The Perfect Pitch. Is There One?
The sales pitch has evolved over the years. It’s not just a pitch anymore, it’s a 100mph fastball. You have only a few minutes to get your audience’s attention. And in that time, you need to connect, persuade, and provide value, usually to someone you’ve never met before. It’s not easy.
Potential customers today are more informed than they’ve ever been. Pitching with information your prospective customers already know not only shows a lack of interest but a lack of awareness also. That’s why putting a lot of work in before you deliver your pitch is critical to closing a deal.
Just because customers are more informed doesn’t mean using the pitch to educate them isn’t useful. An effective sales pitch should be a two-way street that adds value for both parties. By presenting your expertise and sharing information they can’t find on their own, you validate their reasons for reaching out to you in the first place.
Some salespeople make a common mistake by jumping right into their sales pitch without asking any questions. A good sales pitch is more about understanding and it begins way before your first engagement with a potential customer. Effective sales pitches require some preparation before you can understand your prospect well enough to personalize your presentation rather than just blurting out your standard script.
Your product isn’t going to sell itself. Business buyers want salespeople to greet them with conversations and as trusted advisors. A sales pitch must make them feel like you understand their business and deliver more information than they can find. Do your homework and research before your first conversation and it will increase your chances of closing a deal. Do some thorough research on their company, their industry, and their competitors. On your initial contact with them, be sure to ask the right questions so you can craft your message to address their specific needs and challenges. This will help to get you one step closer to a deal.
Getting in front of a potential customer is hard enough. Don’t waste their time or yours with a long-winded, boring sales presentation that isn’t relevant to their unique set of problems.
If you’re working with a script or presentation, don’t be in a hurry to get all your information on the table. I instead, go into the presentation with an open mind and allow the potential buyer to do more of the talking. This way, you can learn more about them and where your service or product can fit in. If you can’t narrow down your buyer’s challenges, you won’t be able to figure out the best way to help them.
According to many studies, sellers say active listening is one of their top tactics to build good relationships with prospects. Listen to the tone, speed, and volume of their voices to get a read on how they’re feeling. Use statements or questions that will entice them to share their experiences.
While listening to potential buyers is critical, don’t just say goodbye after your pitch. Be ready to share what’s next for the customer. Every sales pitch should end with a call to action. Even if the customer isn’t ready to make a purchase, be sure to keep the prospect on the sales journey and move forward with a follow-up meeting or next steps.
In the end, there isn’t one great universal sales pitch or presentation that will work for every client you get the opportunity to speak with. Challenges are different in every individual business and industry. Having conversations and understanding more about who you’re speaking with and what their specific challenges are, will not only help you to understand where you can provide value to them but also increase their ability to see that value.