10 Steps to Start Building Better Sales Pitches

Crafting and delivering an effective sales pitch is an ongoing challenge for many salespeople. Let’s face it, even the term “pitch” can have some negative connotations. A common image might involve someone with a beat-up suitcase going door-to-door or even the stereotypical used car salesman.

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A traditional sales pitch offers just a few outcomes. Either the customer likes what you’re offering, and you close a deal, or they hate it, and you walk away empty-handed. Today’s most successful sales people understand that relationship building is an integral part of the sales process. Yes, you still want to make sales, but a long-term relationship will be much more profitable. Here are ten steps to building better sales pitches that will allow you to build those lasting relationships.

  1. Stop Talking About Yourself

You wouldn’t be an effective salesperson if you didn’t love your company and its products or services. That’s important, but your prospects don’t need to hear a list of why your products are a “top seller,” or how your company has “been in business forever.” Take more time to learn about your clients wants and needs first and then show them what your product or service can do for them.

  1. Understand Your Customer

It’s no longer enough to walk into a meeting with the same pitch for every client. You’ll need to conduct some in depth research on each prospect so that you have a clear understanding of their business. This research will not only give you insight into a client’s operations and their particular challenges, but it will also show them that you’re taking a special interest in their organization.

Most salespeople today aren’t taking this important step. In fact, about 82% of salespeople are not aligned with their buyer’s needs, so a sales pitch becomes generic and ineffective. A more target sales pitch will also keep your prospects more engaged in the conversation.

  1. Ask Questions

Few people want to just sit back and watch some slides fly by as a dizzying list of features is rattled off. The best way to engage a prospect during a sales pitch is to ask them some questions. Most clients are proud of their business and its products. If you give them a chance to speak, they’ll tell you everything you need to know to win their business. Ask some open-ended questions about their business and its current challenges.

  1. Be Creative

The best sales pitches don’t resemble a sales pitch at all. If you come out of the gate touting your company’s greatness, your pitch is probably going to be similar to every other salesperson’s. Creativity is a must for today’s sales presentation.

Let’s assume that you are using a pitch deck. If your first slides are instead about your prospect’s company and their client base, you’re going to get their attention immediately. One idea while preparing to pitch a client is to “shop” them. Buy their products or services, or at least call them on the phone to understand their operations and any challenges that the company might have.

  1. Tell a Story

People would much rather hear a story than a lecture. Stories are visual representations of events that can relay ideas and emotions. A prospect will remember a story that you told them much more readily than they will a slide or useful fact. In fact, storytelling is scientifically proven to increase sales. Story-telling sales techniques not only engage your prospects, but you also create a stronger connection between you and the buyer.

  1. Use Empathy

If you want to really connect with your prospect, you’ll to approach a sales pitch from their point of view. When you listen to their answers to your questions, repeat their challenges in your own words so that they know you understand their plight. Let them know that you understand their frustrations or whatever other feelings you might uncover from the conversation. Demonstrate that you care about their issues and their final result.

  1. Outline the Problem and Solution

You’ve hopefully been having a conversation with your prospect up to this point, instead of them simply listening to you speak about the genius of your product. Now is a good time to use their own words to describe the problem that exists for their company. You can then outline how your product or service can effectively solve that problem and do so better than the competition.

  1. Be Brief

Not many people enjoy long meetings. If you keep your sales meeting short, you can accomplish two things. A shorter sales pitch meeting will give your prospects the impression that you’re busy and your time is in high demand. Second, keeping your presentation brief will make everything that you discuss more memorable and might leave your prospect wanting more.

  1. Anticipate Objections

Hopefully, you’ve been selling this product or service long enough to understand what sorts of objections you’re likely to encounter. Even if you haven’t, some of the most common objections are related to finances and the risk of choosing the wrong option. When you anticipate these types of objections, you can do two things. You can address them head-on in your sales pitch. For example, give a prospect data on how a service gives a company a particular return on its investment (ROI). The other option is to be ready to address objections if they arise.

  1. Ask for Their Business

It would be a shame if you went through all of this effort and then failed to ask your prospect for their business. According to Retail News, about 85% of sales calls end without the salesperson asking for the sale. Once your pitch is complete, let your prospect know what the next steps are to finalize the transaction.

A winning sales pitch isn’t about pushing products and services. You might think that your company and its products or services are the stars of your sales pitch, but this isn’t the case. When you shift your focus to the client, and specifically their needs and expectations, you will get much more favorable results.

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