In a hyper-competitive marketplace, the ability to deliver a compelling, informative and entertaining sales pitch is more important than ever.
Prospects have so many products and services available to them that a great sales pitch is often required to get their attention.
To help you become a more convincing and effective salesperson, this post will share several essential techniques that will take your sales pitch to the next level.
Do your research
Every experienced sales person knows the importance of research. However, if you really want to take your sales pitches to the next level, your research needs to be even more thorough. Before the pitch, you should do the following:
- Research the prospect
Learn everything you can about the prospect. If it is a business, learn about any unique challenges they face or opportunities that they are not taking advantage of. Research the culture of the business and how they are currently performing within their chosen industry. For individuals, learn which priorities people in that demographic have when it comes to the type of product or service you are offering.
- Research the industry
Learn more about current trends within the industry, including what businesses in the sector are looking for and any challenges that the entire sector is facing. Find out if any industry trends are relevant to your offer.
- Research your product
A surprisingly high number of professional salespeople don’t understand the product or service they are selling. Research your offer thoroughly so you can deal with any objections, concerns, or questions from the prospect. You should also be able to demonstrate the terrific outcomes that are delivered by your offer using convincing statistics, graphs, and other data.
- Research your competitors
Take a closer look at your competitors to determine the strengths and weaknesses of what they are offering. This will make it easier for you to differentiate your offer and to highlight any competitive advantages that are obtained by using your product or service.
Sell yourself before selling your products
Selling is much easier if you have already built some credibility with a prospect. If you have sold to the prospect in the past or know them socially, it will be much easier to convince them to continue with a sale.
Unfortunately, in most cases, you won’t know the prospect at all. When selling to a stranger, your first goal should be to sell yourself. Demonstrate that you are a knowledgeable person with experience in the industry. Tell them more about about your company and the industry connections that you have. Show them some examples of past successes and other clients who are happy with your product or service.
Of course, the challenge is to sell yourself in a very short amount of time. Some of the best approaches are:
- Demonstrate that you have done your research
Want to convince a prospect that you know what you are doing? Show them an insightful statistic or chart that identifies a problem or opportunity directly relating to the prospect.
- Brief background review
It is always important to briefly share some information about yourself and your business. Focus on details that are relevant or important to the prospect.
- Share details of common connections
If you have any pre-existing social or business connections with the prospect, let them know. This will help you quickly build some credibility with the prospect.
Keep it casual
In most cases, a casual and friendly tone is the most effective approach for a sales pitch. You need to make your sales pitch more like a conversation instead of a lecture or an information session. Some strategies for keeping the pitch casual include:
- Be funny
Don’t be afraid to share a joke or two during your pitch. Include a couple of funny slides or a humorous anecdote (just don’t overdo it). Humour will put your prospect at ease, help them enjoy your pitch, and improve rapport.
- Personalise the experience
Use the prospect’s name throughout the pitch (first or full names depending on the environment). Send them a personalised thank you note after the pitch. Ask questions of the prospect during the pitch to better understand their unique requirements.
- Avoid technical jargon unless essential
Don’t bombard your prospect with technical data unless they have the expertise necessary to understand it and actually want to hear it. In nearly all cases, it is better to focus on outcomes instead of technical data. Instead of explaining the technical reasons why your software is faster, show the prospect how much that additional speed improves productivity.
- Make your pitch a conversation
The best sales pitches are conversations between the salesperson and the prospect as they both determine if the product or service is a good fit. Enter into a dialogue with the prospect, giving them opportunities for any comments or questions.
Maintain a cohesive sales pitch structure
There are several different ways to write a sales pitch and choosing the most suitable one is vital. Also, how you structure your pitch will vary depending on the nature of your offer and the prospect that you are selling to. However, it must always be cohesive, with each section neatly flowing into the next. Failing to keep the pitch cohesive may result in the prospect thinking you don’t know what you are talking about.
A cohesive pitch will be logical and have sections that neatly flow into one another. For example, it is common to start with a short introduction and definition of a problem that a prospect may be currently encountering. Perhaps a business is struggling to maintain their employee roster. The next logical step should be offering them a solution to that problem — which is your product or service.
Afterwards, you can spend time dealing with any objections or concerns from the client, before adding additional value and closing the deal.
Improve your body language
When you are focused on your verbal communication style as you deliver a pitch, it can be easy to forget how you are positioning your body. However, your body language will also be having an impact on how the prospect is understanding the words you say. Avoid common body language mistakes like crossing your arms, fidgeting, or averting your gaze. Purposely move your body in a way that makes you appear more confident. Maintain good posture and look your prospect in the eye.