No doubt you remember the famous line in the Godfather movie, “Make me an offer I can’t refuse?”
I love that line and think of it often.
I’ve been doing consulting for more than 25 years and have been running the gallery with Hitoshi for almost seven. One thing I can say is that the quality of the deals I get offered, whether they be consulting projects or collaboration arrangements or artist shows, are getting better.
But still there are those offers that I can easily refuse. Like these:
A guy who specializes in helping start-ups make pitches to venture capitalists. He wants to meet with me, but his own pitch didn’t move me in the least. If he can’t pitch me, how is he going to help start-ups?
An artist from Paris wants to have a show in our gallery, and tells me there is an opportunity for our gallery to be included in his tour of Asia. He includes a 14 MB file with images that clogs up my mailbox. I check out his website and get the message, “still under construction.” This is an opportunity I will pass on.
Here are a couple of projects I have funded:
Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand, after they rescued 150 dogs bound for the dinner table in Vietnam
Herb and Dorothy’s follow-up movie. I loved the first one, and want to see this next one. I met the director [she's Japanese] and my friends are promoting her movies here in japan.
I also met with a guy who lost his job and was introduced by a client. My client asked me to help. I was glad to talk with they guy and help him out.
Do you know the secret to a good pitch?
“Give a compelling reason to say yes.”
Have it be based on something that relates to me , something that I might care about, or get a personal introduction. If you know me, you know,I love art, I love dogs and I love H, and I take care of my clients, so that’s how to get my interest. [ I like cakes too.]
I don’t fund every pitch I get or meet with everyone who wants to meet with me.
Please, don’t ask me or anyone to fund your summer trip across the United States, taking pictures of motels that you will post on your blog. Who would fund that? Maybe your grandmother, but not me. Don’t waste your time.
[And yes, I did get such a pitch.]
“Make me an offer I can’t refuse. Give me a compelling reason to say yes.”