10 Expert Sales Pitch Tips for Winning More Deals
To be effective in today’s market, sales reps are learning that the delivery of a sales pitch cannot be a simple monologue or one-way presentation of their product or service. Today’s buyers are more informed, causing them to be more demanding in how they select which product to purchase. As such, the sales pitch template has evolved into more of a dialogue between the sales rep and the prospect, where the prospect plays an active role in the discussion of the product or service.
According to author and sales coach Wendy Weiss, a good sales pitch is “one where you ask questions, listen to the prospect, and offer them a solution to a problem.” Instead of pitching a product, sales reps need to be recommending it. Because of this change, sales reps are now required to know a great deal more about their prospects and how the rep’s product or service solves the prospect’s specific problems.
To help sales reps meet the heightened standards of today’s buyers, we have compiled a few sales pitch tips for delivering an effective pitch in today’s market.
1. Buyers Are Well-Informed and You Should Be Too
Some people are born with the gift of gab. They can talk their way out of any situation and sell any product with no preparation. They are the kings of impromptu.
Let’s assume this isn’t you.
And even if it is, you don’t have the luxury of walking into a sales pitch blind. Whether you are a B2C or a B2B company, your customers aren’t gullible or naive – they’re informed. You can bet they’ve done their homework on your product or service. You can also bet that they will quickly identify if you’ve not shown them the same courtesy.
So before you walk into your sales pitch, take the time to perform the necessary due diligence. Every prospect is different with their own unique set of problems. This means each and every sales pitch should be different. Refrain from using a cookie cutter approach. A sales pitch is not a one-size-fits-all and no two should be alike. Every time you pitch a product you should research the prospect’s company, industry, and competitors and learn how they play a role in the prospect’s particular problem.
2. Each Communication Should Have an Objective
Obtaining the opportunity to present your sales pitch may not be as simple as picking up the phone and scheduling an appointment. Time is money to execs and they don’t take kindly to wasting it on unnecessary meetings. Therefore, before you begin your pursuit of a potential prospect you should clearly identify your objectives for each communication.
At this phase of your sales pitch, the goal is to obtain the prospect’s attention and secure their agreement to have an engaged conversation about how you can help them with something specific. Having clear objectives in mind for every piece of communication helps you determine what information you need to advance the probability of time with the person. Art Sobczak, President of BusinessByPhone.com, recommends setting action-oriented goals. For example, before making initial contact you could say, “At the end of this call I want them to agree to meet with me.”
3. Identify Problems and Challenges During Initial Contact
Typically, a sales pitch is not the first time you make contact with a prospect. Therefore, your initial contact is an opportunity to learn about any challenges or problems that are particular to the prospect. Utilize this opportunity to the fullest potential by making sure to ask the right questions that will allow you to address that prospect’s specific needs during your pitch. After all, the purpose of a sales pitch is to demonstrate just how valuable your product or service will be to a specific prospect.
4. Open Your Sales Pitch by Asking Questions
Although you have already done the research and identified your prospect’s problems, it’s good to hear it from the mouth of the prospect. Sometimes, initial conversations only reveal the problems that are specific to a certain area of the business. It may be that other issues are present but haven’t been given the same weight or time to be discussed.
In addition, you should take note how your prospects word their problems. You’ll want to use their vernacular when you offer a solution later on in the pitch. It becomes more difficult for a person to object when they hear the solution in their own words.
Once your prospect has voiced the issues, show your understanding of the situation by rephrasing the problems as a general solution. For instance,
Prospect: “Our main problem is that our reps are wasting too much time searching for content that’s sprawled across five different content management systems.”
Pitcher: “Ok, so if I understand you correctly, you’re looking for a way to organize your content that allows reps to easily perform one quick search and find what they need?”
By doing this, not only have you identified which issues matter the most to your prospect, but you also have a roadmap that outlines which problems you’ll need to focus on throughout the remainder of your sales pitch. Flexibility thus becomes important. Try not to rely too heavily on any sales pitch script you may have.
5. Add a Little Salt to the Wound
Now that you’ve identified which problems are affecting the prospect the most, don’t be afraid to add a little salt to the wound. Describe how the problem impacts the prospect’s company over time. If you can quantify its impact on the business using numbers, now is an excellent time to do so. Where relevant, use charts or graphs to illustrate this.
6. Demonstrate Added-Value
As you know, a sales pitch should be an 80:20 dialogue between the prospect and you, respectively. Unfortunately for you 20% isn’t much time, which is why the majority of your pitch should be dedicated to selling the benefits and value of your product or service.
In general, the added value of your product or service should be able to fit into one of the following value patterns:
- B2B Products: making money, saving money, reducing time and effort, or reducing risk
- B2C Products: saving money or time, increasing convenience, or addressing a human need (e.g. increasing social status, entertaining, helping make connections, helping in personal development, etc.)
Since you already know what problems the prospect is experiencing, you need to address how your product or service will solve them. Demonstrate how you can accomplish what they are trying to accomplish in a clear and quantifiable way. Again, this is a great time to use graphs and numerical data to illustrate the impact that your product or service could make. Comparison charts depicting before and after scenarios are a great way to get your point across.
7. Be Prepared for Objections
Often times, prospects’ objections are hidden in the form of questions. Your sales pitch is their opportunity to ask questions about any concerns they may have. You need to be prepared to address these hidden objections head on. Avoiding them will only make you look suspicious and untrustworthy.
Try to turn their objections and concerns into a reason to buy. For example, if they are worried about integrating your product into their existing system, you should be prepared to show how easy the integration will be, as well as the minimal effect that the integration process will have on their business.
8. Build in Quality Customer Testimonials
Including a few credible customer testimonials can go a long way in moving a customer through the sales process. Seeing these quantifiable, real-world results and experiences can help ease any lingering doubts your prospects may have and solidify a positive impression.
That being said, be careful not to go overboard. The more a testimony embellishes a product, the less credible it sounds.
9. Show Your Product/Service is Worth the Cost
Cost always plays a significant role in a buyer’s decision. This is why you should never begin to discuss price until you have fully validated your product, demonstrated the value, and addressed any objections.
A good practice tip is to repeat the major benefits of your product or service on the same page that discusses pricing.
Perhaps you offer a premium product or service at a higher cost. A few ways to effectively pitch this to your prospect could be to:
- Components: Emphasize the different components offered by your service and how much they cost on an individual basis.
- Opportunity Cost: Discuss how much it costs your prospect today and then reveal the true price by including factors such as time lost or increased risk.
- Comparison: Compare the cost of your product with the cost of something insignificant that the prospect already pays for.
10. Conclude with a Recommendation & Commitment, Not a Pitch
As you begin to wrap up your presentation, you want to refrain from throwing your product at them. Instead, offer a recommendation. Address the difficulties or problems they’re facing, and using their words, explain why you recommend your product or service as the optimal solution.
And finally, ask the prospect for a commitment. It can be a promise to consider your recommendation or an opportunity to meet again. Either way, don’t end your sales pitch without knowing how you will move forward. Always know your next step.
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