Being able to deliver a successful sales pitch has proven to be a valuable and necessary skill in many aspects of life and business. You may be selling widgets for a manufacturing corporation, or you might be trying to sell your house and you want a top-dollar offer. Knowing how to craft and deliver an effective sales pitch is a useful and profitable skill to have.
However, most of us are not naturally gifted with the ability to sell someone on an idea or product, and many of us are scared to death with the thought of having to deliver a sales pitch. That’s why salespeople or anyone who wants to sell something needs a plan and guidance on creating a winning sales pitch.
Know Your Buyer
When trying to sell something, it helps to know who your buyer is. What is their motivation for wanting your product? Consider that along with their age, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, where they live, if they have children, and anything else you can find out to help you craft a targeted sales pitch they’ll want to hear.
Get Their Attention
This is often called a ‘hook’. This is when you get their attention so you can continue with your sales pitch. Your hook should be something they can relate to and inspire them to hear more. Maybe you are already aware of a problem they are facing or a problem that many people in their field are already experiencing. If you can get their attention and you detect interest, you can pitch them and hopefully sell them.
Develop a Relationship
You want to create a sales pitch that solves a buyer’s problem by offering a solution. You want to build a relationship with your buyer so they trust you and believe you when you offer a solution to their problem. From there, you’ll have two results. You will have convinced them to buy your product or service, or they will decline your offer and choose another option.
It’s important to show you understand your buyer’s needs because this builds trust between you and the buyer while simultaneously persuading them they need your service or product. If you can, relate on a personal level and they will be more likely to buy from you.
Solve a Problem
The reason anybody buys anything is to solve a problem. Even when the richest person in the world buys something as trivial as a magazine, they are still solving a problem. Fulfilling a need is the same as solving a problem. The problem is the person wants the magazine because they want to learn about the content inside. Or it can be a more serious problem like buying a car because you have to get to work on Monday. Either way, the problem is being solved.
Tell a Story Using Facts
Telling a story in your sales pitch is a proven method that will you sell successfully. Try to combine facts, testimonials, and data with your story and you’ll have a better chance of closing the deal. The facts and testimonials will reinforce the benefits of them buying your service or product. It will show proof that what you’re selling will solve their problems, and you will be presenting yourself as a person of authority on the subject.
While telling your story, talk to them and not at them. Jacqueline Smith, formerly of Forbes magazine, said, “A successful sales pitch isn’t a monologue. It’s a dialogue.” Also, never use the word ‘pitch’. Even though that’s what you’re doing, the word does not have the most positive connotations in the ears of the buyer.
How Long Should Your Sales Pitch Be?
The general consensus on how long the pitch should be boils down to ‘short and sweet’. If your pitch is too long, the buyer will become bored and uninterested and start thinking about anything other than what you are saying. That’s not good. You don’t want to overload your potential buyer with a lot of fast talk using big words and causing them to struggle just to understand you. They’ll lose interest. One or two minutes is considered to be the perfect time to squeeze in a sales pitch. They don’t call them ‘elevator patients’ for no reason. They should only take as long as a typical elevator ride takes. If the initial pitch is good, the buyer will show interest in you can talk (pitch) more.
Ask Them to Buy
That’s right. Asking them to buy your product or service is a call-to-action. That may seem blunt, but it works. It is surprising how many times salespeople do not ask for a sale, and consequently don’t get it. If you forget to ask or are just too shy to be so frank, you probably won’t make the sale. Ultimately, that’s the worst that can happen. Salespeople don’t like rejection or don’t want to be too pushy. There’s no time for that, and people will not be offended if you ask for the sale. They are either online reading about your product, they are reading some printed version of your pitch, or they are in front of you. Either way, they know you want them to buy your product so why not ask?
Keep It Clean
Other than the obvious rule of avoiding profanity, be sure to use good grammar in your pitch. Using good grammar shows professionalism, and some people are simply turned off when you don’t.
If you don’t land a buyer the first time you pitch them, don’t be afraid to try again. This applies to in-person, over the phone, or through an email or online ad.
Practice, Practice, Practice
When you deliver a sales pitch to someone, make sure it’s polished. Do this by practicing over and over and over again. You can even record yourself to hear the pitch in a third person situation. Practice will keep you from stumbling over your words and give you more confidence to get the pitch right the first time. You want to feel comfortable when you present your pitch to a buyer.
If you follow these rules, you will have an advantage over those salespeople who don’t. And you will make the sale. Plan and practice your sales pitch, and you will be successful.
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