6 Steps To a Standout Sales Pitch

March 14, 2019

As buyers become increasingly savvy and selective, sellers are obliged to up their collective game. Good sales pitches take an end-to-end approach, making a concerted effort to interact with buyers on a meaningful level from the very first “overture” pitch to the proverbial “ninth-inning” of the buyer-seller relationship. These effective sales pitches require diligent preparation, winning presentation skills, and a playbook that caters to each prospective client’s needs.

Here’s a look at six ways to create standout sales pitches that will keep buyers enthralled from the moment you deal your first pitch to the moment you close the sale — and beyond.

1. Know Your Stats

Any good pitcher knows to research each batter’s stats to get familiar with their history and swinging style before the first pitch is offered.

Your sales pitch process should be no different.

Before engaging with a potential buyer, it’s essential to do your homework. In these cases, names, faces, and a passing knowledge of your prospect’s business won’t be enough. Instead, you should always strive to dig deeper. Do some heavy recon regarding the industry as a whole, how the prospect’s competitors are faring, and how your solution will give your buyer a significant edge.

Even better: Make an effort to get to know your buyer on a personal level. Research relevant past purchases. Take a look at their business and communication styles on social media. Do they have any hobbies that you share? Great. Take note and refer to these shared interests in conversation if a natural opportunity presents itself. This kind of attention to detail — without being intrusive or inappropriate — never goes unnoticed. The best sales pitches go the extra mile when it comes to groundwork.

2. Vary Your Pitches

Very few  Hall of Fame-level pitchers make it to the big leagues on the strength of one specific pitch. Leaning on a single strategy is never a good idea — in baseball or in business.

Consequently, you should seek to vary your selling pitch according to each buyer and their unique specifications. The perfect sales pitch switches things up with each new scenario, depending on the size of the buying company, recent trends in the company’s industry, the time of year, the level of interest, the learning methods of the buying representatives, and a host of other factors.

You should be able to prepare pitches that work via phone, email, or in-person, altering your rules of engagement so they suit your customer’s schedule, preferred method of communication, and most urgent requirements. You should also adapt your selling pitch as you go (bearing in mind that the most effective sales pitch is the pitch that can bend and shift as questions arise or new information comes to light through careful conversation). Buyers don’t want to be talked to, they want to be talked with. Your selling strategy must be as flexible and as sensitive to your prospects as possible.

3. Engage Your Bullpen

As a sales rep, it’s easy to feel a little at sea when it comes to organizing your thoughts and gathering various pieces of content in order to make your pitch. If you find you’re drowning in product info, or having trouble accessing the appropriate collateral when and where you need it, you may want to call in some reinforcements.

When a baseball pitcher needs help finishing out a game, he asks his bullpen teammates to pick up the slack and give him a much-needed break before his next pitching performance. In the world of sales, you can achieve a similar effect by calling on a sales enablement software platform whenever you require additional support. Comprehensive sales enablement software can give you unfettered access to your team’s collective experience and expertise and can likewise store pitch outlines, marketing materials, and critical sales metrics all in one centralized location—making research and customized preparation a walk in the park. Just as in baseball, a strong sales enablement platform will allow you to activate supplementary assistance while still securing the eventual win all on your own.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Throw a Curveball

As you perfect your pitch skills, don’t shy away from the unexpected. If you enter a meeting with your pitch mapped out step by step, remember that it’s entirely okay to opt for a tactical play out of left field if the pitch doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Suppose, for example, your undeniably good sales pitch goes slightly awry when you discover that the solution you’re selling doesn’t quite take care of your buyer’s most pressing problem. You observe your buyer’s preoccupation with this one issue, and you realize their head’s just not in the sales pitch game at the moment. At this delicate juncture, it might be better to point out that you recognize your buyer is distracted and then gracefully acknowledge that your product might not be a top priority right this minute. It may seem like an odd strategy to defer a sale, but your show of compassion and hyper-awareness will likely make a lasting impression.

5. Prepare to Play the Long Game

Speaking of lasting impressions, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the best sales pitch examples are the ones that take the big picture into account. Your messaging and your engagement techniques should always have one eye on the horizon — an underlying focus on maintaining your buyers’ attention for a long time to come.

A clever, pithy sales speech may help you get your foot in the door, but it’s ultimately no good if your words don’t linger in your prospects’ minds and continue to keep them interested long after you’ve made your exit. An effective sales pitch should be willing to go into overtime, helping you build a healthy sales relationship rather than just land a single buy. To this point: Every interaction with your buyer should end with a firm plan to meet or talk again, as you want to extend your communication into extra innings for as long as possible.

6. Engage Your Buyers — Hook, Line, and Sinker

Some good sales pitch examples let their message sink in almost before the prospect has had time to think about it, in the same way a baseball pitch can fly past the batter and down into the mitt. In baseball, this would sometimes be called a “sinker”; in sales, we call it storytelling.

A thoughtful narrative is a powerful tool. It’s why books and theater have captivated humanity for centuries. It’s why movies and TV are among our favorite pastimes. And it’s why a good sales pitch can engage a buyer indefinitely.

When crafting the perfect selling pitch, be sure your company profile and product testimonials unfold like a story, each with clear characters who (ideally) undergo some sort of transformative journey from beginning to end. Erik Luhrs, a self-proclaimed expert on the subconscious mind and its relationship to revenue growth, notes that cohesive narratives such as these “allow the subconscious mind of the prospect to truly ‘get’…the valuable application of [your] solution.” In other words: selling your solution in the form of a story better allows the buyer to envision your product working for them in the real world. Remember, though, that all the best stories are based in truth. As such, you should always have facts and figures on hand to corroborate each of your sales pitch tales.

We hope our pitch analysis has given you some insight into maximizing your selling technique and creating pitches that are agile, precise, and worthy of the business major leagues.

Now get out there and play ball. We wish you the best of luck.  

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