You arrive at a big prospective customer’s office and are escorted to their largest conference room.
So where and how do you begin your sales pitch?
Follow the six tactical tips below and you will more than likely land the client as your newest customer:
1. Recognize that it is not about you. It is about them.
So many salespeople make the mistake of starting their sales pitch with a background on themselves and their company. A big mistake. The potential customer immediately sees this veiled narcissism and concludes that you cared little about their preferences, needs, and challenges.
2. Listen, listen, listen.
There is sage truth to the old adage “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
Ask the prospect key questions and listen closely to their answers. What are their pain points? What are their short, medium, and long-term goals? What are their preferences, needs, and challenges?
Write down their answers. The fact that you are writing down what they share not only emphasizes that you are listening, but also creates the architecture for both an awesome thank you letter and continued follow up with the prospect.
Lastly, make an effort to identify something unique and personal about each of the people to whom you are making the sales pitch; these personal characteristics can be used later during your follow up.
3. Carefully tailor and customize your pitch for that particular client prospect.
Avoid using the standard “canned’ presentation and materials.
Do you want to see a potential customer’s eyes sparkle? Tailor your speech and solutions to most closely fit what they had shared with you. Talk about them in such a way that shows them how to see the future differently. Gain their confidence by demonstrating (and ideally quantifying) the substantial impact you can have on their business and desired outcomes.
Great sales pitches can only be for that unique client, and at that exact time and place.
4. Differentiate & Teach.
The best salespeople are great teachers. They provide unique insight by sharing knowledge of things of things not previously known by that client. Remember that you are “an outsider” looking into their organization, and as such, have an advantage of showing them things not previously seen.
While you should make every effort to show how your company and products are uniquely different than the clients other marketplace choices, NEVER badmouth the competition. Badmouthing your competitors is not only the wrong way to win business, but also inadvertently puts a negative drag on your sales pitch. People inherently want to be around, and hire, positive and can-do people, not naysayers and complainers
5. Follow up quickly and personally
Much like after a job interview, make sure you follow up with your prospect in a timely and personalized manner. Ensure that your “thank you” follow up letter addresses each and everything you promised to send them during the sales call. Make it a point to reference the aforementioned personal nuggets in the letter, which shows them that your interest goes beyond simply winning their business.
6. Great sales leaders are reflective.
Immediately after a sales call, analyze the entire call from beginning to end, asking questions such as:
- What went well?
- What could we have done differently?
- How can we improve the next time?
- Did we send the post-call “Thank You” letter or email? Was it sent on the same day as the call
- What did we promise them we would deliver and did we do so in a timely fashion?
- Did we get the prospect to commit to anything, and if so, what? What are the next steps in that regard?
- What are the most important factors that will influence the prospect’s decision?
- Who else will be involved in the decision-making and did we include them in our follow up?
- Did we correctly determine what most differentiates us from the competition? And how will we best use and highlight these differentiators in our sales follow-up?
Furthermore, great sales leaders train their salespeople on the importance of doing a post-sales call analysis like the one above.
In closing, I spent over 35 years in sales, and thoroughly enjoyed what I learned from both when I won the business, as much as when I did not get the new customer. My hope is that some of that knowledge could be shared with you and your sales team, such that you and they absolutely crush your upcoming sales goals!