John Livesay, aka The Pitch Whisperer, is a sales keynote speaker who uses his time on stage and behind the microphone to share lessons learned from his award-winning sales career at Conde Nast. Livesay uses his knowledge and experience to teach others to become irresistible, like a magnet, to their ideal clients. “The Successful Pitch” podcast is heard in over 60 countries and speaks to our need as human beings to hear, feel, and tell stories as part of our path to success.
Your Story is Everything
A successful pitch has everything to do with how you tell your own story.
Is it captivating? Is it moving? Is it relatable? Why should this person care what you’re talking about? Further, why should they buy what you’re selling?
Livesay, in each episode of The Successful Pitch, addresses these questions and more through high-level, high-quality guests and some of the best questions you’ll ever hear. In podcasting, the better the question, the more telling the answer and Livesay figured this out early on, contributing to his growing binge factor.
“I pride myself on asking people questions that a lot of them have never been asked before. For example, I’ll ask them what their story of origin is and this alone opens the floodgates and people talk about their parents or their childhood. This really warms them up. Nobody I’ve ever met has had a linear path and that is all part of their success story and even their pitch, how they get buy-in from others.”
Don’t Boil the Ocean
One of the best things Livesay mentioned during our chat was this tangible and simple piece of advice: don’t boil the ocean. When you are pitching, it’s so important to tell just enough of your story that you intrigue your audience without giving them everything all at once.
“The other very important thing hosts really need to consider is their mindset before recording, pitching to potential guests, and during each episode. What I say to myself before the call is crucial. If I have the wrong mindset, then the self-talk sounds like, “I’m not good enough” or “Why would they pick me?” I get myself in the right mindset by remembering great outcomes I’ve experienced and tell myself, “I am confident I can deliver” and “I am the right person for this opportunity.”
Realizing Fears to Overcome Them
Speaking of mindset and self-speak, the way you face fears related to starting or continuing your podcast will determine your long-term outcome. Livesay realized he had a lot of fear around starting and he wasn’t even always sure what those fears were. But the more he worked to put a face to each one the more he realized that the only way he would overcome those fears was to mentally control how he talked to himself and his mindset around his own capabilities. The fears I hear hosts talk the most about were on Livesay’s list as well:
- Rejection. I knew I wasn’t going to get Kevin Harrington as one of my first guests. So I countered this by not rejecting myself. Just because you get a no doesn’t mean you reject yourself or what your idea is. Also, no, for now, doesn’t necessarily mean no forever. Being okay with the potential of hearing a no changes the mindset around the ask.
- Technology. Around the fear of the unknown, don’t go it alone. There are services that can help you with the things you don’t know how to do and will take away the fear of working with technology you have never used. I’ve learned a lot the further I get into podcasting but not needing to learn everything at once helped me overcome this fear.
- Being Alone. There are so many resources and mentors out there that can offer insights and assistance so it’s important to know that you don’t have to do this alone.
How to Interact with Guests
While we’re handing out tips on how to start and keep going, Livesay gave some wonderful pieces of advice on how to interact with your guests for the best possible outcome.
- Don’t make them ask. Let them know as soon as you can when the episode will air. For your guests, there should be no guesswork.
- Let them know they did a good job. Like Oprah once said, it doesn’t matter how big the guest is, at the end of every show they always ask the same question, “How did I do?” Give specific compliments so they know that you authentically mean what you are saying and you’ve been present during your interactions with them.
Audiobooks On the Rise
At Podetize we’re building packages to help our platform of podcast hosts create high-quality audiobooks because what we’re finding out, especially in this more remote reality we are all experiencing right now, is that sound has an impact video doesn’t. We’ve watched the shift from imagery to video content and now we’ve been witnessing that with audio because people don’t want to be tied down. There’s a lot of freedom in podcasting and audiobooks because they can go anywhere with your listener. A few points to consider:
- Record your audiobook before your book goes to press because Livesay promises you will catch at least one typo in the process.
- If you go this route, especially if you have a podcast, it’s a great idea to get training and really hone in on your voice because your listeners will want to hear from you.
- Lean into storytelling and paint big clear pictures for your listeners. This emotional connection will remind them of why they keep coming back to your shows and books.
“Hosting a podcast really allowed me to be a good narrator for my book and this is really only one of the major ways that I’ve seen podcasting feeding and building up different areas of my business and my brand.”
Binge Factor: The variety of stories and the quality of guests that you get to hear on Livesay’s show makes it bingeable and unique. For a man who teaches people to pitch through strong storytelling skills, he definitely talks the talk and walks the walk. Listeners know Livesay has been where they are, something he builds through personal stories, and this relatability is the best kind of binge factor.
Becoming A Center of Influence
1) Book Great Guests. Ask every guest to introduce you to another great guest. Always expand your network through warm introductions.
2) Increase Listeners. Turn your transcripts into LinkedIn articles. You get to create content every week without writing a single word.
3) Produce in a Professional Way. Get to know your guest. Read their books, if it’s not released ask for an advance copy. They will be flattered and you will ask better questions.
4) Encourage Engagement. Make it easy for guests to share a soundbite or piece of imagery that promotes the show. Give them the easy tools and be so good they want to share.
5) Monetize. Affiliate opportunities are everywhere if you can leverage your network.
You can watch Tracy Hazzard’s full interview with John Livesay below or listen to The Binge Factor on your favorite podcast player.