11 Quick Tips On How To Best Prepare For A Sales Pitch

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Man Making A Sales PitchAt some point in the sales process we need to make our pitch.

This is an area where most salespeople could do a lot better.

Most people in sales present a standard pitch that all their customers get to hear.

This doesn’t work! People are different and buy for different reasons.

When people buy things buyers have what we call buying criteria.

These are the overriding reasons for buying that are most important to them.

Think about a Mercedes car.

Different people buy a Mercedes for different reasons. Having trained many Mercedes salespeople I have learned that their customers buy for different reasons and these can be summarised as image, performance, finance and safety.

Image, or ego is a big motivator for some people.

They love the look of the Mercedes and the tri-star on the front says so much about their status.

Other people are interested in performance issues.

A Mercedes is a very sophisticated piece of machinery with billions of ponds in research and development that have made it what it is today.

Finance can be a big motivator for some Mercedes customers.

The residual value of a Mercedes is high.

You get a lot back for your car when you sell it making it a good investment.

This is what motivates some Mercedes buyers.

Finally, safety.

Until you speak to a knowledgeable Mercedes salesperson you have no idea just how safe these cars are.

There are many safety features that could be integrated to form a sales pitch to a safety minded Mercedes customer.

So, before you prepare a sales pitch, you need to understand what is going to motivate your customer to buy from you.

What is important to them? What are their priorities and needs?

On my training courses I stress the importance of asking questions in a controlled and structured way.

Many salespeople lack the self-discipline to plan and prepare their questioning strategy.

Their lack of professionalism excludes them from the top 5% of salespeople who make all the money.

Here are the areas we need to probe into if we are going to successfully identify facts, opinions, needs and feelings that will enable us to put together a sales pitch that is truly persuasive:

  • The contact. The person we are meeting with. We need to find out about them and what motivates them
  • The organisation. This is the company they work for. What is happening in their business? How might changes in their business provide us with selling opportunities?
  • The decision making process. How do they make decisions, who gets involved and what are the relevant timescales?
  • Current suppliers. Who are they buying from at the moment and how well is the competition performing?
  • Competition. Are we in a bidding situation with other companies to compete against?
  • Finance. What budgets have they prepared? What is their perception of price?
  • Problems. What are the current issues that we need to help them solve? All selling is problem solving. What are their problems?
  • Needs. What are their buying criteria? What do we need to provide to make us their choice of supplier? 

Once you have all this information you are ready to begin preparing your pitch. Here are some more ideas:

  1. Identify which services or products the customer is interested in
  2. Establish your objectives. Set yourself more than one objective so you have a fall back position if you fail to make the sale
  3. Clarify what style and length of presentation the customer wants: for example, a full blown PowerPoint presentation, a product demonstration or a short briefing followed by a discussion
  4. Establish the key message you want the customer to take away from your presentation – the main benefit, or set of benefits that make your offering attractive
  5. Establish a few key points that support this message; relate your points to the customer’s needs and interests. Don‟t over argue your case. The more arguments, the less persuasive your case
  6. Prepare a logical argument for buying your product or service based on your knowledge of the customer. However, also be aware that there will be emotional issues that have a major influence on the decision to buy
  7. Anticipate any objections or questions the customer might raise
  8. Prepare a beginning, a middle and an end for your presentation. Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them and tell them what you told them.
  9. Collate any facts and evidence to support your argument: for example, product samples, brochures or customer testimonials. Make sure your samples work.
  10. Rehearse your pitch until you are satisfied. Practice makes perfect
  11. Think about how you are going to close. You must look for commitment; either to an order, or the next phase of the sales process

Make sure when you present your pitch you remind the customer of what was discussed in prior meetings. This shows you were listening.

Finally, during your pitch remember to trial close.

Trial closing is a process of asking questions during your sales pitch to get feedback on how the customer is feeling…

“How does that sound?”

“Is that the kind of thing you are looking for?”

“How do you feel about that?”

…are all examples of trial closes.

Keep asking for feedback and don’t forget the final close at the end. 70% of sales people don’t ask because they fear rejection.

Don’t be one of them.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 18 January, 2017

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