For many small businesses, pitching to the right partners is the key to growth. But how do you perfect your pitch? Thanks to the St. Louis Minority Business Council’s Perfect Pitch program, regional small businesses have the opportunity to learn from industry experts and get a chance to show their skills to some of St. Louis’ largest companies.
Perfect Pitch is a coaching platform where business owners will perfect their ability to introduce formerly their companies, products, and services from the likes of Monsanto and Express Scripts, which are also sponsors of the program. The Perfect Pitch program is ideal for minority- and women-owned supply chain or service-based business owners looking to improve their pitching skills to help develop business relationships with major buying organizations.
“As Will Rogers said, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression,’” says Kendra Burris-Austin, Director of Supplier Diversity at Express Scripts. “Being able to articulate your business’ value to buyers is one of the single most important things you can do to sell your company’s worth. Because if you get it wrong, you might not get a second chance.” The Perfect Pitch program is designed to help participants get it right the first time to help them develop strong and profitable relationships with major St. Louis corporations.
After working for a pharmaceutical company for 18 years selling diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol medications, Coach Melody McClellan quit her day job to be the full-time president and CEO of Unwrap You, LLC, a holistic wellness company. “I go into companies and create on-site wellness programs for their employees to help increase productivity, decrease stress and get people on the right track for their health and wellbeing,” says McClellan.
Coach Melody says Perfect Pitch is a perfect fit for her because of the opportunities the program presents, particularly the networking experiences. “I’m most excited just [for] an opportunity to get in front of companies that are definitely staples in this community. There is always something to learn in every opportunity, so I’m looking forward to learning.”
Lus Haberberger, founder and president of engineering consultant firm LUZCO Technologies, is another Perfect Pitch participant who says the program will help her grow out of her comfort zone and give her the push she needs. “I launched LUZCO last June and it was just myself doing freelancing, project management consulting for Ameren,” says Haberberger. “In the past year, we have grown from just myself to now 13 people doing engineering and project management. So, we’ve grown really fast and I feel like I just need coaching and backing on business operations and also what I said before, trying to get other people to understand what we do.”
Kimberly Whitaker, another Perfect Pitch participant, runs Midwest Express Home Care, a consumer-directed in-home healthcare business that aims to assit those in need of caretaking services.
According to Lakesha Mathis, program manager of the St. Louis Minority Business Council at the St. Louis Regional Chamber, programs like Perfect Pitch are critical to business owners and the regional business community at large.
“Helping businesses grow and connect to one another is one of the most important roles of the St. Louis Regional Chamber,” says Mathis. “We are excited to provide this opportunity to both local businesses and major corporations. Together, we are encouraging a more connected and inclusive business community.”
The program consists of four sessions that include training, pitch rehearsal and a final pitch on September 21st. Perfect Pitch participants will have the chance to craft and perfect their pitch with the assistance of entrepreneurship expert Christy Maxfield before meeting procurement professionals from major buying organizations such as Monsanto, Ameren, and Express Scripts. At least one participating company will have the opportunity to pitch their business to participating corporations at the St. Louis Business Diversity Connect event on September 25, 2018.