It’s easy to let your sales pitch get tired. To sell today, you need to perform at your peak. It’s time to ditch that worn out opening; get rid of that boring laundry list of features and benefits; and punch up that same old close. Here are 7 brief power points to ponder.
There are dozens of elements that go into a winning sales presentation. Some are obvious such as creating rapport, establishing value and asking for the sale, while others are much more subtle.
Because these quick refresher tips primarily focus on style and personality, they fall into an “easier said than done” category. To really benefit from this advice, you’ll need to give it some serious thought, do an honest self-evaluation of your “pitch personality” and make the required improvements. If you find you are particularly weak in one area you may need to get additional advice or training.
Be enthusiastic but don’t overdo it. You represent a great company with a fantastic product or service and you’re naturally excited about it. Excitement is contagious. Show your enthusiasm and you will make more sales. Caution: Don’t overdo it. Over-the-top breathless enthusiasm comes off as contrived and will increase buyer resistance.
Honest down-to-earth communication closes sales. Above all, respect your buyer’s time and intelligence. Memorized, long-winded or lame, rapid-fire sales pitches kill deals. Make eye contact and speak to your buyer as if you were talking to an intelligent yet uniformed friend. Do not be too formal. Use your buyer’s name from time to time, but not excessively. Communicate in an honest, open, confident and matter-of-fact manner. Smile.
What’s your body saying? It’s important that you communicate positively with your body language. Surprisingly, this is true even when talking on the phone. Lean slightly forward and show interest in the conversation. If you naturally talk with your hands don’t stop. Remember, the buyer is subconsciously picking up on your body language. Make sure yours is conveying your interest in the buyer, along with your confidence in and passion for your product.
Focus on benefits. Never forget that it’s all about the buyer, not you. Your pitch must resoundingly answer every buyer’s unspoken question: “What’s in it for me?” Choose key benefits that you feel will be most interesting and important to your buyer. Don’t rattle them off like a laundry list early in the conversation, but introduce them into the natural flow of the dialogue. Keep benefits uncomplicated and easy to understand. Buyers are interested in the bottom line. They are remarkably uninterested in why you joined your company or your organization’s vision statement. If the conversation veers away from benefits, subtly bring it back. As the conversation comes to an end, summarize the benefits and ask for the sale.
One size does not fit all! If you are delivering the same basic pitch over and over, you are undoubtedly losing sales. Take a lesson from the U.S. Marines and “improvise, adapt, and overcome.” This requires listening and reading your prospect. You must always be thinking on your feet and adapting your pitch in real time to what you are hearing from your buyer. It’s no easy feat, but those who master this skill close far more sales than those who don’t.
Accentuate the positive. Which do you think sounds better to a buyer? “Our product will save your company 2500 a month” or, “You will save your company 30,000 dollars a year with our product.” Obviously, the second statement is more compelling because 30,000 “dollars” is far more dramatic than 2500 even though they amount to the same savings. More importantly, “You will save your company…,” makes the buyer both intelligent and a hero. Buyers want to save money. Buyers like to make smart decisions. Buyers love to be heroes.
Ask questions and listen up. You’ve heard it a hundred times: stop talking and make more sales. Effective listening will provide you with most of the answers to your qualifying questions without even asking them. Ask questions that will get your buyer talking. You will quickly learn about your customers’ needs, what their hot buttons are, and how to gain their interest and confidence. Simply put, when your customer talks, you sell; when you talk, you lose. Making a sale is a lot like playing a winning chess game. You rarely win with a brilliant move early in the game, but rather later after gaining an accumulation of small advantages. Listening to your prospect gives you those winning advantages.
About the author
Michael Dalton Johnson
Michael Dalton Johnson is an award-winning publisher and successful entrepreneur and business leader. He…