales pipeline
  8. Customers Ghosting your outreach
  9. Discounting
  10. An unclear sales process of logical next steps
  11. A sales pitch that is not replicated by everyone in a client facing role
  12. A lack of daily / weekly / monthly meeting rhythm’s


Sales Cardio Tip

When going through this list pause on each point and write down why you believe this is not an issue in your business.


A tight cashflow

Response – our cashflow has remained healthy and positive for the past 6 months

Sales team not hitting KPIs

Response – Every sales team member has met or exceeded their KPIs for the last quarter

The temptation will be to mentally flick through this list but if you dedicate just 15 minutes to this task it could very well be the 15 minutes that, just like when I felt a lump all those years ago, will save your business from serious ill health or worse.


So, you have identified a symptom or two?

First thing to understand is its not fatal but now it has been drawn to your attention it is time for you to act and drill down to find the underlying cause, not symptom

The underlying cause of tight cashflow could for example be a rise in expenses or market conditions beyond your control.


However, I would strongly recommend jumping on a call with one of our team to guide you through the process in a complimentary 30-minute Sales Cardio session.

Just like with your own health, I would not rely on self-diagnostics or Dr Google.

Here is the link to book your free session.


You may also like to read this recent blog on the steps you may choose to take once you have identified underperforming sales talent