Wherever you go nowadays you are bombarded with one sales pitch after another. Whether we are at the grocery store or a train station. Someone is always trying to sell you something. It has become such a frequent thing that most of these sales pitches get blocked out or become a sort of white noise that we just push to the background. What if you were the one trying to do the selling? How would you go about doing it? Let us have a look at what you need to do to successfully execute a sales pitch and stand out from the crowd.
What Is A Sales Pitch And Why Is It Important?
At its core, it is the announcement to the world, letting everyone know who you are, what you represent and what you bring to the table. Think of it like advertising your debut. If you are looking for a more by-the-book definition, then it is essentially a short presentation to the general public or potential stakeholders. It lets any future customers or investors know who you are and sells your brand in a way that will make them want to invest time and money in your business.
It is important because, in the world of business, a product or service needs to be marketed and advertised amongst the audience before it can be sold. After you deliver the initial sales pitch, you will get a certain amount of feedback. The feedback will let you know how marketable said product or service is. Only when you know whether something will succeed can you invest in it, otherwise the business takes the hit in terms of lost revenue and brand value.
It Is A Formula, Not A Natural Skill
The thing about a sales pitch is, at the end of the day, it comes down to being able to talk to people. It is as simple as that. On the other hand, it has many layers and techniques to it that make this simple concept a challenging task to execute without the right tools. You will often hear the phrase “He is a natural salesperson.” The truth is, no one is a natural salesperson – true some people are naturally charismatic and excel at interpersonal communication skills, but for the most part, it is a learnt skill.
The best sales reps have a developed and perfected formula that is repeatable and flexible for several different situations. That is how they win over the audience every time. They market the brand or the product to solve a problem, rather than trying to sell a solution. That is to say, they suggest different applications and scenarios where it can be used and let the customer make up their minds rather than forcing the solution on them. They try and understand the customers and approach them as people rather than the bottom line of their monthly quota.
The Essentials Of A Solid Sales Pitch
Research and create a hook
Even before you can think about pitching a product you need to do your homework. Think of the sales pitch as the stage where you try to get the green light for the product or service and this as the research stage to see if that effort of pitching the idea will pay off. You need to have a product or service that addresses a direct need for the consumer or investor. You must present a clear and concise plan in a very limited amount of time. People want to see that your brand can take this idea forward and scale it up. They also want to see how creatively you solve that problem. A good place to start is to look at what your competition is doing, set that as the baseline of the minimum you need to achieve and then build on top of that. Standing out is key.
Another aspect that the research helps you identify is the ratio of left-brain to right-brain thinkers in your audience. Left-brained people are more inclined towards facts and analytics, the right is more visual and takes the ideas in better if it is more graphically engaging. Knowing the ratio lets you adjust the sales pitch accordingly so everyone in the audience is equally engaged.
Try to have a conversation
When thinking of a sales pitch you might envision a man in a suit standing in front of a crowd or a board-room of investors giving a short PowerPoint presentation. While this is often the case, it does not make for a very appealing interaction. If you want to convince people you have a good idea, talk to them. Engaging in a dialogue with the audience is much better than monologuing and gives you valuable feedback on how the idea comes across off the bat.
This process helps sharpen the point of the sales pitch – identifying a feasible way to give the buyer what they want. At any point in this interaction if someone has a concern or a question try to back it up with facts and figures. People appreciate the concrete evidence; it gives them confidence that the product or service can work and is worth investing in.
Make some waves
Many times you will see repetitive sales pitches. What the audience and investors look for is something innovative that will revolutionise the market. Keep in mind that investors will be pouring in a significant amount of their money into your idea so it is important to give them something that is guaranteed to work out. Beyond that, you need to provide them with clear advantages that it will have over the competition and back it up with facts. Investors need to be able to see the marketability of the product or service.
A Few Good Ways To Stay Ahead Of The Competition:
- Do surveys and talk to potential customers.
- Read online reviews of your competition.
- Get in on the latest trends by jumping in on social media groups and other online platforms.
- Do keyword research and look into the latest in AdWords being used.
The sales pitch is more dependent on people skills than on technical know-how. Master communication and you will breeze through sales pitches.
Proof Of Concept
This point is linked to the previous one. Showing people that this idea is a logical move and is worth investing in. One way to achieve this proof is to create a prototype of the product or a demonstration of the service. This not only shows the proof of concept, but it also displays the amount of research and thought behind the idea. This will improve their confidence in said idea.
Another way to provide proof is to do a focus group. A focus group is generally a group of people from various demographic backgrounds that are gathered to give all-round feedback on a particular subject. Conducting research this way helps determine how people in the market might respond to your idea. It has the same outcome as a survey, just on a much smaller scale.
A sales pitch is not a one-off thing. It is a continuous process that needs care and attention in order to make sure the project comes through.
Most sales pitches often go unheard if it is just a one-time thing. Yes, the initial pitch will help move the project forward when it comes to that board-room of investors, but what happens when it is to a public body? Your customers are not just your customers, they are bombarded by millions of suggestions, advertisements, brands and other sales pitches every day. To stand out in this chaos you need to be persistent and consistent.
Be persistent because the turnover rate increases after every follow up to the first conversation. This is why you see companies spamming their clients with email after email, chances are one of those who will grab the customers’ attention and get a response. In terms of being consistent, you need to stay on brand. Stick to the message you intended throughout the different attempts to reach out and engage, showing a consistent set of values and quality. This sends the message that your brand is not only actively engaging the customers, it is also reliable.
Having said that, it all just comes down to simple ‘marketing’, whether it is a product, a service or a brand launch, you need to sell it. It is true what they say, “The first impression is the best impression.”