This guest post about nailing your sales pitch was written by Rick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius, Inc.
You’re in front of your audience. Your PowerPoint presentation is ready, suit nice and sharp, mind and body prepared. In your head, you deliver a powerful, lasting sales pitch and leave your audiences with smiles on their faces. A few even applaud.
After your spiel, you see a different picture. No smiles. No applause. Just perplexed looks that you may even mistake for anger borne out of confusion. The realization hits you like a baseball bat: you just wasted their time.
Drafting a sales pitch and creating your presentation are delicate processes. Each has rules of balance to follow, like the 3×3 rule (three big central ideas on your pitch) and the PowerPoint Rule of 10/20/30.
Once you’ve nailed that down, however, comes the harder part: speaking to your audience. When you present in front of them, you and your business are put to the test. Whether you make it or break it depends on how prepared you are.
Impress your audience and seal the deal with these important steps.
1. Do your research
The first step before creating a pitch is making sure you know everything about your product or service. Mastery of your business is a testament of how good you are. This fact resounds with your potential customers – specifically, how you can solve their problems.
After answering the whats and hows of your service, the situational questions follow. Have detailed answers – even suggestions and plans – about those kinds of scenarios. It will not only boost your credibility as a subject-matter expert but also your customers’ confidence and trust in you.
Another thing to study is how your competitors are doing and how good they are at their own services. This will tie in later with the third point. Up-to-date knowledge about your competitors and your industry shows how dedicated you are to your business.
Let your dedication show. Make them trust you more.
2. Appeal with storytelling
A mediocre – not bad, just mediocre – presentation will only spew random or unsubstantiated facts or promises to consumers. This kind of pitches end up rejected. If there is one thing that can turn this kind of situation around, it’s the connection between the presenter and the audience.
Romance your customers with stories and create that emotional connection. Create a soaring experience by engaging your audiences’ senses. Growing positive emotions is powerful because it creates a lasting impression with your customers. This makes it easier for them to relate with the presentation, especially when there are similarities between them and the story. Perhaps they’re halfway to success and you’re the catalyst they need. Your story becomes your audience’s inspiration and aspiration.
Being able to connect, relate, and empathize with problems and difficulties helps too. This goes hand-in-hand with confidence and trust. Empathizing with your audience triggers an emotional response that makes them “lower their guard.”
There is another use for stories in your pitch: a forecasting of what can happen when they purchase your services. That story can be a roadmap of where you and your customers can go and reach with your deal. It may excite your audience by allowing them to have an idea of the advantages of working with you. Take them down that road, and don’t let them regret choosing you.
3. Make your services stand out
Business executives most likely have listened to dozens, if not hundreds, of pitches. Your job is to answer this important question:
What sets you apart from the many people that have pitched before you and the countless others that will follow?
Having a unique answer to that question, an answer only you can give, will leave a mark on your prospects’ minds. And when you draw your audience into your presentation by using screen share or cobrowse to give them a visual demo of what you offer, your demos will be even more effective. Talking about features is nice, but nothing can top the experience of an honest vision of what the future holds.
You should also know how you fare against your competitors. Setting yourself leagues apart from your competition is a hard task if you do the similar things they do. What makes you stand out in your industry? What makes you and your services unique? A follow-up question to that is, “Is that uniqueness for better or for worse?”
Convince your prospects that your business is the answer to their problems. Convince them that your different approach to solving their difficulties is better than what your competitors offer. Soon, they’ll be calling you for more.
4. Avoid the sales pitch
Wait, what? Avoid the pitch?
Confusing, isn’t it, especially when considering that this post has been all about a sales pitch?
However, as Corbett Barr, co-founder and CEO of startup training company Fizzle, says: “The best sales pitch ever is no sales pitch at all.”
Like noise in advertising, it’s easier to shut out and turn down pitches that are just like any other. When you consider how many pitches they have already listened to, an average hopeful showing off an average product in an average manner is just a waste of time. It will be reduced to clutter.
Make your pitch a conversation between you and your audience. Engage prospects in a dialogue. Ask them what their specific needs are. Let them answer. Let them ask you what your opinions are.
Changing talking at people to talking with people works wonders.
Connect with your audience on a personal level. This clears away the buyer-seller relationship and replaces it with that of a friend helping another. When there is no superiority in play, conversation and business will be easier and smoother. It will set you up nicely for a deeper relationship.
Show you’re awesome
A company can’t work without customers and/or clients, and a sales pitch is your first step to securing prospects. Like fuel to a car, pitches drive your company forward. Avoid a collision with failure by doing your research, telling a story and connecting with your audience, making your services stand out, and making your sales pitch not sound like a pitch at all.
If you want to seal the deal, make your sales pitch awesome. More importantly, make it worth your audience’s time and effort. Having them listen to you may seem like a reward in itself, but getting them as your business partners is better.
Is your business ready to supercharge your sales? Check out the free eBook: Counting the Customer: The Complete Guide to Dynamic Customer Care below to find out…
About Rick Enrico
About Glance Networks
Glance empowers companies to make doing business online easier and more personal through tightly integrated yet modular visual engagement solutions such as co-browse, screen share, agent video, and more. Glance has out-of-the-box integrations with Salesforce, SAP, LiveOps, Zendesk, and other solutions. In addition, our offerings integrate with a broad range of customer-facing platforms and tools to quickly provide a connection that is secure and always works. Learn More>>>
Blagojevic, Vladimir. “Detailed 16 Step Guide to an Irresistible Sales Pitch.” Scale My Business. n.d. www.scalemybusiness.com/16-steps-to-an-irresistible-sales-pitch
Martin, Marci. “4 Keys to a Successful Sales Pitch.” Business News Daily. May 13, 2016. www.businessnewsdaily.com/7579-effective-sales-pitch.html