A sales pitch is a short, interactive conversation that gets your prospect interested in buying what you’re selling, whether it’s an appointment or your product. It should be engaging and relevant, which is why your first step is creating a buyer persona. Your sales pitch can happen while prospecting or by phone via cold calling.
Here are the 7 steps to creating a compelling sales pitch:
1. Understand the Components of a Sales Pitch
Most sales pitches have three components. They include your introduction, body, and closing or call to action. The introduction gets your prospect’s attention. The body is where you explain how your offering meets their needs. And the closing is the call to action where you ask them to do something. Understanding what these components are and how they are used is the first step toward making an effective sales pitch.
Below is an explanation with an example of each sales pitch component:
This is the point in the conversation where you get your prospect’s attention with an opening question or statement that relates to their needs. It’s your icebreaker. Once you’ve established rapport and have gotten some basic information, introduce yourself and your company. Find common ground on a personal level and tie your product, service, or company to a need your prospect has.
Here is a sales pitch introduction example:
Scenario: You’re a member of a coworking space and your target customers are members there as well. Your company specializes in lead generation for startups. You attend a workshop and networking event closely related to your industry or product offering. You meet a potential prospect in the networking portion of the event.
- You: This was an eye-opening workshop about cold outreach strategies. What made you attend?
- Prospect: Our startup needs new users for our software and we’re planning an aggressive outreach campaign for next month.
In this example, you’re asking a question about an event you both attended and getting your prospect to share a need with you. With this information, it’s easy to relate it back to your service which is lead generation for startups.
The body is where you ask more questions about your prospect’s needs and go a little deeper into how your offering meets their needs. You also want to continue building rapport, finding additional personal and professional points of common ground. Most people think having a great close sells your offering, but it’s what you do in the body portion of your sales pitch that closes the deal in the prospect’s mind.
Here is a sales pitch body example that builds on the sales pitch introduction above:
- You: I love it! Tech for good. We’ve dealt with a number of tech companies. Why did you decide to focus on software development for nonprofits?
- Prospect: My team and I come from nonprofit backgrounds and we understand the tools that nonprofits need to raise money. Our software gives nonprofits several options to raise money that include ecommerce sales tools and traditional fundraising tools.
- You: That’s really important, especially since I know some nonprofits raise money by selling products or tickets to events. How do you determine what nonprofits are a good fit for your software?
In the body, you’re digging deeper and building rapport. You’re finding out more about them, their needs, and their motivations. Really connecting with the prospect here allows for a smooth transition into a close or call to action.
The close is where you ask for what you want. If you’re just meeting a prospect and want an opportunity for a follow-up meeting, you ask for it here. Likewise, if you’re looking for a signed contract, ask for it. In your close, acknowledge and keep in mind the needs your customer has just expressed and ask them to take action on something you’re offering that meets their needs.
Here is a sales pitch close example that builds on our example sales pitch:
- You: Nice. Well, I’d certainly like to help get your software into the hands of more nonprofits to help grow their fundraising efforts. My company helps early to mid-stage startups grow their revenues through highly targeted lead generation. In addition to cold outreach strategies, we always recommend generating warm and hot leads where potential customers recognize a need for your product and contact you. Would you be interested in something like that?
- Prospect: Sure. We love warm leads.
- You: Great. I’d love to show you how we generate leads and what we can do specifically for your organization to attract nonprofits that need your software and were willing and able to pay for it. How does that sound?
Here, the close or call to action is for a follow-up meeting. If the conversation in the body portion goes well, the close can focus on the details of the call to action, which, in this case the day, time, and who’s attending the meeting. If you’ve built enough rapport, there’s no need for hard or fancy closing techniques.
2. Create a Customer Persona
Understanding the components is a good start, but before you start mapping out your sales pitch, it’s important that you create a customer persona of the typical customer who buys your product or service. This will help you achieve higher closing rates because you are targeting the best customers for your product. This will also keep you focused on your target audience and helps you create a sales pitch that resonates with them.
Here are a few things you should do to build a customer persona:
Consider Demographics & Psychographics
When building a customer persona, consider demographics like age range, education, and income. Demographic information can inform opinions and attitudes which can be useful in building rapport. Consider psychographics like values, attitudes, aspirations, and challenges. Psychographics help you connect to your prospects on a personal level. This information helps build a complete picture of who your target customers are as people.
Determine Industry, Company & Organization Type
The next thing you want to consider when building a customer persona is the industry you’re operating in and the types of companies your target customer works for. There may be customary ways of interacting with customers in your or your customer’s industry. For instance, certain industries, it may be customary to ask for a product demo and if it’s okay to send a quote before asking for a sale.
Define Relevant Job Titles & Responsibilities
Knowing your target customer’s job titles gives you an idea of what they do and how much influence or decision-making power they have in the buying process. If your target customer’s job title is marketing manager and people with this title have the authority to buy your product, you’ll want to focus on people with this or a similar title. You should also consider job responsibilities as titles don’t always tell the whole story.
Identify Pain Points or Goals
Learning what keeps your target customers up at night or their goals will help you develop messaging in your sales pitch to connect with them. If you can quickly demonstrate that you understand their needs, can solve their most pressing problems through your product, or can help them reach their goals, you’ll have a better chance at getting them to say yes to a sales presentation or signing a contract.
Knowing these things about your customer helps you craft your sales pitch by providing you with things to consider and information to include. This first step lays the foundation for creating a sales pitch that yields the results you’re looking for.
A great way to keep all of your buyer attributes like their job titles and details around their specific pain points top of mind is by using a CRM. Once you’ve identified your target customers and connect with them, you can use a CRM like Pipedrive to store their information.
Know Where Your Customers Can Be Found
In order to deliver your sales pitch, you’ll need to know where your target audience hangs out ―
in person and online. Does your target audience attend conferences? If so, find out which ones. Do they take classes relevant to you as a product or service provider? If the answer is yes, take those classes too. Where do they gather personally? Do they participate in volunteer projects? If so, which ones and does it make sense for you to participate as a sponsor or volunteer?
Finding out where your target audience gathers will help you think about the settings in which you may be delivering your pitch. It will also help you stay abreast of things taking place that affect them personally or professionally. Doing this will also provide insights into the mindset of your target customer when they’re around their peers.
3. Determine Your Communication Channels
A sales pitch is a variation of an elevator pitch. It may occur in an elevator, but chances are, you’ll deliver your sales pitch in a variety of settings as part of an extended conversation. For instance, you could deliver your sales pitch at an industry conference your target audience attends. However, your sales pitch could take place in person or virtually.
With so many channels of communication, you’ll need to pinpoint your target customers’ preferred channels of communication and ensure your sales pitch makes sense in that context. Something said verbally may not have the same effect if it was sent via email.
Here are a few communication channels that can be used to deliver sales pitches:
- In Person: Many sales pitches happen in person. Some are planned and take place during sales meetings. Others are impromptu and take place when opportunity knocks.
- Phone: Sales pitches also take place via phone through cold outreach, warm contact, or a call to close a deal.
- Video Conference: Video conferencing makes it possible to deliver a sales pitch virtually, face-to-face. This could involve an informal conversation or a formal sales presentation where the prospect is viewing information and interacting with you.
- Email: Some sales pitches take place via email. You could send cold outreach emails asking for an appointment or you could send an email asking for a signature on a contract.
- Pre-recorded Video: Your target customer may respond better to a video than to an email with text. Video tools give you the opportunity to showcase what you have to offer by using a pre-recorded video with your sales pitch.
4. Set Goals For Your Sale Pitch
Before you begin creating your sales pitch, set goals for what you are looking to get out of it. Consider what you want to happen at the end of the interaction with your prospect or customer. Are you looking for a first meeting? Do you want an opportunity to do an assessment? Would you like the chance to do a product demo? Establishing what you want upfront will help you create a sales pitch with a clear call to action.
Below are a few goals to consider and what your pitch should focus on to achieve them.
- First Appointment: If you’re looking for a first appointment, the focus of your pitch should be determining if they have a need your product can meet, if they’re willing and able to pay for it, and if they have a desire to learn more.
- Product Demo: For product demos, you want to focus on how the benefits and features can solve your customer’s problems and why they need to see it in action.
- Signing A Contract: If you want your prospect to sign a contract, your pitch should focus on how signing the contract and using your product will solve their problem.
- Buying An Upsell or Add-on Product: Here you should focus on why the upsell or add-on product will make the main product so much better.
Knowing the result you want from your pitch ahead of time will drive the content of your sales pitch. The focus of your sales pitch will determine whether or not you and your customer get what you’re looking for from your interaction.
5. Prepare Your Sales Pitch’s Introduction
Your introduction is the point you get your prospect’s attention. You can start with writing an opening question or statement that relates to their needs. You can begin with asking something more personal to break the ice. Find common ground on a personal level and tie your product, service, or company to a need your prospect has. Once you’ve established rapport and found some common ground, introduce yourself and your company.
Here are several sales pitch introduction types you should consider:
- Personal Question: Ask your prospect a personal question. If you notice something they are wearing or a gadget they have that intrigues you, ask them what it is (if it’s not obvious), where they got it from, and how they like it (if it’s something like a Fitbit)
- Personal Observation Statement: If you’re at a baseball game, make a personal observation like, “I hope this game isn’t a total shut out. It would be nice if we got at least one run.” This type of statement opens up a conversation about the event at hand.
- Profound Question: If you’re at a volunteer event, ask a profound, cause-related question. For instance, at a recycling volunteer event, you could ask what your prospect thinks of adding an environmental responsibility course to high school curriculums.
- Thought Provoking Statements: These work great in an online forum or group setting and allow you to stand out and attract your target audience if your statement resonates with them.
- Opinion About Current Events: Expressing an opinion about current events is one way to break the ice. But the success of doing this depends on how well you know your target audience because you’ll need to express an opinion that resonates with them.
- Opinion About Industry News: If there’s something going on within their industry and you’ve made some observations about it, express your opinion to your prospect and invite them to express their opinion to you.
- Question About Current Environment: Your current environment could range from an event you’re attending, to an online group you’re in to a coworking space you both work in. Ask a question about your current environment to break the ice.
- Inbound-based Questions: If you use inbound lead generation tactics like teaching a conference workshop on one of their pain points, ask why they attended during the conference or when you follow-up. This will get them talking about their pain points.
The above sales pitch introduction is an example of a dialogue that results from doing your homework on your target audience, knowing where they gather, and participating in events relevant to pain points where you can provide solutions. These sales pitch introductions can be adapted to a variety of settings, including online forums or even introduction emails.
6. Ask Questions
Be prepared to ask more questions about your prospect’s needs which might segue into introducing how your offering can meet their needs. However, you should also look for ways to continue building rapport by also asking about additional personal and professional points of common interests. Most people think closing techniques are the key to winning sales, but it’s what you do and say in the body portion of your sales pitch that makes or breaks a deal.
Here are a few things you should do in the body of your pitch:
- Continue Building Rapport: It’s important that you continue building rapport. Make observations that are unique to the prospect and your conversation and ask questions or make comments that show you are listening to them and have a genuine interest.
- Ask Probing Questions: Ask probing questions with the goal of getting more insights about them and their pain points.
- Find Additional Points of Commonality: In the introduction, you’ve found common ground. At this point, keep searching for things you have in common either personally or professionally.
- Introduce Your Offering in Context: Here, you want to introduce your offering and how it solves your prospect’s pain points.
7. Develop Your Close
The close gets your prospect to make a decision and it’s where you ask for what you want. If you’re just meeting a prospect and are looking for a follow-up meeting, you ask for it in your close. Likewise, if you’re looking to close a deal, ask your prospect to sign a contract. In your close, acknowledge and keep in mind the needs your customer has just expressed and ask them to take action on something you’re offering that meets their needs.
Here are a few elements to include in your close:
- Acknowledge Prospects’ Needs: In your close, acknowledge your prospect’s needs. Incorporate their pain points into asking for the action you want them to take.
- Ask For What You Want: Your close should lead your prospect to make a decision and take action. The best way to get them to do both is to ask for what you want. They will make a decision and either agree to your offer or not.
- Be Specific: Tell your prospect exactly what you want. The clearer you are the better. If you’re looking for an introductory meeting, ask for an introductory meeting. If you’re looking for a signed contract and purchase order, ask for them specifically.
- Give Your Prospect Options: It helps to have concrete options to choose from. For instance, if you ask for a meeting, give your prospect a choice between two dates and times. They’ll choose what works for them, even if it’s not one of your options.
After you’ve delivered your sales pitch, you will have either generated a new lead or gathered information from your prospect that should be documented. That’s where having a CRM comes in handy as a CRM like Pipedrive allows you to start a pipeline for this new opportunity from any web browser or from your mobile phone. Visit Pipedrive and sign-up for a free trial.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a sales pitch?
A sales pitch is a short, interactive conversation that gets your prospect interested in buying what you’re selling. It doesn’t have to focus on you actual product. Your sales pitch can focus on getting an appointment or asking a prospect to allow you to do a strategy session with them.
Why is a sales pitch important?
Sales pitches are important because they provide a way to get your prospects interested in buying something from you. When you take the time to plan your sales pitch and research your buyer’s needs, your sales pitch will yield the results you’re looking for.
What do I need to create a sales pitch?
First, research your buyer’s needs by creating a buyer persona. Then you have to think about the context and communication channels your pitch will be delivered. You must also establish what you want from your pitch. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re ready to craft your pitch with a compelling introduction, body and close.
What’s the difference between a sales pitch and an elevator pitch?
A sales pitch is focused on sales whether it’s selling a product or service or getting an appointment to eventually sell something. An elevator pitch can focus on a variety of outcomes from getting a job, recruiting a volunteer to become part of your board, or asking for a donation.
The Bottom Line – How to Make a Sales Pitch
Creating a sales pitch requires more than just writing a script. It requires digging into your customers’ needs, showing how you’re uniquely able to meet those needs, knowing the context you’ll be delivering in your pitch, and being clear on what your goals are for your sales pitch. This combined with a plan for what you will say in an interactive conversation is the key to creating an effective sales pitch.