Batting practice! It’s time to discuss selling to new customers. You must hit your next pitch out of the park unless you want to lose the game. That implies you’ll need to plan.
Many salespeople arrive at pitch meetings completely unprepared. They are stuttering. They go backward. They devote far too much time to the wrong subjects. They eventually leave without completing the transaction.
You don’t want to face the fact, of course. You can’t afford it: today’s market is fiercely competitive. According to a poll performed by Sales Insights Labs in 2021, 61 percent of sales professionals believe selling is more difficult than five years ago. That’s a compelling reason to put everything into making each pitch count. Start with the pre-pitch strategies listed below.
1. Position Yourself for Success
Consider your favorite professional athletes. You know they don’t just show up on the court, field, or pitch without putting in a lot of effort. They concentrate on their diet. They imagine the consequences they want. They do a lot of cross-training to improve their physical ability.
It’s funny how many people attribute their success to luck when they score points or set personal records. “She has such good luck!” Yet, as Mark Lachance, author of the New York Times best-selling book The Lucky Formula, demonstrates, luck isn’t random. It happens on purpose.
How do you plan on attracting “luck” during a pitch? Lachance has devised a step-by-step plan that includes mastering your internal and exterior environments, just like great athletes do. You leave less space for error—and more room for a loud “yes” from your prospect—by controlling everything you can.
2. Recognize your audience’s motivations
Do you want to make sure your pitch lands softly? Make it unique to your prospect. Get as specific as possible rather than focusing on broad pain points. Most salesmen don’t do enough research or include unique facts or news in their pitches. That is incorrect. In addition to the general, overarching requirements, each prospect has specific requirements.
You don’t want to get too clever right now. You might make a prospect feel uneasy if you referenced his daughter’s alma school or his wife’s employer when pitching. Nonetheless, you might adjust and tweak each pitch to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and understand your prospect’s requirements.
Consider incorporating industry data into your presentation that is relevant to the client. If your pitch contains a Google Slides or PowerPoint deck, consider including the prospect’s logo where appropriate. These small gestures may appear insignificant, but they can help your prospect feel more human and valuable
3. Participate in a dress rehearsal
Before performing in front of an audience, most stage artists practice extensively. Even improv troupe actors attend regular rehearsals. True, you might not be ready for the big stage. Nonetheless, going through at least one full-scale walkthrough before your pitch can be beneficial.
Wear exactly what you intend to wear to get the most out of the event. Prepare all of your physical and digital papers. If you’re going to be virtual, make sure you have a good background. Then, from beginning to conclusion, go over your pitch. Have another individual act as a prospect and video the experience for the best results. It’ll be difficult to watch, but it’ll expose places where you can improve.
Why does this function? It enhances your confidence, allowing you to focus on what your prospect has to say. According to HubSpot, 69 percent of customers say that simply being heard improves their sales experience. You’ll be able to completely participate in the flow of the conversation if you’re not distracted by your pitch.
4. Have ready-to-use responses to common objections
You’ve completed your presentation. You’re thrilled with how wonderfully everything went. Then the protests begin. You suddenly begin to sweat and become the traditional deer in the headlights. It’s not a good appearance, especially if you’re trying to wow potential clients with your knowledge and problem-solving abilities.
Strange objections will undoubtedly arise from time to time. With that considered, most complaints will fall into a single category. You can design truthful, suitable responses as long as you know what they are. As a result, begin compiling a comprehensive list of potential pitch objections.
After you’ve exhausted your list of objections, write down and memorize responses to each one. By the way, this works wonderfully as a team brainstorming session. If you’re not your company’s single seller, consider gathering everyone to crowdsource ethical responses to target consumer concerns. All of your coworkers will be on the same page and may assist one another in succeeding.
Every pitch is an opportunity for you to land another transaction, a new lead, or develop long-term partnerships. Treat each one with care, and you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to turn even the most apathetic prospects into loyal customers.