Walking out of a room knowing that you have just delivered the perfect sales pitch—a great feeling matched only by getting the call a few days later to tell you that it was successful.
As sales professionals, we are always looking for ways to improve our sales pitches and close more deals. In this article, we take a look at the magic formula employed by successful salespeople for the perfect sales pitch.
Do Your Homework
Doing your homework is the first step to a powerful pitch that builds the trust required to close a deal. Before spending time thinking about what goes into the pitch, start by researching those you are pitching to.
Begin by finding all the publicly available information on the company such as their size, services, and who they serve. Also find out any information you can on those who will be representing the company at the pitch such as their names, background, and current position.
Where possible, you can dig deeper and find out other information such as business turnover, the challenges they currently face, and who else may be pitching them. Knowing all this will help you shape and tailor your pitch to the customers’ wants and needs.
When researching, you don’t have to hide that you’re doing so—it can be beneficial to be spotted digging for information. For example, using LinkedIn to find out more about those who will be attending a pitch can be useful as the individual can see that you have viewed their profile. This gives the customer confidence that you have done your research before you even show up to pitch them.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
All too often pitches can focus on the offering rather than those being pitched to. For example, when a pitch focuses too heavily on the features of your product or service rather than the benefits to the customer, it can lead to a disconnect.
Once you have undertaken the research stage of your pitch, you can use that information to put yourself into your customers’ shoes. This will help drive your pitch: understanding what information is most crucial to them, how best to communicate that information, and even what terminology is most likely to resonate with them. Remember it’s possible your contact has a vast network of connections and is contacted frequently.
As a sales professional, it is your job to believe in the products and services you’re selling. Clearly believing in your product or service is crucial, but during a pitch it can work against you, leaving your prospect thinking, “Of course he/she thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread”.
This is where evidence comes in. By backing your claims with external sources such as facts, figures, and even customer testimonials, you offer corroboration and therefore build trust that your claims are correct.
When selecting evidence, ensure that you spend time matching it to the customer and their challenges. For example, using testimonials from similar businesses or data that matches their targets can make it easy for them to understand how you can help.
Keep to the Point
Customers can often dread sales pitches, especially when they drag on. One way that you can delight your customers is by keeping your pitch short and to the point.
Your research should help you understand what information is most crucial to your customer. Instead of going too deep into any specific area, you can use prompts throughout your pitch to highlight that there is more information available if the customer wants to hear it.
By delivering the essentials and then promoting questions, it ensures that you just address the areas they find most important. If you can’t find the relevant information elsewhere, most customers will appreciate a short call before the pitch to ask them what it is exactly that they want to find out.
Review to Catch Errors
After you have created your pitch, check and double-check all parts of it for errors, typos and any potential misinformation. It is also worthwhile to have a second or even third pair of eyes to go over the pitch to check for any errors.
At best, missed errors can lead to minor embarrassment. However, errors can have more serious consequences when they result in the alienation or misleading of those you are pitching too.
Having your pitch thoroughly checked and practiced will also give you the confidence to walk in knowing your pitch is iron clad and ready to be delivered.
Go For a Soft Close
Once you have delivered the perfect pitch, you may want to test the water on whether the customer is leaning towards purchase. This can be done by asking questions that give you an indicator of their current position.
For example, you may ask, “Is there anything that would stop you buying this?” or “Is this a solution that would meet your needs?”.
Depending on the answer to these questions you may then use a conditional close. This may be a question such as, “So, if I can fix X, Y, and Z, would you sign up?”.
Create a Strong Hook & Ask for the Sale
Ending your pitch with a strong hook is a crucial part of closing.
How you frame your hook will depend on your business and what you offer. For example, if you offer specific products without variations you may end the pitch with a deal or offer. In other cases, you may ask if they are happy to start putting together a service that works for them.
Even the best pitches can fail if you don’t explicitly ask for a sale at the end.
Great Pitches Make Great Sales People
A lot of work can go into earning your business an opportunity to pitch your products or services. Taking the time to research your customers and formulate a pitch that meets their needs is the best way to increase the chances that your efforts pay off and you make the sale you deserve.
Would a fresh approach to pitching help you close more deals?
Interested in diving deeper into how to deal with customers that have objections to your pitch? Check out our article 12 Objection Handling Strategies That Will Help You Win in 2020