Before You Pivot, Make Sure You're Pitching to the Right Audience

The one mistake beginners at sales make, and how to fix it
Before You Pivot, Make Sure You're Pitching to the Right Audience
Image credit: Shutterstock.com

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Motivator. Entrepreneur. Contributor, 'NBC TODAY Show.' Emmy Award-Winning Host, 'Never Settle Show'
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I know the sales process pretty well -- I started my career in sales cellphones. No, not smartphones. I'm talking about those clunky things people used to keep in their cars. Hey, at the time, it was the highest tech thing out there.

Over the years I made the jump from sales to media, getting my start on local TV and radio before moving to the national stage of and the TODAY Show. But, as not just the talent but a small business owner and entrepreneur, I've had to continue being the top sales person on my team.

Whatever you're trying to sell, whether it's concert tickets, a food truck service, a smartphone app -- it can be anything, really -- my No. 1 tip is to make sure you're selling to the right audience before you pivot.

Related: 9 Rookies Sales Mistakes That Are Costing You Sales

Through public speaking, and events, I've had the opportunity to speak with tens of thousands of entrepreneurs over the past decade. So, I've seen the people make the same mistake again and again. The sales process isn't working, they're getting "no's" left and right, so they give up and try something totally new and different. Sometimes people go years changing up their strategy every few months without ever making a serious dent in sales.

Now look, there's never a magic bullet with sales -- sometimes, those "no's" are because it isn't a great product. But, other times, you need to ask yourself, "Am I pitching to the right audience?" Because you could have the right product, the right idea, the right service, but be pitching it to the wrong audience.

Here's a recent example I encountered: While pitching my own , I assumed that the networks would want it. One of the major broadcasters, or even an obscure cable network if I had to go that route. So, I was taking my show to network executives who would make decisions about whether or not to buy in on my idea.

Related: How to Make a Lot of Money With a Few Customers

We got a lot of rejection, and a lot of people saying "no." So, I had to start thinking, Is it me? Am I bad as talent? Is it my idea? Is this a crappy idea for a show?

But, once I thought about it, I realized I was pitching it to the same audience over and over again. I was assuming that the only way to get a show was if a network picked it up.

What did I do instead? I changed my audience. Instead of pitching it to networks, I started pitching websites, pages, channels -- basically, anyone with a large enough audience to help me make the same impact as being on broadcast television. Because at the end of the day, it wasn't the networks or the executives I needed to reach, it was the people, and I just had to find a different way to get there.

That talk show, the Never Settle Show, launches April 5. You can learn more here.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Discover a better way to hire freelancers. From business to marketing, sales, finance, design, technology, and more, we have the freelancers you need to tackle your most important work and projects, on-demand.

Latest on Entrepreneur