While in vacation in Florida last month, my family and I - being avid DEXTER fans, decided to find the location where they filmed the opening of the show - and the establishing shots of his condo. Using Google and Google maps - it was no problem at all. We typed the address into our trusty GPS and in no time, we were travelling down I-95 towards Miami.
We found the condo - in a working class neighborhood. Typical of where a Police blood splatter analyst might live. As we drove up to the condo, I peeked through the bushes ...
And yes - there it was - DEXTER's Condo!
The plan was to scoot onto the property - grab a few snapshots on the lawn and then beat it out of there.
See? All we had to do was go through that little walkway and we'd be in! (That's me and my son Michael preparing to visit Dexter.)
Why ain't this thing uploading more pictures? Anyhow - if you look over my left shoulder in the lower picture, you'll see a little white sign. It says, "RESIDENTS AND GUESTS ONLY. ALL OTHERS WILL BE DETAINED FOR POLICE".
My guess is that the condo's residents have had enough of sight-seers and want their privacy. They don't care if I only want to take my picture on their lawn. They have people to deal with people like me... So we grabbed our snaps through the bushes, took a couple in the parking lot and went down to South Beach with all the other tourists.
So what does any of this have to do with pitching? Simple...
YOU'RE ON THEIR TURF!
When you're pitching, in an office or at a market, you're in someone else's territory. If you're new - or even if you're an old pro, and they're gracious enough to see you - don't waste their time. Or yours.
Be prepared. Be polite. Respect the rules. Say what you have to say - and get out. Make it short and sweet. By the time they say, "Well, its really great that you've brought this to us...", or "Ahem... Well, I have to get along to my next meeting. Thanks for coming in..." You've overstayed your welcome.
Be concise. Rehearse your pitch - or if you haven't rehearsed it, know exactly what you're going to say, so you're prepared going in. Again, you only get one chance to make a good first impression - and I only get one chance to show my vacation pictures. So there...