The Art of a Great Sales Pitch

Occasionally, I come across a post that provides valuable insight. This blog post from Tenfold is exactly that. Read on and learn!

Today’s sales ‘pitches’ are no longer simply a stack of information thrown at prospects.

Instead, effective sales pitches today are two-way conversations.

Listening to a prospective buyer’s wants and needs is as important as providing information about products and services.

Furthermore, asking follow-up questions, pinpointing their pain, and offering a solution that meets their company’s challenges will be more effective and more successful for both parties. Even so, preparation is key to the best sales pitches. They show the business knows their products or services well, understands the prospect’s business, and respects the prospect’s time.

How to Prepare a Sales Pitch

While preparation is a must, the pitch shouldn’t be over-practiced or robotic.

After all, people do business with people they like. Friendly and professional will get a salesperson far further than stiff and formal. In fact, a great first sales pitch should begin with a top-notch first impression. This is where the sales team can shine by knowing their products and services and how they will benefit the prospect.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind the multitude of things vying for everyone’s attention nowadays, and understand that keeping the audience immersed in the message is critical. The only way to do that is by having information that is relevant to the buyer and actively engaging them in the discussion.  Preparation takes work.

Due diligence

It’s safe to say that most services or products will not sell themselves, so crafting a pitch that will be fruitful requires more than just regurgitating data. A good pitch requires an understanding of the customer, which requires some stealthy research beforehand.

It’s important to be know about their company, their competitors, and their industry in general and and any trends. It’s also important to ask questions during the initial contact so that the message is tailored to meet the challenges the company faces.

Eliminate extraneous chatter and keep the buyer focused. Showing that you understand their pain points and how they can be addressed is the goal.

Share Vital Details

The research done on the company and their challenges pays off when they realize how well the product pitch fits with their pain points, and can visualize it solving their problems.

Best-selling author Guy Kawasaki calls this enchantment, and says, “Enchantment is the purest form of sales. Enchantment is all about changing people’s hearts, minds and actions because you provide them a vision or a way to do things better.

The difference between enchantment and simple sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s best interests at heart too.” Customers respond best to those services or products that directly address a current problem or need that they have, so every sales pitch should be geared toward unique needs of the business being pitched.

How to Address Objections

Respectfully addressing objections is part of a good sales professional’s repertoire. The best salespeople anticipate objections that might arise and have responses to those at the ready.

There are four basic types of objections that arise: budget, authority, need, and time, with the acronym BANT.

Being prepared to discuss all four is wise, with the goal being to show value to the prospect. Budget objections can be countered with the amount of money that a product or service can save a customer. If a customer is currently using a competing product, it’s important to point out what makes the new solution different and better.

Listen carefully:  A fantastic pitch is great, but really hearing a prospect is even better. Being overconfident or sticking too closely to a script can be a mistake. Always let the potential customer do most of the talking and listen carefully to what they are saying. Responding with thoughtful answers shows they are being heard. This will go no small distance toward making their buying decision easier.

Ask for the sale: Listening to the buyer is critical, but asking for the sale after the presentation is even more so. Sales professionals need to take the lead and offer a call to action that is the next step – whether that is signing on the dotted line today, offering a trial period, or following up in three days. Never wait for the customer to “get back to you”. Failing to proactively address the call to action will result in fewer sales and more frustration.

How to Make a Sales Pitch

Bringing the prospect to the table for a presentation is in itself no easy feat; it takes nurturing and endless rapport-building to get a potential buyer interested in a product they might not even have known existed.

Never waste an opportunity. Always keep the pitch on-message and clear to keep a buyer enthralled with the service or product offering. Review the pitch repeatedly and cut until it’s lean and concise, and — especially — free of buzzwords that sound insincere.

Always keep in mind that the buyer’s attention is at a premium, with many companies and products vying to get a piece of it. The best product in the world will not make a bit of difference if they do not know about it.

Everything boils down to painting the picture of a better solution in the prospect’s mind. If they are convinced your product or service will make their life easier or better, they will buy. Never leave things to chance; carefully construct and finely tune every pitch for maximum results.

Push where it hurts, but gently

Solving the right problem for the prospect makes for a good pitch, an almost guaranteed sale, and lots of success. The pitch needs to gently poke the prospect’s pain points, reminding them why they need this service of product offering, and then laying out the benefits it will give them.

Poke a little harder

What happens if they don’t address the problem they currently have? If they are using legacy computers and need to convert to the cloud, how can they be convinced to move? Do they understand the maintenance costs of delaying? What about security issues and hardware obsolescence?

Use the setup

Get prospects ready for the pitch by pointing out problems with other solutions. Why aren’t visitors buying or calling? Where do their existing products or services fall short? What better solutions are out there and available to them?

Final Thoughts

When working with prospects, it is crucial to know how to perform a great sales pitch.

Being prepared by doing appropriate and in-depth research on the company, the industry it belongs to, and trends in the industry is the first step. In the meantime, building rapport with the potential prospect and ensuring that the buying partner is at the table is another key. Figuring out the company’s pain points and how the products or services fit into their challenge is the key to closing sales. Always, always ask for the sale, and if the answer is no, follow up relentlessly.

What tips do you have for better sales presentations? 

Good Selling!

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Top Ecommerce Trends for 2018

I came across this article in HBSDealer and thought you would be interested in these emerging ecommerce trends.

Consulting firm Absolunet, based in Montreal, Canada, revealed its list of top 10 trends that will impact North American retailers in 2018. The impact will be felt across the entire supply chain: by manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers alike, says the company.

“The technologies themselves already exist, we expect the adoption and proliferation of these technologies to grow substantially this year, changing the very nature of how companies do business.” says Charles Desjardins, Absolunet senior VP. “We hope that the top ten e-commerce trends for 2018 report helps retailers, manufacturers and distributors gain valuable insight and helps them choose the right strategies and partners to bridge the ecommerce gap.”

Here are the top ten:

1. The rebirth of brick and mortar

A  breed of retail stores and in-person experiences will begin to replace outgoing retailers.

2. The consumerization of B2B

The perfect storm is about to hit the nearly 1 trillion $ B2B e-commerce sector.

3. AR in your house

Augmented Reality will go from “novelty” to a sales driver.

4. ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline), the new measure of a retailer’s digital success

Retailers will be able to know which clicks led to in-store sales.

5. Mobile checkout overtakes desktop checkout

Mobile commerce’s biggest challenge – checkout – will become its greatest asset

6. AI will create the perfect customer experience

Shopping will be customized and optimized for every consumer.

7. Amazon and the year of marketplace maturity

Amazon will be a ubiquitous element in every e-commerce Business Plan in 2018.

8. Voice will change Google/SEO/e-commerce forever

In 2018, consumers will speak to their devices and use voice to make purchases like never before.

9. Photo shopping

Image-based product searches will be big in 2018, essentially altering the very nature of “search”.

10. Reaching peak browser

The browser will no longer be the de facto means by which we purchase products or services digitally.

What trends do you see on the horizon for ecommerce and retail in 2018?

Good Selling!

How Periscope Can Help Your Business

SurePayroll recently created an infographic about Periscope. It showcases the recent history and importance of live streaming, how to create an account and use the app, and why it’s important for businesses to use live streaming.

You’ve likely heard of Periscope, the app owned by Twitter that lets users share and see live video streams on their mobile devices. Every day, 350,000 hours of video is streamed, and Periscope alone has 1.9 million daily active users. This app and others like it have transformed social media sharing.

To get started, create an account with your Twitter account or phone number (in order to get the most out of the social aspect of this platform, most experts recommend using your Twitter handle).

Within the app, besides creating your own live stream, you can see a list of the people your account follows who are currently broadcasting, as well as a list of broadcasts your account attended in the last day—which you can replay. You can also view a global list of live public broadcasts and where they’re located.

Businesses should use Periscope to their advantage.

Create your community, post how-to videos and product demos, share industry news, build your mailing lists, and take your followers behind the scenes.

Periscope offers an intimate way for viewers to watch, comment, share, and interact with your live content. For more details on using Periscope, check out the infographic below.

Click to Enlarge Image

Peer into Periscope: How Periscope Can Help Your Business