You’ve just made a sales pitch to a customer and left their building or hung up the phone with them. How are they going to remember what you said, and how is it going to encourage them to buy what you are selling? There are of course thousands of different ways to influence a buyer, but they all boil down to having a compelling sales pitch. So how can you make sure that your sales pitch persuades your customer to make a purchase? Keep the three items listed below in mind as you build your pitch, and you will be one step closer to having a more convincing sales pitch.
1. Show how you improve your customer’s situation.
You’ve probably heard that you have to solve some problem for your customer. This is true, but there really is more to it. Saying you can solve a problem is one thing, but showing how you can improve your customer’s situation makes your product or service more compelling. Make sure you can address two important questions
- What benefits does the customer get from using your product or service?
- What pain points will the customer continue to experience if they do not use your product or service?
For example, your customer’s problem might be “I receive too many e-mails” and your solution might be an e-mail filtering system. However, on top of showing that you can filter your customer’s email, you could also show benefits of time savings for your customer, improved relationships through better e-mail responses, and less frustration in searching for archived e-mails. In addition, if you demonstrate that your e-mail system alleviates the pain of bounced e-mails due to a full mailbox and the potential lost business from missed e-mails, you have shown what your customer will endure if he or she does not use your product. So it’s not just about showing that you can solve your customer’s problem. Make sure your sales pitch also clearly communicates why your customer is better off after they purchase your product or service, as well as what drawbacks they will encounter if they do not use your offering.
2. Make your sales pitch unique
Your customer is very likely not just considering your product or service. Make sure that your sales pitch does not sound the same as that of your competitors. Following the example above, if your competitor also claims that the benefits of their e-mail system are time-savings, improved relationships, and less frustration, then you might want to talk about other benefits that you can offer. Make it easy for your customer to understand what he or she will get with your product that cannot be had with any of your competitors. The best way to understand this is to be able to intelligently compare your product or service to that of your competition (see our white paper titled “The Art of Comparison” for more tips on that!). Many salespeople neglect this important part of the pitch. It is far easier to know your own product than it is to know your competitor’s, but if you can get some basic comparisons done, your product or service will stand out in your customer’s mind when it comes time for the buying decision.
3. Turn objections into benefits.
Regardless of how perfect your product or service might be, there are always going to be objections or questions that arise. Many times, these objections might come up based on claims that your competitors will make. A compelling sales pitch will be able to anticipate these objections and do three things
- Acknowledge the customer’s objection: whether it is entirely true or not, the customer has the perception that there is some limitation or drawback of your product or service.
- Limit or qualify the objection: Communicate to the customer that his or her perceived drawback can be mitigated.
- Re-focus the discussion to a strength or benefit: If you can associate a benefit with a perceived weakness of your product, it actually strengthens the customer’s perception of what you are offering. When they go through the buying decision later on, the objections will actually turn into compelling points in the customer’s mind.
For example, maybe your competitor told your customer that your product has a complicated setup process. When you claim that your e-mail system helps save your customer time, they may object with “But doesn’t it take hours to set up your system, meaning that I have to actually spend –more- time to use it?” A sample response would be, “Yes, it does take some time to set up our system if you do it manually, but we offer many automated tools that can easily do this for you.” This previous statement does 3 things:
- Acknowledges the issue: “Yes, it does take time to set up the system…” : Your customer has raised a valid concern.
- Limited the issue: “…IF you do it manually…” : The problem only exists in limited circumstances that the customer likely won’t do.
- Refocuses the discussion “…we offer many automated tools…” : Your competitors might not have automated tools. Now when your customer thinks about time to set up the system, their mind is refocused to automated tools—something your competitor can not offer.
These objections can be discovered through win/loss analysis, customer interviews, and even by reading online reviews of your product or service. Of course, you won’t be able to anticipate every objection that comes up, but if you are aware of the most common ones it will help you eliminate some obstructions to the sales process.