Every day we are constantly bombarded with a stream of information, and every minute, our attention gets caught by some news article, video, email, text message, tweet, or photo. When you present a sales pitch, you’re battling with that information overload for your audience’s attention.
You are trying to get the people you are talking to, to focus on your pitch, not their phones, not their emails, and not even their dinner plans. It would be best if you had their attention to be on your offer right up until they sign the papers on the dotted line.
Sales are one of the most complex skills to master. You don’t want to be overly slick, nor do you want to be timid and miss the best opportunities. And you certainly don’t want to be a “try-hard.” Here are some methods that might change the outcome in your favor, so you can become the next Wolf of Wall Street!
Write Down Your Pitch
Take the time to write down precisely what you are going to say. You’ll find that writing down your pitch will help you organize your thoughts better, clarify what you want to say, and force you to put intentional time into crafting your pitch.
Have a Well-Defined Goal
Always try to think ahead of what the next step of your customer might be. If you surprise yourself by achieving it earlier than predicted, just stop. Wrap up early, and everyone will appreciate it. If things aren’t going the way you have expected, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path and always be ready to take it to the next level. It’s your canvas, so use all the colors in your palette and show some personality.
When giving a sales pitch, you must be confident. There’s a great saying: “Be brave, even if you’re not, just pretend to be because no one can tell the difference anyway.” If it sounds like you believe in your product, so will the people listening to you. By talking with confidence, you set the tone of the sales pitch for success.
Engage Them Early and Often
At the beginning of the pitch, ask your audience why are they there and what exactly they want to learn at the get-go. This will reinforce goals for the audience and keep them engaged. It will also help clients connect the dots between their organization and your product or expertise.
Always Be Scanning the Room
You have two jobs when making the pitch: hitting your talking points and watching how people react to those points. By their reactions and body language, guide the presentation accordingly. Take control of the moment; don’t just rush through what you’ve prepared.
Pitch Benefits, Not Features
When you only have a limited time to tell about your company or product, explain why and how it will help people, which is very different than how it works. At first, people won’t care what goes into Redbull or Monster Energy; they will want to know how it’s goings to help them. Then, once they understand how it will help them, they will look at the ingredients to see if it’s healthy. Once you do that, you can set up a meeting or a time to explain how you make what people want.
Practice How to Modulate Your Tone and Cadence
Change of tone and pace can emphasize what’s most important. Before speaking in from of the audience or certain people, practice how you want to sound. A well-modulated and steady speech will be more liked than a silent and trembling voice. Remember, it is sometimes more important how you say it than what you say.
Tell a Story
In your story, make your prospect the hero. They have a problem (the dragon they want to slay), and they need your product/solution (a magic sword) to solve the problem. Begin by stating that a significant change has taken place that affects the audience.
- Name an enemy.
- Tease an idea of the “promised land” – what the world will look like for the people who deal with the recent change the right way.
- Show that a few features magically help your prospect be one of those people that can reach the “promised land.”
- Bring it all home with proof – a story that shows all the claims are valid.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Along with sincerity comes honesty. When trying to convince your customer of your product’s merits, be honest and flexible and somewhat tone down on the enthusiasm. Mention your product’s flaws and be prepared to approach things from a different angle if your prepared pitch does not seem to be working with your customer.
Time is of the Essence
Sales pitches can be boring for the customer. From the customer’s point of view, having to listen to someone attempting to convince them to part with their money can be a pretty uncomfortable experience, especially if it drags on and on. Keep it short and simple. Having a time target before you lean in for the sales pitch may also help you before the customer decides that he’s had enough.
End With an Actionable Item and a Follow-up
Make sure you have a reason to get in touch with the lead again. Ideally, if you set the next conversation/action item on the calendar to ensure it gets done. When people have a specific task and a date when something needs to be done, they are more likely to take it seriously. It is also an excellent indicator of their interest. If the lead needs to be pressed for a follow-up, you might want to find out why. Solving the problem of ‘why they don’t want a follow-up will ultimately help you “sell.”
Not every presentation will end with a sale. Often some people won’t be interested, even if you nail it perfectly. But give yourself a real fighting chance by doing your research and homework, making it attractive, and practicing it religiously – that’s the formula for success.