One of the most important aspects of owning a small business is mastering sales and it starts with creating an effective sales pitch. Without an effective sales pitch, it is extremely difficult to turn a potential client into an buying customer. In order to be successful, a sales pitch should be persuasive, informative, and presented professionally. Here are seven things you need to know before you walk into your next sales pitch.
Pitch to the Decision Maker
This is the most important rule of any sales pitch. There is no point in wasting your time pitching a product or services to someone who cannot use them. For example, if you offer B2B business services you need to speak to the business owner or someone in upper level management that is capable of making decisions on behalf of the company. You wouldn’t try to sell your services to the secretary because the secretary is probably not authorized to make important decisions.
Know Your Audience
To be successful in selling anything, you must know what type of information is relevant to your audience. For example, you would not try selling a service or a particular product to a group of senior citizens that are primarily used by teenagers. Senior citizens will see no value in the product or service and would probably lose interest rather quickly. If you want your sales pitch to be effective, it is important to know what your audience wants and how your product or service will benefit them.
Do Your Research
Don’t ever pitch anything without thoroughly researching it. If you are trying to sell a product or service, you must know everything about that product or service. Prior to pitching the sale, it would be wise to sit down and think of every possible question that a potential client may ask. You need to be able to answer it as quickly, accurately, and professionally as possible.
Use Facts to Fascinate and Excite
When you are making your sales pitch, it is important to highlight the benefits. Present the information with research if applicable, concrete figures, or factual data rather than being vague. Let them know how much money they can save by using your product. Give them an exact amount, not an estimate.
Be Direct and Concise
A good sales pitch will contain the most important information first. This information should be delivered concisely and as quickly as possible. Attention spans usually don’t last very long, so it is critical to front load the most important information. If your sales pitch cannot be made within 30 seconds, it is too long.
Your sales pitch should only focus on the service or product. Unfortunately, most individuals don’t want to hear your life story. Even if a potential client starts to become personal, you should never release personal information about yourself unless they ask. As a sales professional, it’s all about the customer.
Never Discuss the Competition
Never bring up the competition or talk bad about a competitor. This approach can be a major turn off for some potential clients. If the client mentions that they are using the services or products of a competitor, a suitable response would be something like, “We used to sell that shampoo; however, we decided to switch to this shampoo because our customers like this shampoo better. They said it made their hair soft, they had less breakage, and the overall health of their hair improved.”
By following these steps, you will have greater sales success when making your sales pitch. Many successful sales professionals have seen tremendous financial benefits by just utilizing these simple steps. It also never hurts to freshen up on your negotiation skills. There are many negotiation training services out there with professionals who know their stuff. It is also a good idea to keep track of clients by utilizing a CRM software. This will allow you to follow up with prospects at a later date.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry such as corporate leadership, employee engagement, workplace culture and entrepreneurship. Cordray earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the University of Chicago. Connect with @robertcordray on Twitter.