Love them or hate them, pitches are essential components of the sales process. But it’s not enough to have a simple slide deck and a few talking points. Your sales team needs an engaging presentation that truly showcases the value of your company’s product or service.
Luckily, there are multiple ways professionals can optimize their sales pitches to close the deal. To help, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council offer their best tips for developing a presentation that will help you land the sale.
Young Entrepreneur Council members share tips for improving your sales pitch.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Focus On Customer Needs
Laser focus on the customer’s needs! This almost always entails asking relevant, open-ended questions so you can find out what selling characteristics will resonate with the client rather than randomly reaching into your bag of unique selling propositions (USPs) and hoping they’ll like one of them. People only spend money to solve a problem. Focus on discovering what the specific pain points are for your client and tailor your USPs to emphasize how you can help them solve their problem. – Shane Levinson, Carpets of Arizona
2. Tell A Powerful Story
I have found that the most successful sales pitches and presentations are mainly stories. I try to present a story to humanize our company and our likability. Of course, you don’t want to ramble, so make sure you include the reason why your product and your company exist. Offer personal tips that will connect your audience to you and your company. – Shu Saito, Fact Retriever
3. Capture Attention Through Emotions
Successful sales pitches are just successful stories that your audience relates to. You have to capture their attention through their emotions, whether it be outrage, awe or empathy. Appeal to the human side of their natures, and keep coming back to that theme throughout your presentation. Numbers are forgettable, but people will always remember how you made them feel. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity
4. Incorporate Personalized Solutions
Your best sales pitch should be personalized to the person you’re pitching to. It shouldn’t sound the same every single time. The more specific stories and examples you can use for the person you’re selling to, the higher likelihood that they will buy. Remember, people buy based on emotion and justify with logic, so make sure you have points that cover both the logical and emotional reasons why someone would say yes! – Ryann Dowdy, Uncensored Consulting, LLC
5. Keep It Short
My best tip for engaging sales pitches is to keep them short. Focus on the benefits your clients get and cut to the chase with your offer. The reason for doing this is to create enough time at the end to have a real discussion. You want your client to ask questions so you can address their objections or provide them with the information they need. You can use the extra time to build a relationship with your audience and develop a sense of familiarity with them. This way, when it’s time to follow up, it’ll be easier for you to move forward with closing the sale. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
6. Sell With Conviction
In my opinion, sales are all about the transfer of your belief to the prospect—the belief that your intervention is the perfect match for their intention. To sell with conviction means that you yourself must be convinced that you have a top-notch product or service that meets the needs of the end user. The more conviction that is brought to a sales opportunity, the more convincing the presentation will be from the perspective of the end user. At the end of the day, if you are unable to break or change the belief of the prospect, they will not feel a requisite level of certainty to proceed. – Michael Ranfone, Ranfone Performance Consulting
7. Focus On Benefits
One way to improve your sales pitch is to focus on benefits instead of features. Features look nice on paper, but they are rarely enough to win over prospects who are on the fence about your brand. Instead of just running down a bullet-point list of features, talk about how those features will help your customers. For example, instead of “Our email marketing software comes with the ability to personalize campaigns,” you would want to say the same thing, but add “which can help you build rapport with your audience and target customers based on their unique interests.” The benefits go beyond defining the product and, instead, explain precisely how the feature will help the end user. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
8. Communicate Value
You should always communicate value to your potential customers. What’s in it for them? Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how this product will make their lives better. For example, my company sells golfing gear and apparel. If I’m pitching to someone looking for a new golf bag, I’m not going to assume they want our most innovative touring bag. Instead, I’ll do some research before the presentation to get an idea of the problem they’re trying to solve. Perhaps their current golf bag is too heavy or doesn’t have enough storage compartments. With this in mind, I’ll be able to tailor my sales pitch to their needs. Understanding the problem increases the chances of landing a sale because you’re offering a personalized solution specific to the person’s needs. – Nick Venditti, StitchGolf
9. Ask Open-Ended Questions
It’s very tempting to spend all your time in a pitch talking about your company, your product and all the great things you have done. Instead, try to get the other person talking early and often in the meeting. Ask them things like, “What do you think of what I just said?” or “What questions do you have based on what you’ve heard thus far?” Then, listen to what they say and tailor your messaging to what you hear. If you can understand the person’s real pains and then frame your product as the best way to relieve those pains, you’ll be best positioned to win the deal. That process of understanding starts with asking good open-ended questions. – Andrew Powell, Learn to Win