A sales pitch is a short, interactive conversation that gets your prospect interested in buying your products or services. It should be engaging, relevant, and straight to the point. Sales pitches can happen over the phone, in person, or via video conferencing. No matter how it’s delivered, the goal of a sales pitch is your prospect becoming interested in what you have to offer and moving them forward in the sales cycle.
Here are the eight steps to creating a compelling sales pitch:
1. Become Familiar With the Components of a Sales Pitch
A sales pitch typically has three components: introduction, body, and closing or call to action. The introduction gets your prospect’s attention and works best when it is combined with rapport-building techniques. The body is where you explain how your products or services meet their needs. The closing is the call to action where you ask them to do something, such as making a purchasing decision or agreeing to the next step.
2. Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
To create the body of your sales pitch, hone in on what makes your product or services valuable. Ask yourself what your customers can get from you that your competitors don’t offer. How do your services address a specific pain point? The key thing to remember when defining your unique selling proposition (USP) is to identify how your customers specifically benefit from your products or services, not just what makes you different.
For example, the market is relatively saturated with tools to help people meditate. However, most products that help you meditate are geared toward unaided mediation. The company Muse offers a headband you wear during a meditation session that works with their app. The headband is their competitive advantage, but their unique selling proposition is the real-time feedback their app provides, which helps people make the most of each meditation session.
For more real-life examples, check out our article on unique selling propositions.
3. Keep Your Typical Customer in Mind
According to HubSpot research, only 3% of buyers trust sales reps. You can overcome this statistic by taking the time to tailor the wording of your sales pitch to the individual you are speaking to, but you don’t need to wait for the initial meeting to establish the tone and basic language of your sales pitch. A good starting point step is to create a customer persona, or imagine what it is like to be your ideal customer. Then consider their story.
To create a story around your customer persona, you do the following:
- Consider demographics and psychographics: Demographic information such as age, education level, and income can inform opinions and attitudes that are useful in building rapport. Recognizing psychographics, such as values, attitudes, aspirations, and challenges, will then help you connect to your prospects on a personal level.
- Determine industry, company, and organization type: There may be expected or common ways of interacting with people in your customer’s industry. For instance, in specific industries, it is common to ask for a product demo and to send a quote before asking for a sale.
- Define relevant job titles and responsibilities: Knowing your target customer’s job title gives you an idea of what they do and how much influence or decision-making power they have in the purchasing process.
- Identify pain points or goals: If you quickly demonstrate that you understand their needs, solve their most pressing problems through your product, or help them reach their goals, you have a better chance of getting them to say yes to a sales presentation or signing a contract.
Pro tip: Understanding who your typical customer is and how to identify their pain points should be a crucial aspect of your initial and ongoing sales training strategy for new and existing sales reps. Integrate it into your sales onboarding program and make sure it’s included in regular training sessions.
Another great sales management tip is to add buyer attributes, such as job titles and details about their pain points to your contact records so that you can identify trends. While you can do this with a spreadsheet, the best way is to use customer relationship management (CRM) software, like Pipedrive. This is also a good idea as it lets you track your conversations and collaborate about deals with team members long after the initial sales pitch.
4. Include Probing Questions
When you create the body of your sales pitch, be sure to work in an opportunity for the prospect to tell you more about their needs. A good way to do this is to make sure your pitch includes questions that might segue into introducing how your offering can meet them. This will also allow you to continue building rapport by delving deeper into their pain points.
One way to do this is to ask questions like, “How has that been done in the past?” or “Ideally, what would that process look like?” after you introduce yourself, but before you introduce your value proposition. Then include time to make observations unique to the prospect and your conversation to show you are listening to them and have a genuine interest.
Most salespeople 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 can make or break a deal.
5. Set Goals for Your Sale Pitch
Once you know how your product or service addresses a customer’s pain points, it is time to consider what you want to happen at the end of the interaction with your prospect or customer. Are you looking for a first meeting, an opportunity to do an assessment, or the chance to present a product demo? This will help you create your closing statement later.
Below are a few goals to consider and what your pitch should focus on to achieve them:
- Introduction appointment: If you’re looking for a first appointment, focus your pitch on 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, focus on how the benefits and features of your products or solutions can solve your customer’s problems.
- Signing a contract: If you want your prospect to sign a contract, focus on how signing the agreement will address their pain points and make their lives easier.
- Buying an upsell or add-on product: Tailor your pitch to why the upsell or add-on will enhance the benefits of what they are already using.
6. Prepare Your Sales Pitch Introduction
It may seem strange to create the body, or middle of your sales pitch, before you work on the opening, but it is important that you know what you and your prospect may gain from the conversation before doing anything else. Otherwise, your opening will do little to help you establish a sense of trust.
Begin by asking something a bit 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.
Here are several sales pitch icebreaker examples to consider:
- Personal question: If you notice something your prospect is wearing or a gadget they have that intrigues you, ask what it is (if it’s not obvious), where they got it from, and how they like it.
- Opinion about industry news: If something is happening in their industry and you’ve made some observations about it, express your opinion and invite your prospect to engage in a dialogue with you.
- Inbound-based questions: If you use inbound lead generation tactics, such as teaching a conference workshop on one of their pain points, ask why they attended during the conference or when you follow up to get them talking about their pain points.
The above sales pitch icebreakers are examples 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 various settings, including online forums and even introduction emails.
7. Include the Next Step & Follow-up Request
The purpose of the close is to get your prospect to make a decision or take an action. Ask for what you want. If you’re just meeting a potential customer and are looking for a follow-up meeting, ask for it in your close. Likewise, if you’re looking to close a deal, ask your prospect to sign a sales contract. In your close, acknowledge the needs your customer has expressed and ask them to take action on something you’re offering that meets their needs. Then schedule a follow-up conversation.
Here are a few elements to include in your close and follow-up strategy:
- Acknowledge the prospect’s needs: Recognize your prospect’s needs. Incorporate their pain points into asking for the action you want them to take.
- Ask for what you want: 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 initial meeting. If you’re looking for a signed contract and purchase order, ask for it 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.
- Prioritize your follow-up: Add your follow-up tasks to your calendar or CRM so you don’t forget. These include emails, phone calls, text messages (if appropriate), and in-person visits.
Pro tip: Most seasoned sales reps are familiar with the phrase, “the fortune is in the follow-up.” However, according to Invesp, 48% of salespeople don’t make a single follow-up attempt, and 60% of prospects will say no four times before giving you a yes. No matter how you do it, don’t forget to follow up.
8. Modify Your Pitch as Needed
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. On the other hand, it could take place in-person or virtually. The setting of your sales pitch will influence what next action you can reasonably expect a customer to take.
Additionally, something said verbally may not have the same effect when sent in an email. This is why it is a good idea to ask yourself where you expect to find your customers, so that your message makes sense wherever or however it is delivered.
In general, you want to create a separate sales pitch for each of the following communication channels:
- In-person: Some are planned and take place during sales meetings. Others are impromptu and take place when an opportunity presents itself.
- Phone: Sales pitches also happen via phone through cold outreach, a 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. It could involve an informal conversation or a formal sales presentation where the prospect views information and interacts with you.
- Email: If your goal is to schedule a demo, your initial sales pitch might be a brief email describing who you are, what you offer, and a call to action requesting a 15-minute introductory conversation.
- Prerecorded video: Your target customer may respond better to a video than to an email with text. Video tools allow you to showcase what you have to offer with a prerecorded video of your sales pitch.
One great option for recording sales pitches to send via email is Wistia. The software allows you to easily create and host customized, high-quality videos—and track their engagement–—without being overly tech-savvy.
Sales Pitch Templates
While every sales pitch is different, it’s helpful to have examples that guide you in creating a pitch tailored to your audience. We’ve generated some specific templates that build on one another to get you started.
Sales Pitch Introduction Example
Scenario: You’re a member of a coworking space where your target customers are networking. 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 to your service, which is lead generation for startups.
Sales Pitch Body Example
This example pitch builds on the introduction above:
- You: “We’ve partnered with several 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 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 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?”
Sales Pitch Close Example
This closing example builds the conversation further to get to your ask:
- You: “Nice. Well, I’d like to help get your software into the hands of more nonprofits to help advance 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 recommend generating warm and hot leads where potential customers recognize a need for your product and contact you. Are you interested?”
- Prospect: “Sure. We’d love help in generating more high-quality 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. Does Monday or Wednesday afternoon work for you? We just need about 20 minutes.”
Here, the close or call to action is for a follow-up meeting. If the conversation in the body portion goes well, the close will focus on the details of the call to action, which, in this case, is the day and time of the meeting. If you’ve built enough rapport, there’s no need for complicated or fancy closing techniques.
Successful Sales Pitch Examples
It’s great to have a sales pitch template ready as you prepare for conversations with prospects. It’s also an excellent idea to review successful real-life sales pitch examples. Here are three examples every salesperson can take advantage of.
Example #1: Understanding Your Customer
In the classic movie “Wolf of Wall Street,” we learn a powerful sales lesson about the importance of thoroughly understanding your customer. When asked to pitch a pen, the character, Jordan Belfort, says, “I need to know about the person, I want to know what their needs are, what kind of pens do they use, or do they even use a pen. How often do they use a pen?”
This example highlights the need to understand your customer to present them with the most beneficial solution. If you don’t know what their current situation looks like, you can’t possibly craft an image of a re-imagined future for how they can be more efficient by utilizing your product or services.
Example #2: Consumer-focused Sales Pitch
This sales pitch by Brightwheel focuses on providing clear evidence of the product’s value. In this three-and-a-half-minute pitch, the CEO makes a compelling case for Brightwheel. He highlights the benefits of the app, hones in on their competitive advantage, and informs the prospects (in this case, the Shark Tank panel) there is a low level of risk—all of which move the decision-makers closer to saying yes.
Example #3: Follow-up Sales Pitch
We’ve emphasized the importance of follow-up in this article, and Mailbox Validator provides a great example of how it works. This follow-up email hones in on a previous conversation the seller had with the lead. It’s also short and to the point while making a direct ask at the end. The point is that follow-up messages don’t have to be complicated—the goal is to get them to the next step in the sales process.
Creating a sales pitch requires more than writing a script. It involves digging into your customer’s needs, showing how you’re uniquely able to meet them, knowing the context to deliver in your pitch, and being clear about your goals for your sales pitch. This, combined with a plan for what you say in an interactive conversation, is key to creating an effective sales pitch.