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How to Overcome Mental Blocks When Pitching for Business

A woman pitching new business in a board room.

Imagine this scenario. You’ve developed a fantastic idea and you’re now on the cusp of pitching for new business to an audience you hope will invest in it. But you feel nervous. What if it goes wrong? What if the audience doesn’t like it? What if you’ve made a huge mistake?

Pitching for new business can be a high-stakes endeavour. It requires a delicate balance of confidence, preparation, and persuasive communication. However, even the most experienced professionals can experience mental blocks that hinder their ability to deliver a successful pitch. These mental blocks can manifest as self-doubt, fear of rejection, or anxiety about the unknown

Fortunately, there are several effective strategies you can employ to overcome these obstacles and increase your chances of pitching success. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how a positive mindset, effective preparation and great storytelling will help you to overcome these mental blocks and deliver compelling pitches that win over clients and close deals.

Don’t Think About Failure

One of the most common mental blocks in pitching for new business is the fear of failure. The prospect of rejection can paralyze even the most experienced professionals. However, dwelling on potential failure will eventually undermine your confidence and diminish your chances of success. Instead of fixating on what could go wrong, shift your mindset from fear of failure to a one of success.

Visualise a positive outcome

Instead of fixating on what could go wrong, try using the idea of ‘future history’ to visualise what a positive outcome will look like. It’s a technique that was employeed by Muhammed Ali. His ability to visualise the desired outcome in each of his fights and putting that into action was so precise that bookmakers implored him to stop announcing his intentions publicly, as they incurred substantial losses!

A future history is visualisation with extreme intent. It means believing that something is going to happen in the future so clearly that it’s like it’s already happened. Think about how you could use this when pitching for new business. From the minute you walk through the door to the moment the handshake agrees the deal, visualise a positive outcome. Think about what you will do, what you will say and how it will feel. The more you do this, the more your brain believes it will happen that way. This creates positive neural pathways that you can follow on the day. In other words, your brain will ‘remember’ what it feels like to succeed!

Control the controllable

You are the only element you have control over. For example, you can’t control whether the screen in the room will connect, or whether the person you’d planned to speak to will be off sick. You can’t control whether they’ll like your idea or not. What you can control is how you react and recover from any potential missteps.

When you’re visualising a positive outcome, you may find that your mind wanders to the more negative ‘what ifs…’. If this happens, try to plan for what you will do if things do go wrong. Visualise anything from practical steps, such as bringing an extra connecting cable for your laptop, to how you will respond to difficult questions.

You’re still planning for the future — you’re just planning for how well you’ll adapt instead of how wrong everything can go.

Once you’ve begun to train your brain to believe in the best possible outcome, you’ll focus much less on potential failure. Your visualisations can become your greatest asset in finding a calm centre, no matter what life throws your way, and performing at your best whenever you need to.

Failure is an opportunity for growth

Sometimes pitching for new business doesn’t give us the results we’d love. Treat every pitch, regardless of the outcome, as an opportunity to hone your skills and refine your approach. Embrace the process of pitching as a chance to gather feedback, learn from experience, and improve with each iteration. By reframing failure as a stepping stone to success, you can alleviate the pressure and perform at your best.

Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience is essential for overcoming mental blocks and delivering a persuasive pitch. Take the time to research your prospective clients thoroughly. What are their pain points, challenges and priorities? What motivates them, and what are they looking for in a business partner?

Tailor your pitch to resonate with your audience’s needs and interests. Try not to think about what you want to say but focus on what your audience needs to hear in order to be compelled by your idea and motivated to invest. Adapt your message and examples to demonstrate exactly how your product or service will solve their specific problems and add value to their business. This will help you to establish rapport and build trust with your audience, reducing the likelihood of mental blocks derailing your presentation.

Tell a Story

Storytelling is a powerful tool for overcoming mental blocks and capturing your audience’s attention. A well-crafted story not only engages your audience on an emotional level but also makes your message more memorable and persuasive (and is also much easier for you to remember). It’s something that we see often on TV programmes such as Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank: we are much more interested in stories much more than products or services.

Use storytelling to paint a vivid picture of the transformation your product or service can enable for your clients. By tapping into the power of storytelling, you can overcome mental blocks and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Instead of bombarding them with dry facts and figures, weave a narrative that brings your pitch to life. Share compelling anecdotes, case studies, or testimonials that illustrate the benefits of your offering in real-world scenarios.

There’s no question that pitching for new business can be daunting, but with the right strategies, you can overcome mental blocks and deliver compelling presentations that win over clients. By reframing failure, preparing effectively, understanding your audience, and harnessing the power of storytelling, you can boost your confidence and increase your chances of success. Remember, pitching is as much about influencing skills training as it is about objection handling techniques. With practice and perseverance, you can master the art of pitching and seize new business opportunities with confidence.

Are you ready to pitch your business idea?

We can help to prepare you to pitch your business. From crafting your company story to readying yourself to deal with objections, our expert team can guide you to make sure you’ve got the tools and positive mindset to succeed. Contact us today and we’ll help make your pitch a success!