When we talk about selling within the music industry, we always think of the relationship between the artist and their fans or community. There is, of course, another level - the B2B connection with the various partners that artists must work with: from PR to distribution, other musicians, venues, bookers, etc. Often both sides must pitch to each other to establish the relationship. Its an important sales job, and often a complete disaster.
Check out this clip from Mad Men. Besides being one of the best moments in television that I have seen in a very long time, Don Draper's pitch to Kodak is a lesson in how to deliver a concept in under two minutes. His approach is grounded in what the product is, but at the heart sits the real reason to believe; the emotional hook that draws you in, puts you at the centre of the story, and makes it impossible for you to not want what is being sold.
I once sat through a long meeting with a PR team who were pitching for business with Gaymonkey. They spent the majority of their time talking about themselves, who they were and what they have achieved. After 90 minutes I was no clearer on why they did what they did, what they were offering me, or why they wanted to work with us at all. It was all about them - unremarkable, ineffective, and a waste of time.
A simple rule: the best ideas are sold within seconds, not hour-long presentations.