Why I Shut Down This Pitchy Pest — Despite His Enthusiasm


Yesterday, I showed up on Zoom to lead a complimentary strategy session and discovered, instead, that I was attending an unsolicited pitch-fest.

Dan scheduled the strategy session a few weeks ago during a presentation I delivered at an online summit. I invited my audience to sign up for a free one-on-one session…

…if they were serious about powering up their creative content and storytelling and wanted to discuss how I met help. 

Dan did not want my help. He wanted me to buy. 

When the session began, I said, “…what’s on your mind?” 

He said, “Since you tell stories, I thought we had an interesting way to actually augment your stories. We have two interactive video technologies which I thought would be perfect for what you do.” 

And then he began to describe features. 

I cut him off. 

“You filled out a form where you requested a strategy session with me. And now you’re pitching me,” I said. 

The pitchy pest claimed I misunderstood his intent. 

“Don’t mistake my enthusiasm for tech for pitching. I’m sort of a technology evangelist,” he said. 

Ahhhh… I see… If you’re an “enthusiastic evangelist,” you’re not pitching when, without an invitation, you describe your products and say this “would be perfect” for you. 

Enthusiastic Evangelist (I’ll call him E.E. for short) continued: “What kind of stories do you tell?” 

Funny question. You’d think EE would know that if he already determined his technology is perfect for what I do. 

I cut him off again. I reminded him — again — that he signed up for a strategy session, I told him I wasn’t shopping for technology like his. 

He persisted. 

And finally, I said, “You’re not getting me drift. I don’t want to talk to you right now.” 

To his credit, a few hours after the call, EE visited my site, signed up for some of my free resources, and then sent me an email apology. 

So I may talk to him again. And if/when I do, I’ll remind him something the great Dan Kennedy often says: 

It’s always better
to be an invited guest
than an unwanted pest.

When you book a meeting on false pretenses or you trick someone into scheduling time with you, you show up as the unwanted pest. 


An enthusiastic pitch
is still a pitch.

“I’m sorry. I’m just so fired up about the awesome products. I can’t help but tell you about them…” does not magically transform your pitch into something else.

And finally…

Don’t tell me your product is 
“perfect for what you do”
until you know what I do.  

That means you start by listening, not telling. 

That means you must discover all you can about their prospects and their stories before you launch into your story. 

That’s what I do in a strategy session.

Speaking of which…

…Every week, I set aside a few slots on my calendar for such sessions — to meet with business people to discuss what’s working with their marketing and sales, what’s not, and where they could use some help. 

Sometimes that leads to us working together. Sometimes that leads me to recommend other resources. In every call, I offer actionable advice. 

If you’d like to schedule a call, reply to this email with “Let’s meet” in the subject line. I’ll reply with a calendar link so we can book a call.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.