What do you do if you want to land a reality TV show about helping communities around the U.S. create large-scale events for positive causes? You fly up in a helicopter, throw a basketball out of it to a conspirator holding a hoop on the ground, and sink a shot from 192 feet up in the air. Then, you post a video of it to YouTube.
That’s precisely what Jeff Barrett, Rob Bliss, and Scott Erickson did in March of 2012. Within two days, they had some 100,000 views, and were being featured on such major networks as CNN, ABC, and NBC. The stunt worked, and they not only landed a meeting, but got production for their show rolling.
And if you think that’s a weird way to sell an idea, wait until you hear about these other, even wackier pitches.
Toilet Training Cats.
On one episode of the popular TV show Shark Tank, entrepreneur Rebecca Rescate pitched the CitiKitty, a cat potty-training device that could teach city cats to use the actual toilet, and help cat owners living in small apartments. Before pitching it on the show, Rescate sold some 40,000 units on her website, and had made $225,000 off of it. As a result of her pitch, one of the titular “shark” investors offered her a deal, and the CitiKitty wound up selling like hot cakes, making as much as $350,000 in just one month.
Fast Talking and Quick Wit Lead to Swift Sales.
Pitching a product door-to-door takes a special breed of salesmanship, and comedian Kenny Brooks is a natural. Taking an assertive, fast-talking approach, his quick witted sales pitch made him a YouTube star when one couple videotaped his sale and put it on the video network. Who wouldn’t want to buy from a guy who drops such lines as, “I’m going to be quick. That’s why your neighbor said I remind them of Nicolas Cage because I’m gone in 60 seconds,” “That one bottle lasts longer than my last relationship,” and “Now this is my last demo and I’m out of here quicker than your favorite shampoo.”
Let the Muppet Do the Talking.
“In conclusion, I would like to point out that it is time for a revolutionary new look in prime-time variety television,” is kind of a standard (i.e. dull) way to open up a sales pitch… unless it’s a Muppet dressed like a dork that’s doing the talking. The original pitch for The Muppet Show is as delightful as any sketch the program ever produced, getting more and more ridiculous and over the top as it goes on.
A Box of Spiderwebs.
Visual aids are always helpful, which is why founder and CEO of RLM PR Richard Laermer offers the decision maker at any of his prospective clients a box full of recent news clips about the company, covered in plastic spider webs. When the client laughs or ask what it’s all about, he then says, “That’s all the attention you’ve gotten?” It might seem a bit silly, but the pitch has landed him more than 20 big clients over his years using it.
No matter how unorthodox your sales approach might be, you still need to stick to some of the basics, like using proposal software, which allows users to create and manage all important marketing documentation such as quotes, and proposals. Then again, it also helps to think outside of the box, too.
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