How to Give an Effective Sales Pitch

Giving an effective sales pitch has never been more challenging. A recent report shows that only 24.3% out of 400 sales reps managed to exceed quotas last year. 61% of them think that selling is harder than it was 5 years ago. Another challenge that sales reps are facing is the fact that prospects expect sales pitches to be highly personalized. This task, however, seems like mission impossible as the rise of automation tools has made it more of a ‘number game’. On the other hand, every salesperson has a set of well-tested sales tactics. They, however, often conflict, and complicate the entire sales process. To overcome these challenges, here are some practical guidelines:

1. Keep it short. There is no need to tell your prospects everything that you can do for them in your first pitch. In fact, your pitch should intrigue your prospects and leave them wanting more. If you have identified your prospects’ problems and have a good understanding of how your product or service can help them, you should be able to summarize your pitch in one short sentence. For example, Shultz Photo School conveys its sales pitch in a single sentence: “We help parents take better pics.” There is no information about lenses, lighting, angles or composition. The school simply states that they solve a problem that their target audience has. Such simple pitches are easily understandable, and lead to conversations. Of course, they will not work in all contexts.

2. Define your unique selling proposition (USP). Your sales pitch must show how your product or service adds value to your customers, and how it differs from competitors’ offers. You need to give a good answer to the question: “Why choose us?” Possible options: a product or service feature that stands out in the market such as lower prices, premium quality, better customer service or a user experience (UX) aspect such as the ease of use. For example, an HR management consulting firm offers free consultations and guidance for their clients, thus differentiating itself in the market. Such unique attributes should be well understood before they can be included in a sales pitch. 

3. Describe how successful your clients will be. Highlight the benefits of your product or service on a broader scale. For example, you can talk about how accountants that use your software have more time to serve important clients or more flexibility to spend time with their families. Remember to show how your clients’ lives can improve as a whole thanks to your solution. Ideally, your sales pitch should be a one-liner which summarizes what your company does, how it does it and for whom. Sales reps are not the only ones that should be able to give a one-line sales pitch. Anyone in the company, including the CEO, should be ready to do that. 

4. Tell your brand story. Any sales pitch can benefit from including the story of your brand. If you do it effectively, you will establish a stronger connection with your customers. This happens because they can relate to your brand at a more personal level, which makes them buy. The potential of storytelling to boost sales has been scientifically proven. “In sales situations, stories allow the subconscious mind of the prospect to truly ‘get’ and see the valuable application of the solution,” explains author Erik Luhrs. If your brand story is backed up with facts and figures, you can easily motivate buyers to find out more. Use this as an opportunity to tell more about your brand, which – if done well – can lead to closing the deal and generating revenue. 

5. Finish with a call to action (CTA). To create urgency in your sales pitch, leave your prospects with a specific CTA that either you or your prospects need to take. For example, send them a link to a meeting with a company representative, set up a product demo for their team or introduce them to a decision-maker. If it is your turn to show initiative, make sure to take the next step as soon as possible. If your prospect needs to take the next step, set a reminder in your customer relationship management system (CRM) to follow up with this prospect if you have not heard from them within a few days. Your initiative can pay off if you are dealing with undecided and hesitant prospects.  

References:  Lisa Matthews, | Jess Pingrey, | Gabe Larsen, | Steven MacDonald, | Steli Efti,