Saying ‘no’ to a sleazey sales pitch!
As a small business owner, you’ve got opportunities waiting for you every single day. However, how you handle them means the difference between business that’s won or lost. As someone who’s been in business development for nearly two decades, the most common (and avoidable) mistake I see over and over again is the inability to quickly and effectively communicate what your company does. i.e. a sales pitch. And then following that swiftly, is the sleazey sales pitch! Urgh!
Having a short sleek sales pitch is therefore an essential marketing tool for your business. Sometimes referred to as an elevator pitch, the term came about following the idea of explaining who you are and what you do in the time it takes to ride an elevator from the ground floor to the top floor. Classy!
Even though the way we do business today has matured, there are always times when you’ll need to use a sales pitch. For a start, every person you meet is a potential client, and a business opportunity can and often does present itself anywhere. So it’s vital to be prepared with your short sales pitch.
Here are the key elements for a successful sales pitch
The core elements of your sales pitch are simple:
1. The Who i.e. the name of your company and NOT the tagline. There’s a time and a place for taglines and it’s not here.
2. The What i.e. what products or services does your company provide?
3. The WIIFM i.e. what’s in it for me or your key differentiator or USP (unique selling proposition). Disclose what sets you apart from your competition and describe yourself in terms of the benefits you provide to your prospect.
How to craft your sales pitch
As a rough estimate, a 30 second sales pitch is ample time to communicate what you do. Whilst you may be tempted to go over that, don’t. Research verifies that most people form a lasting impression in as little as 3 seconds, and the average attention span starts to wane after 15-20 seconds. To be completely blunt, you’ve got 30 seconds (about 125-150 words) to make your point or you’ve missed your opportunity!
Craft your sales pitch by writing down what you want to say and refining it until it answers the questions above. Always remember WIIFM, as using that is the difference between making a personal connection with your prospect OR boring them to tears. Always communicate to them too and don’t use jargon.
Delivering your sales pitch
Once your sales pitch is written, make sure it sounds natural and conversational rather than learnt and robotic. The best way to do this is by practising. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be. Don’t worry too much if it sounds clunky to begin with. We all start somewhere and it will improve as you gain confidence and get feedback. Adopt the attitude of continual improvement. As you give your sales pitch to more and more prospects, you’ll hear different questions and reactions. Listen to the response and use that feedback to make your pitch stronger. Be confident too. Visual cues are just as important as the words you are saying. Remember even though your sales pitch is 30 seconds, people can form their opinion in as little as three seconds. Stand up tall, make eye contact. Your words and body language work together to make your 30 second sales pitch as effective as possible. When done successfully, you’ll know you made the most of every opportunity.
So I wish you well with this. Please let me know how you get on with your sales pitch and please share your experiences and feedback in the comments below as I’d love to hear. Finally, thank you, as always for reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!
With love and gratitude – as always,
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