The sales pitch. It’s synonymous, usually with poorly delivered, pushy speeches.
But there’s no reason for it to be done badly. A sales pitch is a learned craft – it comes naturally to very few. Which is why training in the art of selling is so important. The pitch is the key product message you’re delivering, how this new product or service will solve the problem of your prospect.
Who should take our sales pitch training?
We believe any of your client-facing sales team should be involved in sales pitch training. Sales management and other key staff could also do with being able to sum up your product proposition swiftly and effectively.
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Seven sales pitch pitfalls to avoid
Not pitching to the decision maker
This is the most important thing! If you’re only talking to juniors with no clout to close, you’re wasting your time, and theirs. Confirm with your junior prospect that the decision makers will be present.
Not being prepared
With all businesses and people so widely available online now, there’s no excuse for a sales representative to come to a prospect meeting unprepared. Not knowing the ins and outs of the prospect’s industry – their challenges and opportunities, pain points and growth strategies – can instantly disqualify a salesperson and damage your company’s reputation.
Not getting to the point
‘Connect’ with your prospect for a bit to lighten the atmosphere, but don’t let the small talk go on too long. Time is money for you and them. Too much waffle can kill a sales pitch before it even gets underway. Recognise the difference between creating rapport between yourself and who you’re selling to and small talk that delays what you’re there to accomplish. Instead spend time telling them why your product solves their problem, rather than chatting through info they already know.
Overwhelming the prospect with data
Give enough data and reason, then quit while you’re ahead. If they ask for more, give them more, but don’t keep going on when they haven’t asked for it. It shows a disregard for their time.
More deals are closed when the salesperson listens, than when a salesperson talks. Active listening leads you into a prospect’s genuine needs, while offering clues as to how to better frame your sales pitch. When you fail to hear what they’re saying or miss the point of the questions they’re asking, you let go of a valuable opportunity to relate your product to their life and need.
Overlooking the impact of your body language
A good salesperson knows how to read the room. If, for example, your extravagant hand gestures (used to back up a point) are making your prospect uncomfortable, calm those hands down. Make sure you don’t invade someone’s space or make any physical contact (touching an arm, for example). Even this friendly gesture can be misconstrued. Observe the prospect’s body language and take your lead from them.
Neglecting the impact of your own appearance
If your prospect is part of a business, part of your preparation should be understanding the company culture and dressing appropriately to it. Don’t show up in a suit and tie to a relaxed start-up company. It’ll give them the impression you’re far too conservative to do business with. Same goes for private prospects – make an effort on that first impression.
Buyers spend 67% of their buying journey online, where they can do their own research and seek advice from others. That means they’ve worked a lot of their decision making out already.
Crafting a good sales pitch isn’t easy, but it might be one of the most important things you do in your job.
We teach how to get your sales pitch right.
Make it a conversation, not a pitch
You’re there to start and conclude the conversation about their needs and why your product is a great solution for them. You’re not there to preach.
Buyer's needs come first
Listen to them, what’s the issue they’re facing, and how do they move to a decision? Left-brained or right-brained? Analytical or emotive? You need to work these things out. Knowing your prospect’s tendencies allows you to lead the conversation in the right direction for them to make a decision.
Tell a brand story to create connection
Stories connect. If it’s relevant to the angle of the pitch, share it. It endears the prospect to the brand, and the heart behind it.
Back it up with facts
People want emotion backed with clear evidence. That’s why people pay so much attention to reviews. Have facts ready about your product’s success, and testimonials available.
Ask for the sale
85% of the interactions between salespeople and prospects end without the sales person ever asking for the sale. Seriously. Let them know what you want them to do. ‘So what do you think?’ Ask if they’re ready to join you. Or say, ‘Look I’ll give you some time to think about it. But I’ll get in touch in the next couple of days.’ Just don’t walk away from the meeting with no call to action!
Don’t forget to follow up
All the energy that goes into a pitch is quickly forgotten a few days later, and often so is the prospect. The pitch doesn’t always seal the deal, but the follow up care and conversation does. Don’t miss this valuable window.
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Sales training can improve your sales pitches
We have worked in sales training with companies for more than 25 years. We know our industries. We know the culture. And we know the way to sales pitch success in its purest form.