Crafting a good sales pitch is not easy.
That's because a sales pitch is no longer a “pitch” in the sense that you throw information at your customer as a baseball player would pitch a baseball at a batter.
Nowadays, an effective sales pitch is a two-way street -- a conversation where you listen to the buyer, ask real questions, and offer them a solution to a challenge they’re experiencing.
A good sales pitch starts with a great first impression. Sales professionals work hard to make a memorable and positive initial impact by creating laser-focused one-liners, but it’s just as important that your short, snappy delivery also resonates long after you’ve delivered that opening line.
You want a presentation that holds your audience’s attention -- the longer you're able to keep that attention, the higher your chances of winning them over. And captivating your audience involves being prepared with relevant buyer information, and a pitch that actively includes the buyer in the discussion.
As simple as it sounds, effective sales pitches require upfront work and a conscious effort to stray from the script. Creating effective sales presentations that are collaborative is an art that’s perfected over time and comes with years of hands-on experience.
Knowing that, here are a few tips to get you on your way to a more effective sales pitch.
1. Do the Due Diligence
Unless you're pitching a timeshare at the fountain of youth - your product isn't likely going to sell itself. As mentioned, it's not just tossing information at the buyer anymore, but crafting the pitch that will be the most successful. Making the perfect pitch requires you to understand your customer, so if you're not researching your customer, you are severely decreasing your chances of making that deal.
Do Your Research: 82% of sales people are not aligned with the needs of their buyer. If you’re only espousing why you like the product -- that value may be completely lost on the buyer.
Your sales pitch should be different each time you deliver it. This can’t be emphasized enough. If you come in with the story from only your angle, is it any wonder that it doesn’t resonate with your audience?
Prior to presenting your pitch to the buyer, you should conduct thorough research on their company, their industry, and competitors. During your initial contact, be sure to ask the right questions so you can tailor your message to address that business’ specific needs and ease the deal to the next step.
Great research will also eliminate unnecessary noise and will keep the buyer(s) engaged. Show them that you understand their business with a lean message that highlights your product’s features that matters to them the most.
2. Best Decision You've Ever Made
All of the research and customer information in the world won’t help you if you aren’t in touch with the actual decision maker who can approve the purchase.
Before the actual sales pitch, ensure that you are talking to the person who not only truly understands the business, but is also a decision maker. If you can’t figure this out through your own research, go ahead and respectfully ask your contact with the company; they don’t want their time wasted either.
3. Give Them the Answers To Your Homework
You've done your homework, now share your answers to a problem they're struggling with.
Guy Kawasaki, an author and venture capitalist said, “Enchantment is the purest form of sales. Enchantment is all about changing people’s hearts, minds and actions because you provide them a vision or a way to do things better. The difference between enchantment and simple sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s best interests at heart too.”
It’s no secret that customers respond most to products that solve a current problem. A successful sales pitch will acknowledge that problem (via research) and provide a solution. Even if your company only offers one product, each pitch should speak to the unique challenges of the business you’re pitching.
Your message should be honed on a specific product feature or features that the audience will benefit most from.
4. Address Objections with Objections (Respectfully)
As you’re reviewing your sales message, be sure your presentation not only includes thorough research and solves a customer problem, but that the pitch also addresses potential sales objections that may come up.
The most common sales objections fall in four buckets: Budget, Authority, Need, and Time (also known as BANT). You may not need to have a detailed response to all four, but be prepared to discuss each. The key here is to offer up a reply that shows value to your buyer.
Does the target audience currently have a competing product that is similar? If so, highlight the features that differentiate your product. Do they not have budget this quarter? Talk to how much money your product can save them.
Over time, you’ll hone your objection-response based on the feedback you receive in face-to-face sales meetings. In the meantime, leverage customer and product research and use that knowledge in handling objections.
5. You're Listening, But Are You Hearing Your Buyer?
You've put together a fantastic pitch and you feel as if you've covered every base, but even though you’re there to pitch your product and have put hours into the preparation - that doesn’t mean you know everything.
If you’re on a script -- it’s time to put it down and don't be overzelous or overconfident -- go into the pitch with an open mind and aim to let the buyer do most of the talking.
Check in with the buyer during your pitch - take the time to listen to them and respond with deep, thoughtful follow-up questions. This is critical step to really understanding their business needs and ultimately closing the deal. If you’re listening and asking the right questions, you can adjust your sales message to one that sounds really attractive to the buyer.
If your pitch goes well and you have your ears open, it should feel less like a business presentation and more like a healthy conversation about their business needs.
6. A Call for "Call to Actions"
Even though listening to your buyer is critical - don’t just pack up after your pitch, shrug your shoulders and wait for the customer to define the next steps.
Every sales pitch should end with a call to action that makes sense. Even if the customer isn’t ready to complete the sale yet, be sure to keep the prospect on the journey and move forward with a follow-up meeting or a trial period.
Never wait for the customer to make the call to action. This is solely the salesperson’s responsibility, and failing to be proactive could result in the meeting or relationship ending before you have met your purpose for coming.
7. Reference a Referral
Okay, this isn't really a step, but more a a head start for your next pitches.
Ask current customers that you have a healthy relationship with for referrals to other potential prospects. Referrals are more likely to complete a sale than any other method, and generally a customer who is happy with your service will be happy to spread the word.
However, remember a referral without an introduction is ice cold, so be sure to ask for a quick email introduction rather than just leaving with a name and phone number
Congratulations, you’ve gotten to the point of bringing a prospective buyer into the same room to hear your pitch, so don’t go into the presentation under-prepared. It’s no easy feat to get in front of a potential customer, so don’t waste their time and yours with a long-winded, boring sales pitch that isn't relevant and says little to nothing at all.
So, keep the pitch on-message, keep it clear and you'll keep your buyer's attention. Review it repeatedly and trim excess until it’s as concise as possible without losing the intent. Remove unnecessary buzzwords, like “synergy” and “best practice" -- you won't need these words if you know your customer's needs.
Ok, you're ready. A little bit of nerves are okay, but be confident because you've put real thought and effort into your sales pitch; you know your product, you know your buyer, you're ready to listen, you're solving a real problem, and you're ready for any objection. What's not to like?
The affluent represent the wealthiest, most sought-after demographics in all of marketing. This was true when the economy was booming, but it’s even more true now as the middle class shrinks and the mass affluent segment emerges as the least affected by price, making them even more desirable than ever.
Who Are The Affluent?
• They are the top 21% of U.S. households (1 in 5)
• These households (24 million households/59 million+ adults)
are typically defined as having an annual income of $100,000 or
• They have 60% of total U.S. income and 70% of total U.S.
• 97% are homeowners; 25% own two or more personal residences
• High correlation between education and affluence
• They are twice as likely to buy, and when they do, spend 3.2
times more than the average household
The truth is it takes no more work to attract customers from the
explosively growing affluent population eager and willing to pay
What Do The Affluent Spend On?
90% of affluent annual spending is in 10 categories:
• Personal Insurance
• Home & Garden
• Apparel & Accessories
• Consumer Electronics
• Leisure & Entertainment
• Charitable Donations
Affluent Consumer Purchasing Triggers
Consumer purchasing triggers are events that cause a buyer to have a clear need, which usually converts into a sense of purpose and urgency in their buying process. They fall into several categories: emotion, value, referral, expectation, and need to name a few.
Emotion is the foremost reason we buy. Fear, passion, joy,
excitement, sadness, hate, and reverence all can lead to
purchasing decisions. How often have you ended up buying
something impulsively or at the spur of the moment? For instance, fear can bring emotion to a purchasing decision fear of gaining weight, fear of a future price increase, fear of growing old all can lead to buying.
Value is another of the strongest reasons that consumers buy.
Quantity and quality can excite and offer incentive for consumers to purchase.
Referral is a great contributor on buying decisions. Recognizing
someone they know or respect has used your product or service
and is happy with it can influence consumers. A buyer who is
happy with the outcome of the sale often can become your best
salesman and provide you with a powerful testimonial.
Expectation is another motivator that works well. Consumers
buy based on the end result of the product or service. They are
purchasing weight loss, not weight loss pills, or a romantic
evening, not a dinner for two at a waterfront restaurant.
Need is one of the most rudimentary buying triggers. (We go to
the supermarket whenever our need arises for groceries.)
Build Trigger-Specific Marketing and Sales Content
Your marketing should communicate your objective,
whether awareness, differentiation, or improving
perception. Your product's/service's Unique Selling
Proposition—is the most crucial step in determining
your marketing message.
Determine What Problem(s) Does Your Product/Service Solve?
What is truly unique about it (no one else has it) that is important
to selling (differentiated enough to make or break the sale) and
matters most to the consumer.
Why Should The Prospect Buy Now?
What action do you want them to take? Call, fill out a form, place an order, arrange an appointment, explore the website, etc. Give them a reason to buy now, but be aware that they may still be early in the customer buying cycle and provide them with a way to begin evaluating your product/service as a solution to their need.
Develop Advertising That Leverages Affluent Consumers Purchasing Triggers
Busy consumers decide within 2-3 seconds whether an ad is worth
reviewing or passing over. The affluent are no different; they don’t
want to search the ad for information or savings, so a clear and simple design is essential to drive response. In those seconds, the ad must communicate its product or service identity, create appeal (fulfill a desire) and motivate the consumer to respond.
Effective entrepreneurs are generally very good at selling their products or services and as an entrepreneur nearly everything you are doing is selling: your are selling customers on buying from you, you are selling suppliers on working with you, you are selling investor on investing in you, you are selling employees on joining your company, etc. And you will most likely find yourself saying the same things (like explaining your value proposition or explaining how to use your products or services) over and over again.
Entrepreneurs must develop and manage their sales pipelines given the direct impact of the sales pipeline on the health and growth of their company.
Here are a few helpful sales tips.
Fully understand your prospects pain.
Before listing off a product's or services's features and benefits, you should find out from the prospect what kind of pain points they have. If you can't find a problem your product/service solves, it's either the wrong market fit, it's not a good product/service or your sales pitch needs to be tweaked to focus on solving specific problems that companies face.
Always add value.
Don't think that once a customer hands over cash for your product, the selling process is complete. Check in with your clients on a regular basis and look for ways to keep supporting them, listen to their evolving needs and be ready to answer questions before problems arise. You don't necessarily need to be in selling mode but touching base helps keep the communication channels open. Also, if for some reason your solution is failing to meet their expectations, you need to hear feedback, as you want to improve or solve the situation before it's too late.
Respect your prospects.
Prospects get called by sales people all the time, and they can tell the difference between a sincere problem solver and an impatient sales person who doesn't really care about their problems. Be a part of the former group and listen to your prospect and address their problems. The better you listen to what they need and not what you want to sell, the better your sales relationships will be.
Make sure yours is the right solution.
Prospects know when someone is just trying to sell them something, regardless if it is the right fit or not. Don't be that person. Instead, provide a solution the prospect truly needs, based on their unique circumstances.
Entrepreneurs are often motivated by a sense of idealism: You're trying to do something better, faster or more efficiently. You're looking to create and innovate. You're bringing something into the world that hasn't been done before.Be sure to bring this spirit and passion into your sales conversations with customers.
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