Crafting the perfect sales pitch is a work of art – a salesperson must paint a picture of how their product or service will better the lives of their prospects while keeping it brief, engaging, and tailored to that specific person.
Gone are the days of giving hour-long sales presentations to sell your product or service, sales pitches now need to be short and concise. Because when it comes down to it, your prospects are busy and don’t like wasting time.
We’ve identified 5 essential elements behind the perfect sales pitch, but first: always remember to do your research, have a clear value proposition, keep your pitch concise and to the point, and always follow up.
Here’s how to craft the perfect sales pitch:
1. Know your prospect
Your instinct as a salesperson is to get right into the features of the product/service you’re selling and how great they are because these are things that both the buyer and seller can see.
But that is only assuming that they appreciate the same things you do. All features are not created equal.
Because ultimately, it’s not the feature your prospect cares about, it’s the end result it gives them. And we all value those results differently.
So how do you get to know your prospect? By asking questions.
The questions you ask your prospect helps to craft your pitch. But did you know that the mere act of asking a question increases your persuasiveness? This is because sharing opinions is rewarding and answering questions prevents the prospect from making any intuitive judgments.
Once they answer your questions – summarize the problem or need, transition, and paint the solution. This is where you can use storytelling to help paint the solution in a way that resonates and captures their attention.
2. Tell a story
In the book Building A Brand Story, Donald Miller lays out a framework to help businesses clarify their message to get customers to listen. His formula is bringing customers into your story and most importantly making the customer the hero, not your brand.
The story you need to tell is that the customer is the hero and the brand’s goal is to guide the hero through their challenges and lead them to success.
Donald Miller describes the successful framework through 7 essential components:
The story goes like this: A character has a problem, they meet a guide who gives them a plan and calls them to action, and this helps them avoid failure and achieve success.
You can actually apply this to your sales pitch by trying to briefly cover each component in your pitch:
- Character – your customer
- Problem – their pain points
- Meets a guide – your solution
- Gives them a plan – the steps your customer takes to buy your solution
- Calls them to action – lead them to a sale
- Helps avoid failure – your solution will help avoid problems that tailor to the customer
- And ends in success – their lives will be better with your solution
According to author Erik Luhrs, “In sales situations, stories allow the subconscious mind of the prospect to truly ‘get’ and see the valuable application of the solution.” By transforming your pitch into a story, you can communicate your value proposition more effectively.
3. Personalize your message
With the rise of automation tools, many salespeople are focusing on numbers. But when it comes down to it, it’s never been more important to personalize your messages.
In your sales pitch, tailor your story around their needs, pain points, and problems. Address certain aspects of their life such as position, company, recent company announcements, etc. to show you are paying attention and that this pitch is tailored to them.
Rather than making your message about selling, make it about helping. How can you help this specific person?
Review your sales pitch – if you could use this same pitch on someone else, it’s not personalized enough. Your recipient is much more likely to click away from your message if it doesn’t tailor to them specifically.
4. Provide social proof
You’re telling me your product or service will solve x,y, and z. but why should I believe you?
This is a normal thought that crosses the prospect’s mind when you present how your product or service will make their lives better. Most of them will instinctively assume you’re exaggerating the truth to some extent.
That’s why giving your prospects real data and social proof will help avoid this doubt.
We base our judgments on other people. This is also why customer names and testimonials from people similar to us make us more likely to buy.
Psychology studies show that social forces influence people’s judgments and we tend to base decisions on other’s actions. And it applies to everyday life – purchasing decisions being one of them.
There are many powerful forms of social proof that will help win over your prospect.
There are many ways you can go about adding social proof to your pitch such as adding quotes from customers who are in a similar role of your prospect or mentioning three recognizable company names in your pitch.
Make sure the social proof is relevant and caters to your prospect.
5. End with a compelling CTA
There’s nothing worse than a story with a bad ending.
Your call-to-action should be much more than just providing the prospect with a follow-up number or email. Give your prospects a satisfying ending by finishing your sales pitch on a positive and powerful note.
The most effective CTAs are ones that leave the prospect pleased. The best way to do this? Make it about them.
Answer the question “What’s in it for me?” Although your pitch should have already addressed that, rephrase it. Repetition isn’t a bad thing when it comes to your CTA, you want to end on a powerful note that focuses on the prospect.
Also, incorporating a sense of urgency can help speed up their decision-making process, but be careful with how you convey this urgency. Giving your prospect a lot of time to think is risky. Giving some additional motivators such as discounts or benefits can help give your prospect that extra nudge they need.
Practice makes perfect
Keep trying new techniques. Nobody has the “perfect sales pitch” down to a T.
Step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and think out-of-the-box. Tailor the pitch to your customers in a way that resonates with each one individually.
Based on the reaction you get, make adjustments accordingly. Practice, and try again. Your sales pitch will only get stronger.