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wikiHow to Deliver a Good Sales Pitch

Six Parts:Knowing your AudienceCrafting your PitchPreparing to Deliver your PitchDelivering your PitchClosing your PitchFollowing Up

Pitching an idea and selling it effectively can be a daunting and challenging task. Where do you start, how do you approach the prospect and what is the first thing you say? By knowing your audience, carefully crafting a pitch, and delivering the pitch confidently, you can make a successful sale and build a healthy relationship with your customers.

Part 1
Knowing your Audience

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    Research your audience. Make sure you know as much as possible about the company and individual who will be hearing your sales pitch.[1] Look up your potential customers' profiles on LinkedIn, and read through the company's website.
    • Find out what the business’ specific needs are and how they relate to your product or service. What will they gain by working with you?
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    Pitch to the right person. The person who can decide about using your product or service is the person who should hear your pitch. Find out who makes decisions about buying inventory or using services in the company.
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    Make an appointment with your customer. Once you’ve identified the most appropriate person to listen to your pitch, schedule an appointment with them. Find out when it is most convenient for them.
    • Be sure to consider the amount of lead time they might need in order to stock your product, or when they will most need your services. For example, if you are selling a holiday-related item, you shouldn’t wait until the beginning of December to deliver your sales pitch.
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    Know how much time you’ve got for the pitch. Once you’ve gotten your appointment with the customer, confirm how much time is scheduled with them. Suggest at least 30 minutes for the appointment. Your pitch won’t last the full time; you need to leave time for discussion afterward.

Part 2
Crafting your Pitch

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    Know your product or service well. Before you even start crafting your pitch, make sure you know all the facets of your product or service and how it can be useful to a range of customers. What are the common problems that your product encounters, and how do you resolve these problems?
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    Avoid giving a canned pitch. A canned pitch is one that is generic and does not take into account the customer.[2] Instead, make your presentation unique and tailored to your audience.
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    Tell a story with your pitch. Tell an anecdote or personal story about your product or service. Use this as a hook to appeal to your customer’s emotion.[3]
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    Use simple language. Strive to be clear and easy to understand. Take out jargon from your presentation, unless it’s standard in your industry to use certain terminology. Don’t assume that your buyer will automatically know what you’re talking about, so using simple language is best.
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    Keep it short. Be able to get the most important points across in the first minute. After this point, buyers might start to lose interest if they have already decided against your product. Your pitch will likely last much longer than 60 seconds. Hopefully you have at least 15-30 minutes, depending on the type of product or service; spend much of your time building a conversation. But make sure you build in the most important points immediately.[4] These include:
    • The name of your company (or your name if you are working as an individual)
    • The products or services you provide
    • The “What’s In It For Me” aspect: tell your buyer what they will gain by buying your product.
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    Describe how your customer will benefit. This is one of the key factors in a good sales pitch. Your customer isn’t always interested in how many awards your product has won, or how many stores you have merchandise at. They want to know how your product or service will improve their business and make their life easier.
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    Differentiate yourself from your competitor. Describe how your product or service is different from others who offer similar products. Focus on how your product is unique or how you give personalized service.
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    Treat your pitch as a conversation. An important feature of the pitch is to have two-way communication with your audience. You might already know their needs, since you’ve done your research. But you should give them an opportunity to tell their story and to describe what makes their situation unique.[5]
    • If you don’t feel comfortable yet trying to involve your audience throughout your pitch, plan for a question-and-answer session after your pitch. This will give them a chance to ask questions and get more information.[6]
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    Prepare answers to objections. Your customer may find reasons to decline your sales pitch. Be prepared with answers to these objections. Make a list of the top 10 reasons why someone might say they don’t need or want your product. Craft responses to each of these.[7]
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    Use visual aids carefully. Some people find visual aids, such as PowerPoint slides, useful in staying on track with a presentation and demonstrating or visualizing certain aspects of a product’s benefits or features. Visual aids can be distracting, however, especially to you. You might start to turn your focus to just reading through the slides instead of conversing with your audience.[8]
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    Demonstrate your product. If you have a product that can be demonstrated, such as how sharp knives can cut through rope or stain remover can eliminate ink stains, incorporate this demonstration into your pitch.
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    Refine your pitch. Once you’ve written down your pitch, find ways to cut down words, clarify meanings, and make your wording more dynamic. Eliminate parts that don’t apply to the particular customer you’re going after.

Part 3
Preparing to Deliver your Pitch

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    Rehearse your pitch. Practice delivering your pitch to a colleague or friend. Ask them what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense. Run through a revised version of your pitch with them to see how it has been improved.
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    Confirm the time and location. One or two days before your pitch, email or call your customer to confirm your appointment. Make sure they still have the time to devote to hearing the pitch.
    • Also confirm who will be attending the pitch. Will the company’s CEO be there? Will someone from another division of the company be attending?
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    Get a good night’s sleep before the pitch. You might be nervous going into your meeting, but getting a good night’s sleep will ensure that you are operating with maximum energy and focus.
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    Dress professionally. Present a professional image to your customer. Your physical appearance will assure them that you are responsible and will deliver a product or service on time. A business suit is most appropriate.
    • Consider the norms of the industry that you’re presenting to, not your own. If you normally work outside and get dirty, but you are presenting to someone who works in an office, dress as you would for the office environment.
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    Arrive early. Leave early and give yourself plenty of time to get to the location where you will deliver your sales pitch. This will give you a chance to check your appearance, get a drink of water, and calm your nerves before going into a meeting.

Part 4
Delivering your Pitch

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    Break the ice. Introduce yourself and give everyone in the room a chance to do so, too.
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    Don’t show nervousness. Delivering a pitch can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if it’s the first time you’re doing it, or it’s a really important contract. But you want to project confidence, so make sure to breathe deeply and take your time.
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    Demonstrate positive body language. Have good posture and try to minimize any nervous fidgeting. Stay as relaxed as possible. Speak with enthusiasm and authority, but with a friendly manner.[9]
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    Maintain eye contact. You can keep someone’s attention better if you maintain eye contact with them. This will also make them feel like you are really focusing on them and their reaction to what you’re saying. Keep friendly eye contact throughout your conversation with your customer.
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    Proceed at an appropriate pace. Check in with your customer during the presentation. Don’t just deliver your pitch and pack up. Be ready to listen to your customer as you proceed, stopping to answer questions.[10]
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    Ask questions. As you deliver your sales pitch, it may become clearer to your customer that your product or service can help them. Ask questions during the pitch so that you can understand their needs better.[11], [12] Be ready to give them good answers to their questions that keep pushing them towards your product or service.
    • Consult with the customer and asking questions about their interests and their past experience with similar products.

Part 5
Closing your Pitch

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    Outline the next steps for the buyer. You have delivered your pitch and answered questions that your customer has. Now you need to give them some direction on the next steps to take.[13] You may choose to schedule a follow-up meeting once they’ve had some time to think things over. You might give them a trial period to use your product. Above all, keep working at this relationship and don’t disappear from view.
    • For example, if you are selling advertisement, you could end your pitch like this: “As you said, Mr. X, your company is looking for more brand awareness and new clients. Our marketing solutions will provide you with the brand awareness you are looking for. If you could allow me, I can run you through the procedure of advertising through us...” This is a simple, indirect way of asking, “Are you interested?”
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    Negotiate with the customer. You may need to negotiate with your customer. If they have initially declined your product or service, you can help them get to a “yes” or even a “maybe” through negotiation. Think about giving them a sample or a trial period to use your product. Alternately, if you are selling them a service, offer a free or reduced cost for a trial period.[14]
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    Accept rejection gracefully. If the customer declines your product or service, and they do not change their mind even after you negotiate with them, then respect their decision. Accept the rejection gracefully and thank them for their time.
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    Get a referral. This customer, if you’ve chosen a good representative from the industry, will likely have good contacts that will be worth exploring as other potential customers. This will build your network of contacts and get your name out there.[15]

Part 6
Following Up

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    Send a follow-up email to the customer within 24 hours. Thank them for the meeting, regardless of its outcome. If you made plans for next steps, such as signing an NDA, getting a referral, or scheduling another meeting, include that in your email. If you offered to send them more information, make sure that you include it.
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    Adjust your pitch. Think about what worked and what didn't, and make tweaks to your presentation or style accordingly.

Article Info

Categories: Sales