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This business coaching lesson offers tips to improve your sales pitch.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Notable Quotable: "Be factual. Lying is really, really a- bad idea, mostly because they'll find you out. And then you'll never get another item in that outlet for as long as they remember you, which will be forever." -Michael Levine
  • Lesson Nugget: Don't lie. In the age of Google, transparency and cameras everywhere, you will be caught and it's never worth it.
  • Action Step: If you currently don't have accolades for your business, start competing for awards so you can honestly call yourself the best.
  • Notable Quotable: "Be friendly, but not so friendly, it's creepy." -Michael Levine
  • Notable Quotable: "Be frank. Reporters know when your story is all hype and no substance. Be honest with them."
  • Jargonization Translation: Optimistic- A feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future.
  • Action Steps: When having a conversation with a reporter find a balance where you can build a comfortable rapport with them.


-So the third thing is factual. Michael Levine says, "lying is really, really a bad idea, mostly because they'll find out. And then you'll never get another item in that outlet for as long as they remember you, which will be forever." You

-Don't don't want to lie like a rug.



-Avoid that.

-Marinate on that one.

-That was a good one.

-The thing about lying is that when you lie, we have the ability to Google, to use-- I mean, some of you are using Bing. Some of you might be using Yahoo. I bet there's one guy using MSN, which is, I guess, Bing. But the point is, somebody here is, like, using like Lycos. We're going to find it. And when we find it, you're busted, man.

-Right. They'll never write another story about you.

-Example. We had an employee that was working with us a while back. Not for Thrive, but a different business. And he straight up-- do you have any criminal convictions? Nope. Well, I don't know. I'm weird. Maybe I'm a sick freak. I googled the person because I caught him doing something dishonest. Oh, felony. I mean, it's not that hard anymore to, like-- so don't lie. Just whatever part of you-- whatever part of you just wants to lie, just don't do it.

-All right. So the next one is frank, OK? Frank. This is what Michael Levine says. "Reporters know when your story is all hype and no substance. Be honest with them."

CLAY CLARK: OK. The big thing about the hype is this. Everybody watching this-- if you have a business, and you've gone out and you've taken out the loan or you've put it on the credit card, or you've worked the all nighters, or you've had the two jobs, you've sacrificed to build this business, you are delusionally optimistic about your business.

You believe-- one lady I remember, this lady had this home decoration business. And she claimed that she's the world's best home decorator. That's awesome. I love the energy, you know? So have you decorated a home? I remember she wanted to hire me as a consultant. No, I have never decorated a home. So you've never decorated a home, but you're the world's best. Obviously.


-I mean, my husband tells me that I'm--


-OK. So your husband tells you that you're-- yeah, well, all my friends tell me I'm the best decorator they've ever seen. I'm like, you can't send out a press release, though, saying that you're the world's best. You're going to have to win at some objective awards.

So if you're right now going, well, how do I factually tell the world I'm the best? You need to start winning some awards. You need to start competing for some awards. Recently, Thrive was nominated for a couple of awards. It's up to the readers and users to decide whether we're going to win or not. I can't make people win. But that's why, like, the Grammys matter so much, or the Academy Awards. It's an objective thing.


-All right. So the last one is friendly. Friendly. This is what Michael says. "but not so friendly, it's creepy." So he says, "be friendly" with the media, "but not so friendly, it's creepy." Why not be creepy?

-Well, I think what happens is that all of us like to think we're likable. But if I'm objective and I'm honest and I look at myself just objectively, the rip that a lot of people would have on me-- and it's always been that-- is that he doesn't have any feelings. You know, because--

GUEST: Because you're a robot?

-Oh, I'm purpose-driven. So I value purpose as a general rule more than the feelings of people.

GUEST: Right.

-All the time. So if I had to default, I'm always like, get out of the way. Let's get this done.

GUEST: Right.

-Now other people value people maybe, say, over purpose. And so if you're not careful, if you're somebody who's purpose-driven, you might be on the phone and so passionate about your product that you're talking over the reporter, you're talking at the reporter, you're not conversing. And if you're the opposite, you're someone who's really people-focused, you might be like, oh, my gosh. How are you doing? I'm doing fine. Oh, that's great. So I was calling you, and you would not believe it-- would you believe? Oh, well, I want to tell you-- and they're going, we're not--

-This guy's weird.

-We're not hanging out. I'm a reporter on a deadline. So you have to find that. Because for me I'm like, here's what we're doing. It's awesome. Here's the facts. Go. And then the other person would default to, how are you? Oh, it's so great that you're doing well. What makes your day well? You're like, wow, you're hyper interested in me. I'm a reporter. So you have to find that balance.



-So those are the five moves for pitching to the media, right?

-This is gold.

-It's good stuff. Well, the next thing we're going to touch on is the importance of having one central message.


-OK, one central message.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Editor's Note: David Robinson is an NBA Hall of Famer, an entrepreneur who raised $250 million dollars in capital, and a Thrive15 Mentor.
  • Notable Quotable: "If you say too much or mix in multiple pitches, you diffuse your goal. You must give the media a pitch they can hit." -Michael Levine
  • Three Different Pitch Delivery Styles: 1. The Fastball 2. The Curveball 3. The Screwball
  • Notable Quotable: "The fastball. Direct, straight, factual." -Michael Levine
  • Notable Quotable: "The Curveball. This approach appeals to the media's innate curiosity. Whereas a fastball stresses logic over emotion, the curveball stresses emotion over logic." - Michael Levine
  • Action Steps: Use the fastball pitch when contracting a reporter with a big publication, give them the facts and then send the press release.
  • Fun Factoid: POP's Soda Stop has over 600 varieties of soda, located on Route 66.
  • Jargonization Translation: Juxtaposition - The act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side.


-Have you heard of, or maybe in the past tried to pitch to me and had a few different things like, hey you could write a story about this. -Well, here's one that was weird. When we launched Thrive, one of our mentors and one of our equity partners is David Robinson. He's an NBA, hall-of-fame, basketball player. That's exciting.

Also, we teamed up with the US Chamber-- it's the largest, basically, you know, business organization in America. They help support, they fight for, they lobby for business-friendly laws, that kind of thing. And so, they were teaming up with us to provide Thrive free for the members the military. So we have the one for one, hand up movement, which is free education for the military.

We have the US Chamber putting their endorsement behind us. And we have David Robinson. Oh, and by the way, Thrive is gamified, edutainment for entrepreneurs. It's mentorship from millionaires, and everyday success stories.

So if we're not careful, it's like, Thrive15 teams up with the US Chamber and David Robinson to announce free education for America's military and the first entertaining, online, education platform, just for entrepreneurs. And it's only 15 minutes, and it's-- and we get nothing.

So one of the things you have to do, and I've been told, and I don't agree, but I don't agree with Dan McKenna. And we've been watching the newsletters, and we're like, whatever. Who is this guy? But if you put a whole bunch of clutter on something, then people don't remember anything.

-To which I'm like, go inside Applebee's. They have stuff everywhere, Dan.

-I hate to do this to you but--

-If he were here right now, I would tell him this.

-Michael Levine would support him. Unfortunately, this is what Michael Levine says, "If you say too much or mix in multiple pitches, you diffuse your goal--"

CLAY CLARK: Come on.

-"--you must give the media a pitch they can hit."

-Just because the best publicist in the history of the world, ever, says that. And Dan, I mean I guess in spite of fact that Dan McKenna says it. And just because he says it, doesn't mean anything. You know what I mean?

So I recommend if you're watching this, get on my team. And just send just a billion things at the same time. And if--

-It's like an information vomit.

CLAY CLARK: Just vomit information. No one will write your stories, but you'll feel proud to know that you died on the hill of clutter.

-That's good stuff. So we've talked about what needs to be included in the pitch. But here, let's actually talk about how your pitch should look.

So there's three different pitch styles, OK?

-Well, if it was going to look like any bad thing, I wouldn't want it to look like you. You know what I mean?

-Wow, that was great.

-Unexpected, unexpected, I was thinking about that for an hour.

-These are the three different pitch delivery styles, OK? We have the fastball, the curve ball, and the screwball.

-That would be one you could name after you.

-Oh, yeah. All right, so this first one, the fast pitch here-- funny man-- talk to us about the fast pitch. Michael describes it as direct, straight, factual.

-I mean, honestly, the thing is, you just want to right away, you want to call the person. Tell them what your headline is. Tell them why it matters to them. Give them the. Facts Send them press release, boom. That's it.

-Beautiful, how about the curve ball there.

-Real quick, fast pitch usually works when you're working with big publications. Because usually if you're the New York Times, everybody wants to be in the New York Times. Why? Because they're the New York Times.

Now, if you're calling like. The sunny, San Diego, beach-side Courier with a distribution of like 2000 people-- they're like, hello, this is Lorraine. And you're like, hi, Lorraine. Can I talk to the news desk? You're talking to her. OK.

-So sometimes the fast pitch might not be the best.

-Think about your audience, who you're pitching to.

-So the curve bali-- and this is the next style here. This is what Michael calls, or how he defines the curve ball. He says, "This approach appeals to the media's innate curiosity. Whereas the fastball stresses logic over emotion, the curve ball stresses emotion over logic."

-Yeah, this would be like the world's largest snow cone. If you're watching this right now, I would think about what's the world's largest something that you can build. If you can pull it off, do it. You'll get national stories for it. Make sure-- like the example, there is a place that I know of that has-- fact checker, want you to put this on the screen here. But they have more varieties of carbonated beverages in the restaurant than like any other place on the planet.

So the restaurant itself, it's like a museum of pop, or maybe you're watching this and you say soda. Do you say soda?

-I say soda.

-OK, you're probably right. So soda, yeah, I'll give you one thing you're right on today.

-Oh, thank you, A big one for me.

-This is, the thing about the soda though, is that this might be a-- they have the world's largest collection of these things. But the great thing is they sell them. So if you're looking for a Tab, or a Volt, or a Jolt, or all these sort of obscure kinds of beverages you can't find anywhere, you can find them there.

And so they have the world's largest museum of this, which then draws people to. So think about something you can build that's the world's largest. That's always a great place to start. Thinking about something humorous, something just hilarious you could do.

Think about a celebrity kind of connection maybe. Think about something that's juxtaposing current news. But think about something that can shock America into caring about your business.

-Tapping into the emotions over the logic for this one.


Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Notable Quotable: "The screwball. Humor can often be effective and with this style, it's emphasized. Appeal to the journalist's heightened sense of the unusual. Stunts, sideshows, ancillary themes are put to work here." - Michael Levine
  • Action Steps: Brainstorm and write down all the headlines you can come up with to promote your business.
  • Action Steps: Look at local publications that are far away from you and repurpose and improve their story to uniquely work for you.
  • Notable Quotable: "If you want to increase your success rate, double your rate of failure." -Thomas J. Watson (Served as the CEO of IBM)
  • Action Steps: Make notes of any P.R. ideas that might work to promote your business in the media.


-The next one is the screwball. It's mine, that's my pitch-- screwball. That's the humor. That's really the humor pitch right there. This is how Michael describes it, "Humor can often be effective and with this style, it's emphasized. Appeal to the journalist's heightened sense of the unusual. Stunts, slide shows, ancillary themes are all put to work here."

So we touched on it a little bit. How is this different? The other ones touching more on emotional stories that connect to the heart strings. And this ones is more shocking?

-The screwball is where you just have so many variables working for you. That would be what Arthur did. Where he built the world's largest snow cone on a day where we had a winter weather alert. The juxtaposition was the current event mixed with this shocking idea and raising money for charity, all in one swirl of just wow.

CALEB TAYLOR: It's Incredible.


-It's Incredible. So we've talked about what that pitch needs to include. We've talked about the different styles of pitching. If you're a business owner right now, what are some practical action steps that you can take just right now? It's been sprinkled throughout here, but right now at the end of this episode, what do I need to do?

-I would say, I'd hope that right now you could type in your notes section any ideas that have come to your mind that you could do to promote your business. And really begin to brainstorM-- I would go into a room where you've got maybe some sheets of paper or a whiteboard. And I'd begin thinking of all the headlines that you can come up with.

And if you're like, I don't know if I can do that. One sort of a dirty move that I-- I know it's shocking that I would do this, but I've done this. What you do is you get the local publications-- places that are far away from you. And you look at their headlines. And just write them for your own business locally.

Because people in, you know, Texas might not know they've already ran that story in Seattle. And so you could repurpose it, and it can work for you too. You kind of take an idea and improve upon it.

-So what if I'm watching this, and I'm still kind of intimidated, though? I mean it's still-- getting my business, my plumbing business, my whatever it is, my small business into the media. That still, to me, seems crazy.

-Well, I'll you this. If you're going to become successful as an entrepreneur, you're going to ultimately be somebody. You're about 13% of the population. So that means there's 13 of you for every 100. You're going to have to be alone a lot. You got to be comfortable being up kind of out front.

-You got to be comfortable getting rejected. And the guy, Watson. Who used to be-- for the programs, we're going to add this quote here to the screen-- but the guy used to run IBM. He says, "If you want to double your rate of success, you need to double your rate of failure."

So you're going to fail. If you're going to succeed more often, you have to double your rate of failure. I love that mentality. See, you can't be like, well, I hope I do it right, and I don't get rejected.

It's more of like, you're going to get rejected. I always go back to dating-- give you one more dating tip here. If you're a guy, and let's be real. If you're a guy like me, and you're like, you know I'm a B minus. I mean, I'm beautiful internally. But maybe I'm not a-- you know what, I mean?

I know it's hard for you, but you know. For you, you're like an A. But for me, I go through-- well, cool compensates for you're lack of intelligence. You have the A-look.

-You've got the intelligence. I have the looks.

-Yeah, I mean, obviously you can't have all gifts. You know what I mean? So I'm rocking a serious B

CALEB TAYLOR: Minus. A serious B minus.

-So if I was somebody watching this, and I'm writing myself a B minus, maybe even a C minus. You got to make a list. Here here are 50 people that I would love to date, maybe 10, maybe 7, maybe--

CALEB TAYLOR: Less than 50 of them

-Or you go into that place, and you start asking people. Will you go on a date? Will you go on a date? And eventually somebody will go like-- they'll mess up and go yeah. And you're ha! And you'll trick them. And you just got to keep tricking for--

-You've been tricking your life for years now, right?

-Yeah, my wife she's smart, you know. She got into college easily taking her ACT-- just first try. You know, cheerleader, good grades, smart. And I'm just kind of whatever. But the point is you just trick people.

-Well, honestly, I don't know. I don't know where your looks would rank. We can let the Thrivers decide if it's a C minus, B minus. I think that your outfit that you chose today, though-- have you guys? This outfit is incredible.

-You went with the blue suit, the red tried today? Well, I dressed up.

-It's interesting. You kind of mixed it up.

-Well, I was like, should I wear like a red tie? Or like a red tie an--

-A red or a red. Maybe a white shirt? I love it. Well, I appreciate you my friend.

-I want you to know something. I know-- real quick-- before I do.

-You're just going to let me sit here? I'm just going to wait here.

-Even though, sometimes I attack you personally, you're a great American.

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