To the untrained ear, the term ‘Sales Pitch’ conjures up images of unconvincing monologues comprising amazing product features and boastful notes on the greatness of the seller’s business. A monologue that even when delivered with perfect elocution, can contain a complete lack of personalisation and give the aura of a recycled by-product taken straight from the company’s website.
The life of a salesperson would be so much easier if this formula worked. If only we could memorise the bullet-proof rhetoric, regurgitate it time and time again and land repeatedly on the same successful outcome... the reality is obviously very far removed from this.
The savvy sales person knows better. The explosion of new start-ups and powerful SMEs has shifted the selling demeanour to a much more personal and passionate level. The old, structured elevator pitch has morphed into a fresher, two-way conversation, where the customer is expected to participate equally in the sales dance.
The focus of a successful sales pitch long ago shifted from the product a business is trying to sell and onto the solution to the buyer’s problem. Therefore, the main attributes of a successful sales pitch need to go beyond bravado and cheeky charm and exhibit a flair for empathetic intelligence and a knack for staying quiet at the right time.
But how do we guarantee our sales pitch breaks free from the dreaded David Brent shackles and remains the genuine and helpful solution to our prospective customer’s impasse?
Here are 10 tips to help you give the best sales pitch ever:
1. Find the right audience:
A successful sale starts with clever marketing. Don’t waste your time selling to people who don’t want to be sold to. Let ‘inbound’ marketing gravitate you towards a friendly and willing audience that is already in the market for a solution like yours. Qualify early and hard to avoid disappointment later down the line.
2. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it:
A common mistake sales people make is spending too long crafting the right message and not enough time practicing the delivery of said message. People’s attention spans are short. Busy people’s attention spans are even shorter. Make sure to keep the energy in the room at a high by articulating and modulating your message, speaking at an easy pace and with confidence. Stay focused on the key, salient points you want to make and avoid the temptation to wander from the path. Practise in front of the mirror, willing friends and if necessary a camera. Practice will always make perfect.
This is one of those really useful techniques that most people tend to overlook. If you stand any chance of procuring your prospect with a good solution to their problem, you first have to really understand their needs and pain-points. What keeps them awake at night? Where do they want to be in the next 6 months? What are their frustrations and ambitions? Only by understanding their expectations have you any chance of meeting them.
4. Present solutions, not features:
Yes, I’m sure your product has amazing features and offers incredible services but as your buyer, I only have one thing in mind; my business and my targets. Your prospects are not interested in, or in many cases will even understand, the complexities of your offering. They are only interested in finding a solution that will allow them to reach their goals faster. Remember to always focus your message around your customer’s pains and your solution’s benefits and not your product’s features.
5. Sales come in through the eyes:
If your sales pitch is going to be accompanied by a visual presentation, ensure it’s clear, on-brand and looks the part. If necessary, enlist the help of a professional designer to help give your slides a sleek and polished look. You may choose to share this deck with your prospects after your meeting so check that each slide makes sense on its own and that your contact details are easily accessible should your prospect (or anyone else seeing this deck after your pitch) can easily get in touch with you. See your sales deck as a very elaborate business card.
6. Prepare for objections:
This will come easier to you as your pitch and ‘airtime’ mature. Identify the 10-20 most common objections and prepare concise and clear answers to each one. Keep eye contact with your listener and comfort them by showing expertise in your field. If you prepare, and not dread, these objections you’ll start looking forward to resolving them.
7. Know your competition:
Always do your research before visiting a prospect. Try to figure out what other solutions they’re considering or what other businesses they’re talking to. Make sure you can quickly and convincingly list your competitor’s features & costs and how they fair against your offering.
8. Lead by example:
Why should your prospect believe all the magnificent promises you’re making? Back up your claims with reputable customer examples. Tailor the figures and top stories from your existing customers to your prospect’s case in point and casually drop them into the conversation. Make sure this is one of those metrics you really do know off by heart. There’s nothing worse for your credibility than going blank on the fact-based statements.
9. Fight your corner:
Even if you’ve given the most awe-inspiring presentation, your prospective customer will still try you for the best possible deal. Ensure a profitable outcome by knowing the worth of your time and product. Be prepared to offer some discount but never go under your lowest possible rate. If your prospect is not willing to pay your worth, they’re not the right fit for you. Be prepared to walk away from the deal. You’ll thank yourself later!
10. Stay on top of it:
The sales pitch doesn’t end when you leave the room. Make sure to stay at the forefront of your prospect’s mind by following up with useful resources and gentle reminders. Follow through on your word, be consistent and reliable and never ever interpret a lack of response as an absolute ‘no’. Sales is a waiting game and winning often happens in the follow-up.
By putting these 10 tips into practice you’ll be able to craft and deliver an amazing sales pitch for your product, service or idea.
Learn from some of the UK’s best sales leaders in our SuMo Sales Academy. Hear how organisations like The Post Office, Ebury, Qlik or SIG achieve remarkable results year-on-year through intelligent guided selling and behavioural motivation.