5 Golden Rules For Delivering a Sales Pitch

January 31, 2010 by  Filed under: Sales 

If you can structure your pitch in sales meetings, you will greatly enhance your chances of leaving with the order you are pitching for. Assuming you have identified your customer’s needs, you are then in a position to pitch for the order. These five ‘golden rules’ will keep your presentation on track:

1. Sequence

Restate the contact’s needs, select the appropriate features of the service or product you have to offer that satisfy those needs, stating the benefits that gives to your customer. The sequence is straightforward

Need – Feature – Benefit.

To make the presentation flow, you may wish to practise linking the sequence with a series of link phrases so that the sequence looks like this:

‘Need (link phrase 1) – Feature (link phrase 2) – Benefit.’

Imagine that you are selling opaque glass:

‘Your problem is that your staff are concerned about the lack of privacy that the half-glass partitions give (need). To deal with this (link phrase 1), we have developed a unique opaque glass (feature) that will give you (link phrase 2) the privacy your staff need (benefit).’

2. Keep it short

Do keep your pitch as short as possible. Although most people can talk about themselves for an eternity, they are usually very poor listeners. They will quickly get bored if you overlook this point. We believe, nay, we are certain that you can talk your way in and out of an assignment. It may be that in the first few minutes of you presenting your solution, the client is sold on what you have to say but you just waffle on for a bit too long and before you know it, he just can’t wait to get rid of you!

3. Check for understanding

Regularly during your pitch, check that the contact is still with you. These little involvements will keep them interested. We all have our own jargon that is so familiar to us that we don’t even notice when we are using it. Regular checks for understanding will make sure that the contact is with you all of the way.

4. Use your eyes

Keep your eyes and your ears open while you are talking. Watch for those body language signals and react accordingly. You’ll know by looking at them whether they are interested or bored with what you are saying. If their body language is negative, check…’is there something that I’ve said that’s troubling you, Mr Smith?’

Be ready for the contact to interrupt. They may want to clarify something. Listen to what they have to say. It’s bound to give you clues as to what their real needs are.

Look confident. Look at the person you are talking to. How you say what you are saying is an indication of how you feel about what you are saying. Be enthusiastic.

5. Get A Commitment

We have used the word ‘commitment’ purposely here and not the word ‘close’. ‘Close’ is too final. So we are not concerned with slick salesmen’s closing techniques. We don’t think we need to go into the mysteries of the ‘Balance Sheet’ close or the ‘My Dear Old Mother’ close. We’ll leave them to those who sport hairy chests and swinging gold medallions.

Your contact has a need. You can either satisfy that need or not. Full stop. There’s no point in trying to palm them off with something that they don’t really want.

Lots of people are reticent about this stage. There’s just something not quite gentlemanly or ladylike about asking for work…it’s just not done in polite society. But you’ve come to do business; you know that and so does the other person…so why not ask?

Try the following neat little formula and pop your own words into it.

1. Check you have covered all of the objections.
2. Summarise the main points/benefits you have covered.
3. Introduce your proposal, and ask for a commitment

To show you what we mean, let’s revisit our opaque glass example…’Mr Jones, is there anything else that concerns you…no, OK…then it seems to me that you have a need for our Mark 2 opaque glass for your office partitions as this will give your staff the privacy they need…so what I propose is that I go back to my office and put everything we have discussed today in writing and I’ll ring you tomorrow, check that you are happy with it, and I propose we start installing first thing on Monday…how does that sound to you?

Then silence! Don’t say any more! Wait for that positive reply and bring the meeting to a close quickly.

And you’re on duty until you’ve got into your car and driven out of sight. Then, and only then, can you fling your arms in the air and shout, ‘Yes!’

Bob Malloney, a personal and business skills trainer for over 20 years, can help you to make a real difference to your working life, all from the comfort and convenience of your PC. Streaming video courses that replicate instructor-led training in Personal Organisation, Presentation Skills, Relationship Selling and Negotiating Skills. Register now for a free, no obligation 7-day trial at:

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