Senior Vice President
Mass Mutual Financial Group
Robert J. Dowling
Former Publisher and
CEO, Asia Pacific
Jones Lang LaSalle
Office Managing Partner
Deloitte & Touche
Former Chairman & CEO
Resident Director and Business Litigation
Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley
Brian R. Kroh
CCm, General Manager
John’s Island Club and Director
National Club Association
Senior Vice President
Top 10 Amazon Reviewer
Russell Scott Manthy
Director of Programs
Real Estate Broker
Christopher E. Maling
National Retail Group Marcus & Millichap
Frederick B. Cordova III
Colliers Seeley International, Inc.
“There IS power in the pitch and the Pygmalion concepts help unleash it! Having been through the coaching experience with Gary Hankins, I can attest to the effectiveness of the concepts outlined in this book. Incorporating just a few of them will enable readers to become more confident – and more effective – in any business environment.”
Robert J. Dowling — Former Publisher and Editor-in- Chief, Hollywood Reporter
“Anyone who thinks public speaking is more frightening than jumping from a plane, will go out and buy a flight suit after reading Gary’s book. This book is fresh, clear, practical, insightful and humorous. It is a must for anyone who aspires to leadership, through public speaking.”
Peter Barge — CEO, Asia Pacific, Jones Lang LaSalle
“We have used Gary Hankins’ principles and methodology right across Asia Pacific for a number of years and they work. The lifeblood of any service organization is satisfying and retaining your current clients and attracting and winning new ones. The Power of the Pitch is equally relevant for both groups. Whether it’s our client relationship managers or business developers in India, China, Singapore, Australia or any of our 25 offices, the skills Gary has taught us and detailed in the book are a big part of what makes our people market leaders.”
Tony Buzzelli — Office Managing Partner, Deloitte & Touche
“Gary’s book condenses into writing what he has been coaching our partners to do for years. His insights and approach are clear and to the point and allow our partners to be more effective in serving our clients and communicating with our people. Gary’s insights are an important element of our professionals’ development and success.”
Larry Hirsch — Former Chairman & CEO, Centex Corporation
“Gary’s book serves as a detailed guide to making presentations while providing important “life lessons” along the way. It is immensely readable and informative. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their public performances to a world class level.”
William L. MacDonald — Chairman, President & CEO Retirement Capital Group, Inc
“The Power of the Pitch allows us to add the way we present to our list of competitive advantages. The Power of the Pitch is an excellent vehicle to teach new sales people critical presentation skills and allow experienced salespeople to fine tune their skills.”
Allan Anderson — Resident Director and Business Litigation Partner Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley
“Gary Hankins has distilled the essence of a successful pitch. The Power of the Pitch should be required reading for anyone who intends to successfully communicate. I will keep this book in my office as an integral part of my reference library.”
Brian R. Kroh — CCM, General Manager, John’s Island Club and Director, National Club Association
“Having the benefit of Gary Hankins’ wisdom early in my career was fortuitous. Gary’s lessons have become an integral part of training in the businesses and organizations in which I hold leadership positions. His message is useful to every person in his or her professional and personal life. Even my sixteen-year-old daughter preparing for college entrance interviews has benefited from Gary’s teachings. Thankfully Gary has put his message in writing. Those who read The Power of the Pitch will increase their opportunities for success.”
Tim Thalman — Senior Vice President, Aon Corporation
“The Power of the Pitch is a practical, well-organized book for anyone who makes presentations. It contains excellent examples and stories that will inspire you to become a more persuasive speaker. It offers great suggestions about how to grab attention from an audience – you will never start your presentations in the ‘same old way’ after reading the Grabber chapter.
Our sales department was given this book at a recent conference, and their feedback has been that this book is now a useful reference tool when preparing for client proposals. This is a book you will use to help you improve your public speaking skills – don’t we all want to improve in that arena?”
Cherly McCann — Editor, www.review-books.com
Gary Hankins says that most of the presentations fail because not enough emphasis is placed on the power of persuasion or the pitch. Instead, time is spent in trying to meet with decision makers or prospecting for clients. And usually the pitch is delivered hurriedly on the way to a meeting. Hankins has tooled and re-tooled the presentation strategies in this book over 30 years of giving speeches, hosting radio and TV, and giving many, many sales presentations. His audiences for workshops have been Fortune 500 companies, sports teams, both professional and collegiate, and associations. Hankins gives you all the tools in The Power of the Pitch to deliver a successful, persuasive presentation and create more business than you every dreamed.
Hankins helps you in defining your rock star attitude, how to make people like you in the first 30 seconds, and how to brand yourself. You can create positive nonverbal facial and hand gestures that work in your favor with Gary Hankins’ professional techniques. Learn to “dress to your success” with actual photographs for the level of success you wish to achieve for both men and women with very specific tips.
In addition to the appropriate business look, you need “power in your voice” with enthusiasm and correct grammar. Gary Hankins gives foolproof ways to deliver your presentation without embarrassment. The first part of the 3-part pitch strategy is gaining or “grabbing” the attention of your audience. Secondly is persuading them with the ISB Model (you have to read it to find out), and the third-part is the effective power close.
Gary Hankins ends with topics of: excellent presentation pointers, how to tell an interesting story and using humor effectively in your presentation. Included are resourceful Web sites and the download URL for forms that included such as: “The Power of the Pitch Outline,” “The Power of the Pitch Audience Debrief Form,” “The Power of the Pitch 360° Feedback Form.”
Robert Morris — Top 10 Amazon Reviewer
Hankins defines a pitch as “any time you speak with intent to persuade.” Pitches could be delivered in person, over the telephone, to one person or to thousands.” This definition is adequate to Hankins’ purposes, but — in my opinion — unnecessarily restrictive. Some of the most important interactions between and among people involve the exchange of information, not for purposes of persuasion but for edification. Indeed, every one of the principles, skills, and techniques, which Hankins explains so brilliantly in this book, can guide and inform effective communication, whatever its context and objective may be.
That said, I commend Hankins on having devised what amounts to a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective system. Chapters 1-7 provide an orientation/briefing on fundamentals (e.g. “The Secrets of Winning People Over” and “The Foolproof Steps to Avoid Embarrassment”). Each of the next three chapters is devoted to one of the three Parts of “The Pitch”: The Grabber, The Persuasion Model, and The Power Close. Then in Chapters 11-17, Hankins correlates and develops in much greater depth various principles, skills, and techniques (e.g. storytelling, use of humor, secrets to effective cold calls), concluding with an obviously sincere admonition to his reader, accompanied by a request: “Now I encourage you to personalize the concepts about how you look, how you sound, and what you say. Make the `toolbox’ fit your persona and business. When you do, you will become a persuasive presenter capable of winning more business. Please do me a big favor. As you achieve success with your pitches, take a minute to let me know how you’re doing. Please e-mail me at email@example.com. [Then suggesting an influence by Zig Ziglar,] The view is worth the climb. I look forward to seeing you at the top.”
To me, one of the most valuable sections is Chapter 9 in which Hankins provides “The Power of the Pitch Outline” (pages 119-121). Completion of this outline will require a great deal of time and thought. In fact, throughout this book, Hankins includes a wealth of checklists, introduces several acronyms (e.g. STARs), which are then explained in depth, and various guidelines (e.g. “The Rule of Three”). Hankins’ approach is so direct and personal that his reader will feel as if she or he were working closely in collaboration with Hankins on the development of a complete sales plan which is most appropriate to the reader’s own specific needs, interests, goals, objectives, and concerns.
For whom will this book be most valuable? I recommend it to those who supervise a sales force, many of whom are relatively inexperienced and in need of inspiration, guidance, and supervision. I also recommend it to senior-level executives in small-to-midsize organizations who are primarily — if not wholly — responsible for business development and customer relationships (e.g. the owner/CEO of a company doing less than $10-million in annual sales). As with almost all other human enterprises, each reader will get about as much out of this book as she or he puts into it.
On numerous occasions I have observed a “pitch” which had great power…but created an almost totally negative impact. Hence the importance of knowing precisely what you wish to accomplish when applying the material in this book. Presumably Hankins agrees with me that sincerity, thorough preparation, common sense, and respect for others’ time are more important than impeccable grooming, a stylish wardrobe, and a pleasing personality. Also that, with all due respect to “packaging” a pitch, its content must be relevant and responsive to the needs of a given situation.
Those who share my high regard for The Power of the Pitch are urged to check out Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling, Jacques Werth and Nicholas E. Ruben’s High Probability Selling, and Michael Schell’s Buyer-Approved Selling.
Russell Scott Manthy — Director of Programs, Monrovia Growers
“Pitch” may have a negative connotation to the same group of people who regard “sales” as a less than legitimate profession. Hankins has the courage to show us that any communication with intent to persuade is a “pitch” and that sure makes us all salespeople much of the time. You may not appreciate his button-down, rules-oriented approach if you’re a free spirit with an irrepressible ego, but you’ll glom onto the numerous templates and procedures once you see that they all but guarantee success! Hankins’ combination of well-tested practices with the technically sophisticated tools available today and the acknowledgement of an over-saturated public give this book a gritty realism that is unabashedly prescriptive. He knows these things work and has earned the right to tell us about them. Frequent references to his daughter’s wisdom, his own foibles and personal stories of friends and clients provide a warm contrast to the otherwise mercantile feel of the journey. You’ll come away knowing not only Hankins’ philosophy and tricks, but also his underlying humanness. Combined with the generous listing of helpful websites and open-door view of his reference library, the author has given until he can give no more. This is a one-evening read that you will want to come back to for years.
Helen Thompson — Real Estate Broker, Coldwell Banker
“The Power of the Pitch”, I believe, stands alongside some of the greatest aids in the area of development of individual potential and professionalism — whatever the goal. Succinct, focused and entertainingly presented, the text is akin to being accompanied by a coach — guiding and training easily yet profoundly — in the very basic tenets that make for a totally developed, confident, personality.
Gary picks up on the many aspects of character traits endeavoring to shape and mold each until culminating into one finished, polished and confident persona — the results of which easily promises a life ennobled by fulfillment and ultimate success.
This is a book I have read, re-read, hi-lighted and will keep active as my own personal coach. Mostly, I was impressed and encouraged by Gary’s practical strategies to enforce a discipline until it becomes a natural lifestyle. Whether you’re a novice or entrepreneur, “The Power of the Pitch”, for sure, has something for you!
Christopher E. Maling — Senior Director, National Retail Group, Marcus & Millichap
This book outlines the “details” which are crucial to giving a successful presentation. The book is not just a “How to do it” text, it is a reference guide that can be used time and time again. It is a keeper for the brief case when on the road pitching business or for discussion with your team.
Incorporate just a few concepts that Gary mentions and watch the $$$ add up!
Frederick B. Cordova III — Vice President, Colliers Seeley International, Inc.
Most sales endeavors involve establishing strong personal relationships and building trust with the prospective client. It is usually that trust that “gets you to the dance”, but if you don’t know how to “dance” you are going to fall on your feet and lose the opportunity to shine. The “Power of the Pitch” gives you everything you need to take what’s inside of you and allow it to shine. From how to dress, how to look, and to speak, what to say and when to say it, Gary’s book provides a step by step formula to help even the most apprehensive speakers put together a powerful presentation and “wow” your clients or customers.
In the commercial real estate brokerage business, pitches are a way of life, but it is shocking how lacking many seasoned professionals are in delivering them. I have witnessed first hand, the unfortunate results of a poor pitch when the business was already won before walking in to the presentation. I purchased several copies of the book and made it mandatory reading for my team.
I encourage anyone who is serious about improving their performance in pitches to get this book, read it and practice it…and pass it along to your friends and even your children to help them present themselves as they want to be seen and heard. It is an easy read and a great resource to keep close at hand for reference whenever you are preparing for a presentation, speech or interview.