A Member emailed me this problem: he knows the network his show is right for, he knows his demographic, and he knows who the TV show Executives are that he needs to pitch to. The question he asks, is, “How do I get these Execs to listen to my pitch?”
Developing relationships in the business is based on mutual need, and the satisfaction of those needs.
Every Executive is looking for the next great show. The problem they have is weeding through all the TV show pitches for show ideas that aren’t adequately developed.
So how do you get their attention, and more importantly, get a pitch meeting? You build a relationship and set expectations.
You never pitch to them if the show isn’t ready and you never ask for a meeting if your pitch isn’t ready. When you meet an Executive at an event, unless you actually have a pitch meeting scheduled, don’t pitch to them.
Instead, let them know what to expect from you. If you are working on a show you think would be right for them, tell them that. EXACTLY that.
“I’m developing a show that I think is going to be right for your company. Can I contact you when it’s ready to pitch?”
What you are telling them in those two simple sentences is this:
I don’t want anything from you today. I’ve done my research. When I DO ask for a meeting I’ll be prepared and you won’t regret it.
Unless the company doesn’t accept pitches chances are pretty good the Exec will respond favorably.
Even if your show IS ready that doesn’t give you license to launch into a full-blown pitch when you come face to face with an Executive. You’re not going to get good results if you surprise an Executive by launching into a pitch when they’re not expecting to hear one. Why? Because they get bombarded with pitches all the time!
But wait! You say yours is different? Yours is better? Yours has never been done? Yours has never been done like this?
None of that matters if you don’t pitch the Execs in the proper way, because if you do it wrong, chances are your show will not get the attention you feel it deserves.
People tend to think that their show’s originality will speak for itself, but it can’t do that if the Exec isn’t listening.
So, in answer to our Member’s question, if you want to get your show in front of a particular Exec, start building the relationship early. Be thoroughly prepared before you ask for a meeting and respect their time so they know you won’t waste of their time and energy when they sit down to hear your pitch.