As a new entrepreneur running your own business, the concept of pitching probably seems pretty foreign. Many new business owners focus a lot of time and energy into creating the perfect pitch and then realize a bit of disappointment when it doesn’t always receive a warm reception. The key to successfully improving your sales pitch is to have a strong core presentation while at the same time remaining flexible in your approach.
Build a Stronger Elevator Pitch
Imagine walking into a business networking event where you are paired up with a partner and you each have 1 minute to talk about your business before moving on to the next table. You have to have a strong elevator pitch to pull something like this off.
Your elevator pitch should be a succinct 30 to 60 second presentation that piques a person’s curiosity and generates a level of interest.
Why do you need an elevator pitch?
The majority of your time will be spent looking for targeted leads, but you will on occasion find yourself in a social or networking situation where you’re asked to share. We live in a fast-paced society and you won’t have a ton of time to share, so having a quick, rehearsed reply that you can deliver naturally is critical.
You’ll find your elevator pitch useful in a ton of different situations, from simply answering when people ask what you do to leaving a voicemail for a cold prospect.
To work on improving your sales pitch, be succinct yet creative. What you say in that 30-second window of time may just be what helps you land a prospective client’s contact information and a follow-up conversation.
Know Your Prospect
.Take some time to research your prospect before you schedule a meeting. Making cold calls is great for generating leads, but those calls shouldn’t necessarily be used to pitch an actual package or contract. Use that time to gather information so that you can do some research about the person or company you want to work with before your formal meeting and work on improving your sales pitch by tailoring it to their needs
What type of business is your prospect in? How long have they been in business? What are their strong and weak points? What product or service do you offer that will enhance their current offerings or fix a perceived problem?
A sales pitch needs to be organized and structured based on the actual needs of your prospect. Try to anticipate the questions your prospect will ask based on the industry and come prepared with answers.
Learn to Be a Better Listener
Listening isn’t pitching, is it? Of course it is, especially if you are an active listener. People who are pitching products or services, especially early on in their careers, tend to be nervous. That nervousness leads to more chatter because - let’s face it - silence can be incredibly awkward. They spend their time trying to fill the silence and don’t pause long enough to hear the thoughts of their potential customers.
This means you need to stay engaged and pay attention to what your prospects are really telling you at all times. Don’t box yourself in just because you’ve come to the table with a presentation or a plan. Know your products well enough to make quick switches based on what your prospects are discussing.
While you’re at it, make sure you’re not overselling. Answer only the question presented and do your best to avoid veering off-track by talking about unrelated features. Overwhelming and unrelated answers make people think you aren’t really listening to them. This way of improving your sales pitch will help build a connection and get prospects more invested in what you have to say.
Focus on Value
You will from time to time have a prospect who absolutely refuses to speak to you without knowing your price ranges. Some people work on a shoestring budget and just can’t swing products in your price range. That’s ok. Keep their information in your prospect database and touch base from time to time to see if you can help them.
With the rest, try to keep your conversations focused first and foremost on the value your product or service brings to the table. Will you save them time? Will you ultimately save them money? Will you streamline a system that makes them more efficient at what they do? Do you have a product that will make them feel better? Highlight each benefit in a way that will help your prospect to see how much you can improve his life or business. Once a person starts to feel good about the possibilities, conversations about price are much easier to have.
It may also help, at this point, to have done some research on your competition for improving your sales pitch. Your prospect is likely to ask you how your services differ, so make sure you have enough understanding to make the proper comparisons and to highlight why your products are superior.
Strengthen Your Close
A lot of newer sales people have a great pitch but then falter when it comes time to actually ask for the sale. Once you’ve outlined the benefits and your prospect is showing genuine interest, ask a series of questions that almost lock them into a yes decision. Then, and only then, present your price, discount, package, or offer. You’ve closed the sale.
Don’t falter or get nervous, either! Once the sale is closed, it’s closed. Stop selling. Don’t suddenly develop a case of oral diarrhea and overwhelm your customer with other information or facts. You will have plenty of time to walk your client through the use of your product or service once the contract is signed or the product is in hand. Set a time and date to finalize the details or make a delivery, sit back, relax, and resume the more personalized relationship-building aspects of your conversations. Making sure you aren't overselling is one thing that is important for improving your sales pitch
People who aren’t looking for a product or service can be difficult to pitch to begin with. Just getting someone’s attention - a promise of a call or a meeting - is half the battle. Know your product, know your competition and what you’re up against, and make sure your own passion and enthusiasm is on full display as you present what you have to offer. The better you know your products and services, the easier it will become to pitch them over time.