Leads aren’t easy to come by. This is why most salespeople engage in a bit of internal celebration every time a potential customer agrees to hear their pitch. Of course, once that celebration is over, it’s pretty normal for nerves to take over. There is no guarantee that a lead will result in a sale, unless your pitch is on point. The good news is that the following ten tips will help you to perfect your pitch and increase your chances of making the sale happen.
Speak in Plain Language
Nobody is impressed by bloated language, boasting, and buzzwords. In fact, using technical jargon and trying to impress prospects with industry speak is a real turn off. After all, if your product and service is so great, why can’t you describe what you have to offer in plain English. Customers will feel as if you are trying to hide something or confuse them. When you plan your pitch, work on describing your product or service in laymen’s terms. If you must use technical terms, take the time to define them. Better yet, come up with an anecdote or example to make the concept as clear as possible.
Open With a Story Quote or Question
Your English 101 professor probably pushed the idea that you should include an interesting fact, question, compelling story, or thought provoking quote in the beginning of your papers. The point of this advice was to help you to grab your reader’s attention. Guess what. It works, not just in writing, but in sales as well. Forget about leading into your pitch with mundane pleasantries. Instead, jump right in. Do you have a customer success story? Go with it. Do you have a statistic that will make your prospects take note? Then that’s your opener. Just be sure that your opener passes the smartphone test. If your customers start scrolling through their phones, you may have lost them before you even got started.
Listen When Your Audience Says Yes
You’ve written your pitch down. You’ve rehearsed it. You’ve even thought of every possible question or criticism that you might face. You are ready to go out and give the best sales pitch ever. Don’t get too fired up. The best sales pitch you have to offer is one that you never finish. This is because your prospect will, ideally, say yes before you are finished.
Your job is paying attention, and knowing to stop and accept the answer as soon as you hear it. As soon as you hear that your audience is ready to move forward, stop talking. Thank them, let them know that you will be contacting them with details, or simply hand over the product and accept the money. Whatever you do, don’t ignore yes in order to continue on with your pitch.
Support Your Claims With Evidence
Wrong: We offer the best widgets in the state of Nebraska!
Right: The official, widget, manufacturers association of greater Nebraska has awarded us their top honors for five years in a row.
Everybody claims to be the best. Those claims are meaningless unless you can back them up. Reference case studies, market research and other data to ensure that your prospective customers accept your claims rather than dismissing them as meaningless.
Focus on Your Customer’s Needs
Your potential customers can find your product specifications on your website. Also, unless you are truly the only one in your space, you probably have competitors offering similar products. Your pitch should focus on what your customer needs. This means selling them on the benefits of your products and how you can meet their needs.
For example, don’t pitch the features of your all natural cleaning products. Sell your customer on the benefit of being able to clean their home without worrying about children or pets being exposed to toxic chemicals.
George Peterson, CEO of 24diamonds says, “I attribute much of our sales and growth to our focus on customer needs. We don’t just offer the most expensive product, but genuinely try to know more about the customer, their preferences, budget and the occasion the gift is for. We merely chit chat before delivering the pitch and showing the goods and try to hone the same personalized approach on our website”
Your pitch should focus on your customers as much as possible. Keep them engaged by asking plenty of questions as you give your pitch. This isn’t always easy, because it can mean that you will have to think on your feet. You may even need to take things in a slightly different direction based on the answers that you receive. That’s okay. The more questions you ask, the more your customer will trust that you are as interested in meeting their needs as you are in collecting their money.
Gather as Much Information as Possible Before The Meeting
Do whatever you can to learn as much about your prospect and their needs before you meet them. This is a bit easier to do if you are selling B2B. You can simply use the internet to research potential customers, learn about their businesses, and get a pretty good idea of their goals and objectives. B2C is a bit tougher. In these cases, your best approach is to gather as much data that you can during the lead generation process. Something as simple as including a comment field on a product demonstration, request form can help salespeople learn just a little bit more about potential clients.
Remain Positive And Confident
Don’t take every furrowed brow, frown, or negative comment as a sign that you’ve blown the pitch. And for goodness sakes, don’t apologize all over the place. Plenty of sales are closed in spite of the customer not being 100% happy with every aspect of the deal. That’s what negotiations are for. As long as they are still in the room, you have the ability to close the deal. If customers sense you losing confidence, they will think you lack faith in your product.
Make Information Accessible Before And After The Pitch
While your pitch shouldn’t focus on product specs, you should still ensure that this information is available to your audience both before and after you meet with them. When you set up your appointment, provide links or documents with any materials needed to research your products and services. When you close your pitch, offer that information up one more time.
Follow-up no Matter What
It doesn’t matter if you feel 100% certain that you have nailed your pitch. It doesn’t matter if you are completely sure that you have failed miserable. Always follow up any pitch by thanking attendees for their time, asking them if they have any questions for you, and offering to provide any additional information if necessary.
Freelance writer and digital marketing buff. Five years in online marketing. One year as a World Teach Volunteer. I love testing custom acquisition growth hacks and always on the look out for new startups.