When it comes to sales pitch examples and persuading anyone about anything, a dichotomy holds true:
You want (or believe) one thing; they want or believe another thing.
The easiest way to get from Point A to B is to connect the dots.
You find your audience’s point of view (POV) and connect to their values or needs.
It doesn’t mean pushing your views and feelings onto your audience with “I” statements:
Below are 11 sales pitch examples that show you tactical strategies to do it the right way.
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How to Pitch Like a Boss: 11 Strategies in Action
Example 1: Don’t you agree?
This one’s a bait and switch approach that leaves your audience agreeing with you.
Here’s how it works:
- Start with an undeniable truth.
- Make a bold claim that contrasts it. One that should stir up some furrowed brows.
- Why they should agree + Solution.
>> Example: Here is a set of slides by Drift that does this well. The breakdown of the pitch:
Truth: Tech has taken over our lives.
Bold claim: Forms, emails, and calls are the enemy. (Keep in mind that this is being pitched to marketers and salespeople, who rely on these channels for leads and customer communication.)
Why + Solution: Tech makes us treat humans like faceless leads. We should be focusing on creating real conversation and solving needs. Meet Drift.
The beauty of this approach is it makes us think differently. Deep down, we all want to push our teams ahead. Doing so requires innovation and change. Your pitch introduces a new line of thinking that helps your audience become a change agent for their team.
Want more? Here are 7 of the best sales presentation slides from companies like Facebook, Uber, and LinkedIn.
Example 2: Fixing a dichotomy.
This one’s similar to Strategy 4, but your bold claim is one your audience agrees with:
- Start with an undeniable truth. (Truth A = good)
- Point out a reality that opposes this truth or makes things difficult. (Truth B = bad)
- How to get back to Truth A.
The contrast principle tells us that we don’t make absolute judgments; rather, we compare.
When you start with a truth that is positive, and you introduce a negative, it makes your audience feel the difference. They want to get back to the beginning, and you’ll show how.
>> Example: Here is a Shark Tank sales pitch for Drone training.
Truth A: Drones are a piece of technology that enables us to capture so much more.
Truth B: It’s easy to crash a drone, especially when you’re a new user.
Solution: Customized training for new pilots. So drones can be used properly.
Example 3: Start with a story, segue into your pitch.
Storytelling captivates us as an adult just as much as it does when we were a child.
Our brains literally react to them. Stories trigger the release of a trust hormone called Oxytocin. When you’re pitching to someone, this chemical reaction promotes connection and empathy.
>> Example: See this story by Amy Cuddy. (The pitch here is that we really can fake it until we make it; our body language informs our perception of ourselves and others’ perceptions of us, thereby shaping our outcomes.)
Here are the details to include in your story (with the speaker’s filled out as an example):
What: A car accident threw her from the car, dropped her IQ, and took her out of college.
When: Age nineteen
Why it matters: Amy overcame the odds by faking it until she made it. She realized that adjusting her body language shaped her mind, her behaviors, and her outcomes.
Pro Tip: Keep your story short. You should hit on all of the details above in less than 2 minutes. Here’s an example of what not to do: a seventeen-minute story by LEGO®.
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Example 4: The Demo Principle
What do late night infomercials, Costco samples, and magicians have in common?
They show you what they’re pitching firsthand.
The theory here is that the cost of time and resources it takes to give a demo is worth it, because the net profit from sales outweighs the net profit of sales without a demo.
How to do it: List out a table with two columns: bells and whistles go on the left; the end benefits go on the right. Cross out the bells and whistles; demo and sell the end benefits.
>> Example: Watch this carrot slicer show passersby about an easy peeling experience. Notice how little he talks about features of the peeler, because you can see them for yourself.
Example 5: Give perspective based on your audience.
When you’re pitching, you know the thing you’re trying to sell like the back of your hand.
But you need to know your audience like that, too.
It’s the key that helps bring their point of view to yours. And it’s one of the most easily overlooked secrets behind a successful sales pitch.
Most pitches make the classic mistake of jumping right into selling.
How to do it right on your own: Ask your customers to pick their brain. Why did they choose you? What benefits were they excited to see? Why do they keep coming back? Lead with that.
>> Example: Watch Mark Cuban explain what he did when he was faced with selling Mavs tickets when they were the worst team in the league. (Start the video at 1:01.) He reframes the game experience as a way for parents to create lasting memories with their children — memories like the ones they still have with their own parents.
Example 6: Use emotional appeal.
Another thing that works in Mark Cuban’s pitch is that he uses nostalgia.
Triggering someone’s emotion drives them to act.
Think about it: It’s why panhandling works: it sparks sympathy, which compels us to give.
How to do it on your own: Identify your audience’s business and/or personal values. Show how your pitch relates to their own values. (Yesware, for instance, relates to its users by being built to save them time and increase their productivity every day.)
> Example: See this Shark Tank pitch, where a company founder gets two sharks tearing up by getting them to commiserate with the risks of starting a new company.
Using content in your pitch that strikes an emotional chord is one of 7 proven sales techniques to close a deal and get to “yes.”
Example 7: Educate and Inspire
The way we grow in life, love, and our careers is by learning.
On the flip side of that, one way to help others to grow is to educate. And not in a way where you push your opinions. You need to lay the groundwork with facts they don’t know.
How to do it yourself: Use specificity. It’s a persuasive technique to make your points more believable.
>> Example: Here is a video pitch from CharityWater.
It lays out these important facts:
- Some people have to walk 4 hours a day to get access to drinking water, and even then it is contaminated with dysentery and cholera.
- Drinking dirty water each year kills more people than intense violence like war.
- The water crisis is solvable. There is enough water in the world.
Example 8: Use the Pique Technique
What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning?
It’s the opening line of the video example above, and it captures viewers.
The thing is, when you’re selling to someone who doesn’t want to be sold to, jumping into a standard pitch is a fast turnoff.
The Pique Technique is where you make an odd request or ask a question that leaves your audience wanting to know more. They wonder why you’re asking, and that keeps them focused.
How to do it yourself: Make a small request of your audience, or ask them a question that’s easy to answer but leaves them wondering why you’re asking in the first place.
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Example 9: Paint them a picture
You think what you’re pitching is great, right? Well, the best way to show your audience this is to give them your POV.
How to do this: Think of the end effect of whatever you’re pitching. What does it feel like? Use a metaphor to explain it to your audience. You’ll need three or more points of similarity between the thing you’re pitching and the thing you’re comparing it to.
Because this can be tricky, here are two examples:
1. Joe MacMillan compares the first web browser to driving through the Holland Tunnel:
Points of similarity:
- Possibility to be able to go anywhere
- Excitement of what is to come
- The anticipation of everything being laid out before you
2. Don Draper pitches a slide projector wheel by describing it as a time machine:
Points of similarity:
- Goes backward and forwards
- Takes us to a place where we ache to go again
- Lets us travel to a place where you know you’re loved
As Don Draper says, this technique helps your audience to create a sentimental bond with whatever it is you’re pitching.
Example 10: Use flattery
We all have some level of self-doubt.
Which is why flattery is so effective.
It replaces our self-doubt with self-esteem. This subconscious effect holds true even when the offeror has an ulterior motive and the person you’re complimenting sees your ulterior motive.
Check out 5 more email examples of personal selling in action.
Example 11: Show them that their time > your time.
This one makes you stand out because 98% of sales pitches make a valiant assumption.
One that ruins their shot — despite the effort put into writing and setting up the nurture.
They assume is that their time is more valuable than their prospects.
The mindset is “I put in 1 minute of research, so I’m warranted to ask for 15-30 of yours.”
Because “I think this is a really good fit.”
Who cares? The trash can.
Instead, show them you spent more time researching than you’re asking for.
>> Example: See the example below. First, Asher runs an audit to pitch. Then, he reaches out through LinkedIn Messaging and email to send me the audit directly.
Within the same hour, I then received this with the audit attached:
Hungry for more? Here’s how to write a pitch in 5 simple steps.
Originally published November 2018, updated November 2020.