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Let’s Get Rid Of The PITCH And The PITCH Mentality

Posted on Have Your Say: Leave a comment?

I don’t know exactly how in the world the word “Pitch” ever became associated with the world of selling. I do know that I personally do not care for the term.

So many sales people and organisations still talk about their pitch or making their pitch or pitching the prospect. But if you just think about this for a minute, I think you will also see that pitching is not what a professional sales person does.

In every aspect the word pitch (the verb) means in some way to throw something at someone, as in to pitch a ball. Or, to set something up to be used, as in to pitch a tent. In both cases, a sales person should not ever pitch. The bottom line is that to pitch is to conduct a one-way conversation in the hopes to get it past the prospect who cannot hit it back.

To pitch, no matter how you look at it, is to PUSH. However, as professional sales people of the modern era, we need to PULL!

A Win-Lose Situation
When a sales person pitches a product, in a sense they throw a rehearsed set of words at the prospect in an attempt to get past them. The objective is to strike the prospect out. The prospect uses objections as a bat, swinging at the sales pitch. If the sales person (or pitchman) is able to get enough pitches by the prospect, then the sales person wins. If however, the prospect is able to hit the pitch with some of those objections, the prospect wins. Someone has to win and someone has to lose.

You hear sales people talk about “losing” the sale, or “winning” the sale. The pitch mentally says that the sales process is essentially a war, a battle in which someone wins and someone loses. The pitchman’s objective is to win or beat the prospect.

Win – Win
However, in professional sales, there is no such thing as a win-lose situation. If you make the sale, you helped the prospect and you both win. If you fail to close the sale, then you failed to help the prospect get something that would benefit them and therefore, you both lose.

Understand that you and the prospect are on the same side, you want the same thing. Help the prospect get what they need and understand that if you fail to close the sale, the prospect did not win. When you do not close the sale, the prospect and you both lost and you failed the prospect.

Let’s rid the word pitch and the pitch mentally from the modern era of professional selling.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

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Sean McPheat

Hi! I'm the founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training - we offer sales training solutions for companies both large and small. I'm blessed to work with 25 of the most talented trainers in the UK....well, I did recruit them! ;-) Today, we've delivered training in over 23 countries to over 2,500 different organisations and 50,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.

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  • Gill Bray

    I guess the word ‘pitch’ originated from the same source a lot of other sales jargon words such as ‘territory’. So much of the ‘old’ style sales vocabulary and attitude can be traced back to the days of covered wagons and snake oil!
    You would wander around your territory pitching your wagon from time to time looking for prospects, whilst manfully rebutting (rather than listening to) objections.