Written by Sean McPheat |
I am not quite sure of how the word “pitch” ever became associated with professional selling. The term has been around since the late 1920’s and I imagine that it may have started in relation to the game of baseball.
No matter what the version, be it British, English or International, the ball-and-bat game is very similar. A “pitcher” throws a ball at a “batter” who attempts to hit the ball. The pitcher’s objective is to get the ball pass the batter or to strike him out. There are only two possible outcomes in such a scenario; either the pitcher wins or the batter wins.
Sales People Who Pitch
In this way, many sales people are pitching. They throw a rehearsed set of words at the prospect in an attempt to get pass 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 pass 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.
You hear sales people often speak 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.
There is No Win – Lose Situation in Selling
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.
Get rid of the pitch mentally and be a sales professional who deliverers a win-win outcome!
Originally published: 22 July, 2011