The latest sales data shows that prospects consider a salesperson’s sales pitch to be one of the most critical components of the sales process.
And yet, most salespeople are all over the map when it comes to that sales pitch—and they have no idea how to turn things around.
Why are so many salespeople in the dark when it comes to pitching well? Because they never get any real feedback from prospects on how to achieve a successful sales pitch.
Think about it: When prospects hear a bad sales pitch, they don’t stick around to give helpful advice on how to improve.
They ghost. They just disappear.
But there are a number of key factors that separate great sales pitches from all the rest. In this video, I’m going to show you 5 (revealing) characteristics of a successful sales pitch. Check it out:
Successful Sales Pitch Tip #1: There is no traditional sales pitch up front.
The majority of salespeople are stuck in the old-school, traditional mindset that they need to give an amazing sales pitch up front. But in reality, that’s not what counts.
Of course, we want to be tight and concise when it comes to how we present ourselves and our offering to prospects. But a successful sales pitch actually involves holding off on pitching.
Let me explain. You should be using the beginning of your conversation not to pitch your product or service, but rather to focus on the prospect.
It’s a huge turnoff to prospects to hear salespeople launch into a hard pitch right away. Instead, great salespeople save their successful sales pitch for last—in the form of a great presentation, much later on in the sales process.
The start of any good conversation with prospects should be all about them—not you.
Successful Sales Pitch Tip #2: Whiteboard pitch instead.
While most salespeople are pitching their products or services up front, they should be more focused on sharing insight with prospects instead.
I’m not talking about sharing insight about what you have to offer. Rather, I’m talking about sharing insight about what’s going on in the prospect’s world—their industry, market, or niche.
This is where the whiteboard pitch comes in. A successful sales pitch includes using a whiteboard, or some other platform that you can physically draw or write on. It could be a piece of paper, or you could even write directly on your screen during a Zoom or GoToMeeting, using a stylus pen or iPad app.
Whatever it is, it’s important to have some kind of tool you can use to literally map out your successful sales pitch for the prospect. You’ll want to write out three key challenges you see people facing in the prospect’s world; the root causes behind those challenges; and finally, one piece of data to support each root cause.
Have you ever been to an amazing doctor who thoroughly explains what’s going on in your body—even taking out a piece of paper to draw you a diagram or help you understand why you’re in pain? This is the type of approach you want to emulate with your whiteboard pitch.
Successful Sales Pitch Tip #3: Disqualify before you solve.
This is a really important distinction when it comes to making a successful sales pitch. You don’t want to present your solution too early on in the conversation. Instead, you want to give your whiteboard pitch, engage the prospect in a conversation around those ideas, and then take them through a disqualification process before you ever get to the presentation phase.
A strong disqualification conversation involves asking a series of systematic questions to help you determine whether someone is truly a fit—whether they’re really dealing with the types of challenges that you solve. This conversation will also help you understand how those challenges are affecting the prospect’s organization or their life.
By taking prospects through a disqualification process, you can determine what’s really going on before wasting too much time with someone who’s not a fit. If they’re not a fit, simply disqualify them and move on.
This is key for establishing authority, too, as it shows the prospect that you don’t need their business. When prospects think you need their business, suddenly they start beating you up on price and they get turned off really quickly. So disqualify before you solve.
Successful Sales Pitch Tip #4: Use a case-study presentation.
Case studies are critical to any successful sales pitch. This is the phase where you get to present your solutions and talk about your services or products. By doing so through a case-study presentation, you can show the prospect a series of stories or examples that really demonstrate how you helped people just like them in the past.
Your case studies don’t have to be fancy or printed-out PDF documents. Just commit a series of stories to memory and share them at the beginning of your presentation, helping you to transition smoothly into explaining how you will help the prospect accomplish their goals and solve their top challenges. The power of story will engage them over and over again.
Successful Sales Pitch Tip #5: Let their questions drive the presentation.
Most salespeople think, “I want to avoid getting questions during the presentation,” but actually the latest data shows that salespeople who are most likely to close a sale are getting the most questions during the presentation.
And think about it—it kind of makes sense, right? If a prospect is asking you a lot of questions during the presentation phase of a sale, it means they’re engaged. It means they’re interested, they’re not just looking down at their phone, thinking, “Geez, when am I going to get the hell out of here?”
If they’re engaged, they’re asking questions. So keep your presentation pretty short and focused only on their challenges, and let their questions drive the rest of the presentation. You don’t need to have a huge canned PowerPoint presentation. Let your prospects questions drive your focus here.
So, there you have it. Now you know five revealing characteristics of a successful sales pitch. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share your thoughts below in the comments section to join the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.