The skills required to make a great sales pitch and consistently win business has changed over the years. Through technology and such easy access to information your buyers today are typically already educated about your product or service before you are standing in front of them. Because of this they are often already much further along the buying journey than you think. As a result of this your approach needs to change to ensure you capture their attention and ultimately secure the deal. Here are a few good tips to ensure that you make the most of your presentation time.
1. Do your research, understand your prospect and personalise your pitch
In order to empathise and connect with your prospect you need to do your homework before any pitch. This Is usually a mixture of online research and discovery conversations with them. Always put your prospect before your product.
· Firstly understand exactly who you are talking to, what their role is, their experience, their career ambitions and how your product or service will impact them personally. If you can uncover as many of these personal decision making drivers as possible you will be better able to far more easily present your solution and tailor your pitch to them. Likewise do your in-depth homework on the company too.
· Buyers want to feel like you understand them, appreciate their problems and have their interests at heart. If you can present a value adding solution that positively impacts both the company and the key decision maker personally you will find that your success rates will drastically improve.
2. Use storytelling to your advantage, keep it short and encourage conversation
One of the most difficult parts of pitching to a potential prospect is keeping your prospects engaged throughout. As humans we don’t always have the best attention spans with some studies suggesting about 20 minutes is the most we can truly stay fully engaged. A good way to maximise your impact and keep people engaged is to leverage the art of storytelling, keep your presentation short and sweet and encourage a dialogue throughout.
· Rather than telling potential clients how incredible your product is use storytelling to illustrate the benefits to their business. Stories appeal to emotions and as much as we like to imagine that we are all 100% rational, the reality is emotion plays a big role in any purchase decision.
· Good ways to do this are through existing client stories that help your prospect to see the value that your solution provides. It is important to use real names and humanise this as much as possible. Another technique is to walk your prospect through a before and after scenario of what their business would be like with your solution implemented and how their current problems would be addressed.
· It is also important to encourage conversation throughout a presentation. Ask your prospect questions throughout and encourage them to do the same to ensure everyone is on the same page and that everyone is engaged. A good sales presentation is dialogue not a monologue!
3. Ensure you leave the presentation with mutually agreed next steps
It is easy to breathe a sigh of relief after a sales presentation and think that your job is done but this is not the case!
· Outline what typical next steps in the buying journey look like, ask your prospect if this works for them and be sure to get their feedback and agreement.
· If possible try and book in your next meeting or phone call before ending the presentation to keep control of the buying timeline.
Ultimately, practice will make perfect and you will find that your confidence and delivery will improve the more presentations you do. Next time you are pitching for new business try using these tips to help separate you from your competition and increase your success rate.