I was in a meeting recently, about 25 people, and everyone got to do their favorite thing (insert sarcasm here) – stand up, wave to the group (which wasn’t required), state your name, title, organization, and a little about your job responsibilities. After the exciting 15-minute introductions, I asked the group if anyone could recall more than two people’s titles. Several attempts later, with very little accuracy, it was clear the connection was lost early in the game.
Often your sales approach matters just as much as what you’re selling.
Pitching to a client can be nerve-wracking and exhausting. You are either pitching for that “BIG” deal, or you get lost in the pitch because you have become redundant with the same ole pitch.
Let’s go over some of the more common rules to consider when pitching your products or services.
ASK QUESTIONS FIRST – If you can probe your prospects with these three questions before you launch into your pitch, then you’re off to a great start.
- What is their problem?
- What is their goal?
- How can you help them?
Thinking about the process this way really helps cut down on the “information overload”. This also opens you up to creating that personal connection and altering your pitch to their needs. Side note: did you know that the average person retains three points really well before their retention drops? Now that you have asked and listened to your client, it’s time to focus on how you can help them, and they have just given you the three talking points you need.
PITCH IT & ZIP IT – You can pitch all day, and if you don’t stop to ask your clients questions along the way, you’ll never know how far off you may be. It’s one of the biggest mistakes I see our companies make – they have 15-, 30-, or 45-minutes for a pitch and they talk the entire time. They never stop. I don’t know if it’s nerves or what?? So pitch and then zip it, and listen. I can’t tell you how effective this is. Clients ask questions, and you can either answer them, or write their questions/concerns down and give them a firm answer within an allotted amount of time. e.g. “We’ll check with our engineers and get that answer to you by the end of the day tomorrow.” By doing this, you are minimizing their risk and sets their minds at ease.
With no questions at the end, you are left with your final question – “Can we secure this deal?”
See you on May 10th for Lunch with The Source, when we can explore more options for delivering your best pitch.
Post by guest blogger:
Vice President of Economic Development