Does Your Sales Pitch Work?

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

Let’s start with an unfortunate truth. Most salespeople only want to push their products or services; focus on how great their company is and ensure their pitch or presentation is geared towards getting a sale.

Pitching belongs in baseball or softball, but somehow we ended up using this word as part of our sales language. I’m baffled when salespeople talk about developing a strong pitch, because to me a pitch is basically about them.

But it isn’t about us anymore; it’s only about our customers or clients. We need to know their industry, their business, and how they want us to help or add value. To achieve this, we need to listen and engage more and pitch and present less!

It’s only about our customers or clients

As author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant, Simon Sinek said: “There is a big difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak”

Leave your competition behind

Top salespeople keep moving the sales process along; they’re always one step ahead of the competition because they ask good or great questions, listen carefully to the answers, ask more questions, and extract information and perspectives from the prospective customer where less-experienced salespeople don’t.

The top salespeople are confident in their solutions and their ability to deliver. They’re also willing to walk away if they genuinely can’t help or there’s no “fit”. Then they move onto more qualified leads. Either way, they win!

Less experienced sales reps ask one or two questions and then assume they have zeroed in on clients’ needs or opportunities. This is rarely the case. They don’t take the time to really evaluate the client situation and understand and define the significant problem or need. This sales strategy is doomed to fail!

A “roadmap”

Now, don’t get me wrong I believe every salesperson should have a scripted introduction for when they get on the phone to qualify prospects. Same thing for the first face to face meeting. But a well-practiced, relevant and concise introductory roadmap or script is a completely different thing to a “product pitch”.

Introductory scripts work

But be careful!

If you agree with me and avoid the canned pitch and focus on questioning and listening to uncover real selling opportunities to help your customers’ then you’ll want to know which 10 words to avoid in those conversations.

  1. No, can’t or won’t – All negative words. Avoid at all costs!
  2. Honestly – Implies everything you have said before isn’t truthful.
  3. Contract – Contracts seem very final and binding. Say “agreement”.
  4. Price, Cost or Discount – Steers the conversation in the wrong direction.
  5. Hope, perhaps or maybe – Shows you’re not sure, so why would they be?
  6. But – A word that contradicts an earlier statement. Use “and”.
  7. Guarantee – Most customers don’t believe it! Say “assurance”.
  8. Obviously – Sounds patronising and condescending. Try “as you know”.
  9. Synergy – Its an out of date buzz-word. Try “collaborating”.
  10. Exciting – So overused. It’s ineffective and tells the listener it isn’t!

So, which one are you? Pitch perfect? Questioning perfect?

Until next week good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]