by Chrissy Jaros | September 13, 2022
It only takes seven seconds to make a first impression…count it… one…two…three…four…five…six…seven! Bang! Your target customers are impressed, right!?
No? Well, let’s see what we can do about that.
Most people craft their sales pitch in the classic form, offering a salutation (hello, good morning/evening/afternoon), a no-frills introduction, and an overview on what they are selling which includes a traditional song and dance of product features and benefits. Finishing off this classic pitch is generally a broad marketplace need with an even broader product solution. I refer to this as the ‘cast the wide net’ approach. Perhaps that is why it rarely catches any of your target customers. It’s boring. Snore! Literally!
No one wakes up to read or listen to a sales pitch, let alone get excited enough to run out and buy the product.
An attention-grabbing sales pitch, whether in written form (an email, letter, proposal) or in-person (face-to-face presentation, video, phone) should begin with a bang – something unique or different. Try starting with a figure, a fact, a story, or music.
Whatever you start with, it should wake up your audience, grab their attention and render them engaged in your pitch. Some marketers call this the headliner or opener. Regardless, you need to embrace that it is your first impression with your target market. Make it count.
Before we get started, keep these general tips about the body of your pitch top of mind:
- Know who your target audience is. Drill down on demographics and needs. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be important to someone.
- Remember, the pitch is about your customer, not you.
- There are times when a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you need to use visual aids to make an impact, do it.
- Know the difference between a sales pitch (targeting your future customers) versus a startup pitch (targeting your investors). They are very different.
- Be personal but professional. Don’t waste your customer’s time with fluff or flattery – they see through it.
- Deal early on with any objections your audience may have to buying your product. Knowing why they won’t buy is as important as knowing why they need to buy, and it allows you to address their concerns before its too late.
The Pitch Body
In the pitch body, you want to take the target audience through a sequence of steps that ultimately will result in a conversion to purchase your product. Keeping them engaged means presenting value solutions based on their needs, not your company or product needs.
- Identify the marketplace need or pain point that is creating demand in the industry for your product. For instance, the traffic in Tampa is out of control. Can you help solve that?
- List three challenges seen as underlying causes of the pain point. Substantiating these challenges with facts or figures gives credibility to the pain point. Using the above example: Over the past two years, more than 2 million new residents have moved to Florida. Morning rush hour that used to take 20 minutes to drive 15 miles now takes twice as long. And while Tampa scurries to build new roads, construction only slows or impairs traffic further.
- If appropriate, this is a great place to engage client/audience to talk, ideally agreeing with the pain of the marketplace.
- Now its time to provide assistance by offering solutions to your customer’s needs. Be short and straight to the point. Example: We need a faster and more efficient form of transportation that will move more people in a shorter amount of time.
- The next step is a pivot, providing the seamless transition leading your customers to the best value solutions that fulfill their needs. It’s important to keep your solution statements clear and simple. Stay away from technical jargon. The goal is to present believable solutions making the next steps easy. Example: Expanding the transportation infrastructure to include a better ferry system, public bus system and a high-speed rail system can make commuting in Tampa a pleasure.
- Present your unique product offer. Example: It’s this simple. You walk into a stress-free, air conditioned and safe HS Rail car, order your favorite cocktail, put on your earbuds or pull out a book, and relax. You are on your way home. All you have to do is listen for your stop. HS Rail has your commute covered.
- Position your product over the competition. Let your target audience know why you have created this for them. And don’t make it about the money! Example: For years I drove to and from work. Getting caught in traffic meant missing birthdays, school events, and family time. And avoiding early morning rush hour meant even less time at home. This is why I put this project together for Tampa.
- One of the last steps is the price/value equation. Share the extra value your product provides despite its cost. Draw comparisons to the competition, and if needed, increase your value by offering premiums, upgrades, discounts, etc. Example: This HS Rail project will cost Tampa $1 billion, but the value of what it will provide every person, every family using it, is priceless.
- The final step is the call to action. Here you want your audience to feel the priority of making their purchase in the moment. Communicating legitimate limitations in product availability is absolutely okay as long as you are authentic. Don’t forget to express your appreciation for their valuable time. Give them options for alternative methods of contact, such as checking out your website or social media, emailing, or calling. And smile. Good manners is always well received – and it counts towards that first impression.
Remember, whatever you start with, it should wake up your audience, grab their attention and render them engaged in your pitch. Make it impossible for them to pass up your product by crafting the perfect pitch.