Crafting a great sales pitch

Posted in Sales techniques and processes.

The word “pitch” is something that shouldn’t, in fact, be used anymore because of the negative connotations that are associated with it. It is an old-timey word that was used to describe salespeople who “threw” words at people before they could reject them. A pitch is associated with a one-way conversation that does not invite any feedback. But the word is something that many people know so it’s better for understanding. Here are a few steps you can follow in order to effectively sell your message:

  • Do your homework beforehand. Knowing your buyer very well will help you determine how your product or service can be valuable to them and their business. Short attention spans mean that one needs to link personalised reasons to the buyer and their needs, otherwise they will feel no connection to it.
  • Determine your objectives. What do you plan on achieving with this sales pitch? Is it to buy more time and more meetings so that you can sell the product better? Is it to immediately sell the product to the client? Is it to simply provide them with more information?
  • Some of the best ways to start your pitch is to ask questions. This will further your knowledge of the client even more. You may think you know everything but a buyer’s answers can surprise you and this may even change the way you end up selling.
  • Consider giving your sales message in a team environment where each member has a specific role. One person is the ally that observes you while you are talking to make the buyer see what you are saying is interesting and worth listening to. Another person is the observer that watches the buyer during the pitch to address issues based on the responses they observe. The closer seals the deal and the quarterback makes the presentation itself. If one person does all these roles it can be a letdown when the person switches roles, say from the exciting vision of your product to the financial implications.
  • Build some rapport with the buyer. In other words, find some common ground such as shared interests, places you’ve both lived or worked and so forth.
  • The first part of the pitch should involve the most important ideas. Capture the buyer’s attention immediately. If you take too long to get to the point, the person will lose interest quickly.
  • Always tell the buyer the “because”. If you tell a person that something is a good idea for them, tell them why it is a good idea. You need to provide a reason for every statement that you make.
  • Think about any concerns that the buyer might have beforehand so that you can address them in your speech. It makes the buyer more comfortable with the extent of your knowledge and expertise.
  • Sometimes the answer to your sale will be “no”. This is fine but it becomes a second chance to ask the buyer what their specific concerns are. Once you know the concerns, you will be able to tell them ways in which your product or service can resolve these concerns. This can easily make the buyer rethink their negative response. This can even lead to them ask more questions which is your opportunity to provide them with more of the benefits about your product or service. If they say “no” again, leave it at that. Pushing a buyer too much can make them annoyed and destroy any future chances of them buying your product.
  • Make it easy for the buyer to say “yes”. Give them the right contacts that they might need, reassure them you will give them all of the information and then do so. Provide them with lots of opportunities to contact you, ways to order the product or service and so on.
  • Leave the meeting on a positive note. Sometimes the last moments a person experience with a seller has the most lasting impression. Look for signs that the buyer might want the meeting to end. These may in the form of verbal signs like saying “Right then…” or “Well,…” or they can be physical signs like moving closer to the door. Never overstay your welcome. Even if you did not get to showcase all of your points, do not force the meeting to go on longer just to complete your pitch. You will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the buyer and they will end up feeling like you wasted their time.
  • Part of leaving on a positive note is giving the buyer a good, firm handshake. This physical act lingers in the mind of the person and if it is not a limp handshake, it will show confidence – something that transfers to your product’s attractiveness. Look the person directly in the eye and use their name (people like hearing their name).

There are endless tips that can benefit your sales pitch and these are only some of them. One of the most important things to remember alongside all of these tips is to be authentic. Make the buyer feel special and not like you have done this exact same pitch hundreds of times before. A buyer doesn’t want to feel like just another number because if you treat them like that during a speech, what will your service to them be like?