Menu
Clone of Alibaba (BABA) IPO Shares Jump 36%

Alibaba (BABA) IPO Shares Jump 36%

The Sexiest Halloween Costumes of 2014

The Sexiest Halloween Costumes of 2014

Mazda Miata 2016 model revealed

Mazda Miata 2016 model revealed

Miley Cyrus New Butt Gets in Trouble with Law

Miley Cyrus New Butt Gets in Trouble with Law

Larry Ellison Steps Down as CEO of Oracle

Larry Ellison Steps Down as CEO of Oracle

7 Tips For Crafting An Effective Sales Pitch

Jan 3 2014, 10:56am CST | by , in News

7 Tips For Crafting An Effective Sales Pitch
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

How do you craft an effective sales pitch? First, ditch the “pitch”—or at least neglect the traditional meaning of the word. It basically describes what salespeople used to do: throw information at prospects hoping to sell a product or service before the buyer could hang up the phone or slam the door. But according to sales experts, today good salespeople treat the “pitch” process as a collaborative conversation.

“A ‘pitch’ typically conjures up images of a one-way presentation, with the salesperson talking at a prospect, which is not the effective way to sell,” says Art Sobczak, President of BusinessByPhone.com. “The word is outdated, and is typically used in a derogatory way when talking about sales and salespeople,” he adds.

If you choose to employ the dated term to describe that part of the sales process, make sure you don’t take it so literally.

“If someone is pitching to you, what are your options?” says Nancy Bleeke, president of Sales Pro Insider and author of Conversations That Sell. “If you are pitched at, you either swing to bat it away or duck to avoid it. Neither of these works well in sales.”

How To Create An Effective Sales Pitch

Sobczak says people often assume that where there’s a pitch, there’s a catch. “If you say, ‘Here is my pitch,’ people will look for something to object to,” he says. “You really shouldn’t use the word ‘pitch’ outside of baseball. Instead, call it a recommendation. That lets prospects know you want to engage in a conversation and help them.”

Wendy Weiss, an author and sales coach, also known as The Queen of Cold Calling, agrees with Sobczak and Bleeke. “Because of the definition of the word, salespeople sometimes think it means they should talk at someone, but that’s really not an effective way to communicate,” she says. “A good pitch is one where you ask questions, listen to the prospect, and offer them a solution to a problem.”

Lesson learned: An effective sales pitch isn’t a monologue. It’s a dialogue.

Before you develop your sales plan, you need to do your homework.

As a salesperson, you need to know a lot about your buyer, so you can address how valuable your product or service might be to that specific client, Bleeke says. “Buyers are busy and inundated with information. You need to be able to connect the value of your solution to that specific buyer, or the buyer is not going to give you any time or attention,” she adds.

Next, identify your objectives. Bleeke says doing this will determine the information you will need to “advance the probability of time with the person, which will lead to a sale.” Your goal is to get the prospect’s attention and agreement to have an engaged conversation about how you can help them with something specific, she says.

Sobczak suggests that you set action-oriented goals before you ever pick up the phone to call the prospective client. “Say, ‘At the end of the this call I want them to agree to meet with me,’ or ‘At the end of this call they will buy from me,’” he says. “I always suggest that salespeople think big and optimistically.”

With sufficient preparation and specific goals in mind, you’ll be more effective in the sales process.

How do you begin the pitch? Start by asking questions, Weiss says. Even if you think you’ve turned over every stone—there is always more to learn.

Weiss says that as a salesperson you should talk 20% of the time and listen the other 80%.

“Ideally what you want to do in this phase of the sales process is to be able to uncover the prospect’s needs, understand their needs, and show them how whatever you’re selling can help them accomplish whatever they’re trying to accomplish, or fix a problem they have,” Weiss says.

“You should let them talk most of the time—but when you talk, you need to tell the prospect how you can help. Don’t talk about the functions of your product and try to sell them on the features or characteristics.” Instead, sell the benefits or the value of the product, she adds.

Tell about how your products can cut costs, reduce time, increase profits–and then quantify it, Sobczak says. “Talking about how you’ve helped someone else might pique their interest, too.

But you can only do this if you’ve done your research and you know it’s relevant to them.”

Bleeke says she tries to “pown,” an acronym: “Salespeople need to identify the problems they solve, the opportunities they capture, and the wants or needs that are addressed by the solution. Once they know this they need to put together metrics and proof of what they can do or have done,” she says.

How do you communicate this to your prospect? Formulate a recommendation (Sobczak’s preferred substitute word for “pitch”) using their language, he says. “If you ask about a difficulty or challenge they have, and then address that in your recommendation using their exact language, they won’t object to their own words.”

Sobczak says to ask for a commitment at the end the conversation. “Have them promise to consider your recommendation, or ask for an opportunity to meet or talk again.” If they agree to that, you were probably effective in your recommendation.

Just remember one thing,” Weiss says. “If you go in with the idea that you are just going to talk, talk, talk, and make the sale, it’s going to be a struggle. But if you go in with the idea that you are going to have a conversation and build a relationship with the prospect, you’ll have a much better success rate.”

Follow me on Twitter, Forbes, and Google+.

This is an update of an article that ran previously.

Source: Forbes

You Might Also Like

Updates

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Brittany Kerr and Jason Aldean: Is the Affair still on?
Brittany Kerr and Jason Aldean: Is the Affair still on?
As far as the affair between Brittany Kerr and Jason Aldean is concerned, the proper question to ask would be: is it still on?
 
 
Taylor Swift kicks off the iHeartRadio Music Festival
Taylor Swift kicks off the iHeartRadio Music Festival
The singer stole millions of hearts while flashing her midriff in TWO striking ensembles
 
 
Apple iPads to Launch on October 21
Apple iPads to Launch on October 21
Apple is reportedly going to launch two new iPads and a new Mac OS on 21st October, 2014.
 
 
Danny DeVito on Foot Shots and Walks in New York
Danny DeVito on Foot Shots and Walks in New York
The diminutive yet highly talented actor, Danny DeVito spoke on the subject of foot shots posted by him on Twitter. And he also had something to say on walks taken in New York.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.