Good pitches are a tricky thing – of course, you know thy should be fast, precise, unique and solution-oriented. Your counterpart often has little time, is usually impatient and often has no desire to talk to a salesperson in general.
But you know the rules: Present the solution to a well-known problem of your target audience in a short & crisp way and land the deal!
If only it was that easy...
In this article, we would like to introduce you to 5 tricks that will give your pitches a fresh breeze off the beaten track. Ready? Let's go!
1. Use an Epic Opening: The Limbic Opening
The opening of a pitch has to be spot-on. That's why it's important to get the first "pitch" completely right. "The so-called limbic opening in a sales pitch is all about triggering an emotion in the counterpart," explains sales expert Volker Hein from The Pitch Corporation.
The only question is: Where can you find such banger openings that make your conversation partner laugh or think?
Spoiler: Nowhere. Every pitch is different. It varies from person to person, from target audience to the sales manager who’s pitching. That's why it's useless for us to give you ten sentences and let you phone the next lead.
Still: Here are three ideas on how to create catchy pitch openers yourself:
- Go out for coffee with your sales colleagues and ask them what openers have worked for them.
- Have a digital lunch with your favorite customer and ask them what they liked about the opener or pitch in general and if they especially remember a certain pitch.
- Write two of your contacts in your LinkedIn network and ask them if they'd like to spend 15 minutes chatting about their most successful pitch openers.
In short: exchange ideas! Engage in conversation, listen, and learn from each other's success stories – and mistakes! Ask your top-selling colleague for help instead of competing with her or him.
2. Why, why, why – Always Ask Questions!
Well, that shouldn't really be anything new. Nevertheless, many sales managers still make the mistake of talking too much and listening too little. Ask as many questions as possible to learn as much as possible!
Of course, the questions should get you further in the first interview and make your interviewer curious. But it's okay to be a little unorthodox, isn't it? Sure, it shouldn't drift into weird small talk, but why not ask how things are going at home – if a person is working from home – or even ask for a tip on a time management tool or team event location?
That's business and still casual. After, before and in between, it can still be about what problem the potential customer has and how your product can solve this problem.
Do you apologize a lot in your pitches and sales calls? Stop doing that.
Pay attention to how often you say "sorry," “my bad” or "that was my mistake" in a call. Over half of all salespeople frequently use apologies or apologetic phrases in their conversations and ... get themselves in hot water.
If we apologize without really meaning it, we lose credibility and expertise, which is absolutely impractical if you want to convince someone of your solution.
The only exceptions?
- Apologies for real mistakes, for example, if you have to postpone an appointment.
- Tactical apologies
Okay, wait. There are tactical apologies? Sure! And they are effective. For example, if you disagree with your counterpart, you can say something like "Sorry if I interfere, but have you ever thought about..." and then place your product.
Or, if you have to refuse a desired price: "Sorry, if it were up to me, you would get the discount, but I’m not the one to decide that...I am sorry".
4. Name dropping? Absolutely!
A classic sales move: Just drop names of those using your product that work in the same industry as the company you’re speaking to. Then lean back and let it sink in.
Ideally, you can refer to customer statements on your landing page, a success story on your blog or a review on G2 or Capterra. Or just say right away that you've talked to person X from a similar company that is your client about the company of you're just speaking to. Booooom.
Of course, this might seem a bit obvious at first, but it lets the person you're talking to know that your solution really works for their business. You provide valid evidence, similar use cases and of course we must not forget the popular FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). The grass seems always greener on the other side aka I want what they already have! Hopefully.
5. Money, Money, Money: Talk about the Pricing!
Drop your pants in the very first call? Yes. Why not? Sure: This may not be something you bring up in the first few sentences of your pitch, and it depends a lot on your product or service, but: many conversations are more likely to close if prices are brought up right in the first call.
So, assuming your pitch is successful, your counterpart shows interest and you discuss your solution or the pains and needs of the potential customer, then the price of your product can also be a topic. Transparency creates trust.
And why should you hide your prices if they are reasonable and deliver real added value?
Conclusion: Different and Always in Exchange
Let's summarize: It always helps if you surprise your conversation partner, evoke emotions and have a real conversation instead of a monologue.
You should also get your colleagues and your network on board – their insights and knowledge will also help you. Share and discuss ideas!