Imagine this: you're off to deliver your first sales pitch to a new business. You’re confident about the quality of your service, so that’s what you focus on. You leave the meeting excited, but that close never comes. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.
Making a sales pitch is no longer a one-way street. In a world of well-informed buyers and fierce competition, business owners must be prepared to create connections, answer questions and provide reliable solutions to problems.
Learn how to make the perfect sales presentation with four essential tips that will get your phone ringing the next day.
1. Build a connection
When building your sales pitch ideas, shift your attention to the customer’s needs instead of your own qualities. Do thorough research of your prospect’s business, their daily challenges and their competition. Put yourself in their shoes.
Invest time to learn: listen to industry players and find the answers to your questions. In addition to reading articles on your own, go where the people are. Attend meetups, trade shows, and networking events.
Once you’ve gathered enough information, incorporate that into your sales presentation. A good pitch starts by telling a story. Describe the industry and how familiar you are with it, and illustrate your knowledge with real-world examples. This will help create rapport and capture attention.
2. Be a problem solver
Make sure to acknowledge your prospect’s pain points in your pitch. Describe how these affect productivity and growth. For instance, if you are an HR consultant approaching an IT company, mention how demanding the market is and yet how difficult it is for companies to find and retain the right professionals.
This is the moment to share your vision of the future, in which your product or service solves the problem. In the HR consultant sales pitch example above, you would explain your talent acquisition process, employee retention programs and present case studies of how these have impacted the bottom line.
Visually compelling and informative brochures are a great resource to highlight main pieces of information and make them easily accessible to your prospects. Keep them updated and on hand at all times.
3. Answer questions
Regardless of how good your sales pitch idea is, your prospect needs to do their own research, assess financial capacity or get C-level buy-in before committing. Identify where they are in the customer journey and be prepared to answer questions.
Don’t be afraid to address hard topics if needed, such as a technical issue or lost business. Build trust by speaking of them truthfully. Focus on how you overcame the challenge and improved processes. Make it an opportunity to delve into the features of your product or service and reinforce what differentiates you from the competition.
As you wrap up your sales pitch, make yourself available to clarify further questions and brainstorm. Before you leave, don’t hesitate to ask the big question: 'Are you ready to move forward?’ Hand over a professionally designed business card that visually matches your company collateral to conclude the meeting with a good impression.
4. Keep in touch
If your sales presentation did not result in a contract at first, reconnect with your prospect a few weeks later. Following up is key.
Get used to sending branded postcards that highlight offers and special dates to keep your brand top of mind. Write a friendly email and use the prior interactions you’ve had as talking points.
Changing the outdated concept of a pushy salesperson to that of a helpful partner doesn’t happen overnight. Having an open mind and the resilience to keep improving will take you and your business a long way.