One of the winning tools to any successful sell is making sure that the sales team master the art of pitching. Now we are not going to do an expose on pitching, rather the fundamentals of an effective pitch which will support revenue success.
Whether it’s an encompassing storytelling to a visually lit presentation or a convincing presenter to how well they are groomed are variables that determine what success looks like in implementing a perfect sell. Having said that, let me just add calling a sales presentation a “pitch” is a little misleading.
In cricket, the chevrons know that, good pitchers strike batters out. But in sales, a successful pitch is one that connects — and gets hit out of the park.
As a pitch, however, good selling is something of an art form. People want to be told a story, to understand how your value proposition or the derived value of your offering is going to net with their business and enhance it. How you accomplish that is up to you.
But along with the art of sales is a bit of science. The types of information most likely to convince a person to buy, or help them understand what you’re talking about, can be broken down to zeroes and ones and even hundreds.
It’s not as easy as having a product and selling it and getting revenue. Not all good products sell and not all bad products are not bought, rather they fly off the shelf simply because they have been presented well by the sales agent, something more than just wrapping and branding will do. Research has that, 40 percent of people respond better to information in visual form than when it’s written? Or that the best presentations are two-thirds stories? Just before you think of sending out your presentation to book an appointment, interrogate and ask yourself is this sellable?
- A Stellar cover slide
Your cover slide should reflect your company standpoint and industry. Your audience needs to “get it” instantly. Since 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than plain text, Google, Flickr, slide-share can be great sources for images that immediately boost your pitch. Too much wording without images makes for a boring presentation.
- A value proposition
What do you do? Summarise the value of your promise to deliver to prospects, and explain why they should buy from you. To help enhance your value proposition, most successful products use the “VP” formula:
(Company name) helps (target audience)with (services) so you can enjoy (benefits).
- A powerful story
The most successful presentations are 65 percent stories. Stories apart from being an interest pill, they allow people to relate and have an emotional connection with the brand and service offering. In doing this during a pitch, Present your story and your team to humanise your company and increase likeability.
Make sure you include the reason why your company and product came to be. Tell your audience what motivates your team to wake up and work every day. And offer tips that are personal and will make your audience smile, like, “pizza from your favourite food outlet makes Tuesday’s fun-time with the family”.
- Enticing solutions
First, focus on your client’s problem. Here’s how a typical start up gone global has done it called Airbnb:
Airbnb’s first pitch extract: “Price is an important concern for customers booking travel online. Hotels leave you disconnected from the city and its culture. No easy way exists to book a room with a local or become a host.”
Problems: Price, convenience, access.
Aspirations: Have choice, unique experience, make money renting your place.
Then, break down your value propositions into solutions tied to the benefits your clients want. Examples of benefits are, “Make more money and grow your business,” “Look good and impress,” and “Save time and money.”
How to list your solutions:
- Don’t give too many choices.
- Communicate results customers will get.
- Make it easy and quick to understand.
- Give examples that demonstrate your product’s value.
The proofs you’ll provide have to answer this question:
“How do I believe you?” You should also:
Add testimonials: They highlight what clients love about doing business with you. Use real client’s pictures to enhance credibility impact.
Share research data: Use expert quotes and findings that tie to the benefits of the product you’re offering.
Compare your products vs. competitors: Show your audience how you’re better.
Provide extra benefits: Offer a warranty and a guarantee, to show and earn confidence. By the way the two are different.
- A clear call-to-action
A call to action is a simple command directing customers to take action (buy, sign up for our mailing list). These simple techniques will see your brand and sales teams pitching with excellence. The Easter holiday is a few days away and the sales after the holiday should reflect the right business attitude and direction. In case you hadn’t managed to align, it’s never too late to do so now. Enjoy your Easter break!