August 11th, 2011
Sales pitches, the topic—along with cold calls and elevator speeches—of a recent 4imprint Blue Paper®, have long been used in-person and online to launch relationships and to nurture leads. The purpose of a sales pitch is to convert curiosity into action, prospects into clients and customers. Have you perfected yours yet? We’ve compiled a few tips to get you started, check out the Blue Paper for more!
- Don’t make it sound like a sales pitch
Some sales people believe that they need to be pushy and aggressive in order for a sales pitch to be effective. No true. Great selling involves being low key. It involves developing the ability to lead people with questions rather than push them with facts. When you’re talking, you’re only spouting off what you already know. Truly successful people in business understand that what really matters is getting their clients talking about what they need, then matching a product or service to those needs.
- Focus on the benefits
Your product may be the most nutritionally sound one on the market. It may have all the vitamins that you need for a week. It may come in three flavors and easily dissolve in milk. But what the customer really cares about is whether she will fit in her swim suits; or whether his diabetes will get worse. Your customer wants to know that your product will be of benefit to them. The new sales pitch is information rich. To help illustrate your point, prepare yourself with brochures, flip charts or other literature to reinforce what you see and leave them with something to think about.
- Keep it short
Brevity is more persuasive than lengthiness, so avoid the information dump. (Notice a theme here?) Even if your service has 30 benefits, share only the top three that you feel the person you are talking to will find value in. Just like that elevator speech, keeping it short can also maximize the opportunity for sharing in the social space. However, while the elevator speech is limited to a few sentences, the pitch is more like a few paragraphs. Remember, preparation is key. Practice your pitch ahead of time with a timer to perfect the length.
- Emphasize content over style
You are a professional; let your expertise take center stage. Too much polish and fancy rhetorical flourishes can arouse suspicion or cynicism. Convey your key points clearly and with confidence, and be yourself.
- Tailor your delivery to each and every prospect
Every prospect has a different situation, as well unique motivations and buying patterns. They have varying levels of insurance savvy. Some want to buy a policy quickly, while others want to take their time.
- Pitch the right person
Not only should you target your pitch, you should make sure you’re giving it to the right person. In the business-to-business realm especially, who you pitch matters—they should have decision-making power and they should work directly in the areas that you and your business can help them with. What’s more, if the pitch doesn’t occur in person, make sure it’s permission-based.
- Keep it conversational
Conversations are memorable—lectures are not. What’s more, conversational pitches tell your prospects that it’s about them, not about you.
- Follow up
Whether the pitch is made in person, online or over the phone, be sure to follow up. Even the best sales pitches don’t always work in the first shot—follow up to help prospects follow through. Thank-you notes double as a great way to follow-up, as do handwritten letters sent with fun swag items like stress relievers or T-Shirts with contact information on them.
Sales pitches are crucial to building business and spreading the word of what it is that you can do for others. Practice that pitch today to reap business growth tomorrow!
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