Pitch it.

I’ve been pitching restaurants on the idea of hiring a balloon artist since 2003.

This past Wednesday I was working with one of our newer Regional Partners just south of Tampa Bay, we were pitching restaurants in Bradenton and Sarasota. We landed 5 new clients, and then we had lunch. It was a great day, with lovely weather to boot.

The young man I was working with started as a 16 year old entertainer on the Tampa team, when he moved to Sarasota to attend college he approached me about growing the region there. He’s doing well; I went down there to teach him, hang out, and encourage him to grow a larger region.

After 13 years of landing new clients all over the place I feel like pitching is automatic and easy on a subconscious level. You could wake me up at 2AM, place me in front of the GM of a restaurant and I could get started without thinking about it. All business owners have to get good at the pitch, and the best way to do this is sheer repetition.

Balloon Distractions does not have a single competitor who has been pitching as long, as hard, or as frequently as we have. Me and my team have pitched restaurants THOUSANDS of times, and in that process we’ve learned a ton about what works and what doesn’t.

My most infamous pitch was in front of the investors on Shark Tank. That was very different from pitching restaurants, when I pitch a restaurant I’m talking to one person, with the simple goal of landing a tryout in that store.

The “sharks” were all talking to me at once, it was even more chaotic than the (edited) clip actually shows. If you’ve never seen the segment there’s a link at the top of this page.

Pitching investors is not the same as pitching clients. Investors have more at stake, a client can cancel your service if they don’t like you, an investor is married to your business, at least until they get their money back. If your enterprise crashes and burns your investor might lose everything they’ve put in.

After 13 years in business I’m still out there pitching. Even here in Tampa Bay, where you might think we’ve pitched every restaurant… there are new General Managers being promoted every month, new restaurants being built, new opportunities if you keep your eyes open.

Last night I went out to fill a booking at a restaurant that’s been a weekly client since 2003! I don’t even remember pitching the place, but I know they were one of our first clients when I started Balloon Distractions.

If you own a business I would encourage you to get out there and start pitching. Do it so many times that you become unconsciously competent at it.

Ben Alexander

February 17 . 2017

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