A pitch can make or break an entire sale, which means you need to get yours right. But when every sales rep is pitching to the same people as you, how do you make your presentation stand out? The answer is preparation and learning about all the intricacies of pitching.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sales pitches and get a few ideas to fuel your creativity.
What is a Sales Pitch?
A sales pitch condenses the sales process into a short, 1–2 minute presentation, otherwise known as the “elevator pitch”. As the name suggests, an effective sales pitch needs to be delivered clearly and concisely while also being short enough to theoretically fit in an elevator ride.
To some, this may feel like it goes against everything they know about “old-school” sales and convincing a prospective client to make a purchase. However, the modern sales pitch reflects today’s consumers—nobody wants to sit through an hour-long presentation in 2022.
Sales Pitch vs. Product Pitch: What’s The Difference?
While the terms “product pitch” and “sales pitch” often get confused, they refer to two slightly different things. Both are used to convince a potential buyer of something, but product pitches focus primarily on a specific item’s benefits and how it solves a problem. On the other hand, sales pitches can be broader and touch on a large selection of qualities.
For example, a remote sales team might use a sales pitch on a cold call to get the customer on board with a wide range of services, while a product pitch would better shine when trying to convince a prospective customer to buy a specific product.
The Sales Pitch Framework
As we mentioned before, successful pitches are concise and compelling. But how do you convince potential customers to invest in your product or service? The answer: use a proper sales methodology or framework to create a high quality sales pitch.
Here are a few concepts to help you build your pitch and speed up the buying process:
- Problem: The first thing you need to do is connect with a prospective buyer on a human level. Identify the problem your specific product or service solves and augment it with a verified statistic or personal anecdote. This solidifies the “why” of your elevator pitch.
- Value statement: This is when you share the potential benefits of your product with a prospect. Successful sales pitches are clear, straightforward, and simple, so avoid using overly technical terms.
- How it’s done: Your prospect might be interested in the benefits but skeptical that your product can do what you say. Establish how your product or service works to dispel any apprehension. Ensure you’re well-versed in your product selection for the best results.
- Measurable proof: You can’t make bold claims without quantifiable proof. This is when you can use your client list and name drop high-profile companies your product has delivered results for. This makes your product benefits more tangible and easier for a prospective buyer to imagine.
- Customer stories: A critical factor in a modern sales pitch is social proof. Consider lifting meaningful experiences from customers’ online reviews. You can also share anecdotal evidence from clients that have come to you with their successes.
- Questions: Now that you’ve worked at establishing your buyers’ trust, invite them to join the conversation. Close your perfect sales pitch with an open-ended question to get a feel of their personal experiences.
How to Make a Sales Pitch
So, you’ve evaluated your entire pitch using the framework mentioned above, but how do you turn it into an actual presentation that sales experts approve of? Here are a few tips for making compelling pitches:
- Keep it short: Make sure you understand your product and describe how it works in less than two minutes. Any longer may impact the buying process and slow things down.
- Pitch for clarity: One of the most important characteristics a pitch needs to have is clarity. Make sure you have all the key points listed and describe them succinctly.
- Describe your current and ideal customer profiles: Every potential buyer needs to be engaged with your pitch and product on a human level. Describe your current customer base to establish that you have a product that’s actively being supported.
- Detail your customers’ problems: Once your potential customers know who’s buying from you, describe the problems they face. After all, a product or service is only as valuable as the solutions it can provide.
- Show how your product solves these problems: Once you’ve described the issue, you need to position your product or service as the solution. Talk about how it works and provide measurable proof.
- Describe what success looks like: This is when you bring out the sales pitch story. For example, you can talk about how remote sales reps use your service to cut down on admin tasks, allowing them to focus on cold calls and closing sales instead.
Why a Short Sales Pitch is a Good Pitch
Sales are hitched on a representative’s skills and sales pitch techniques. Are you more likely to listen to someone with an ulterior motive that goes on for hours or chat with someone who wants to know more about you and doesn’t talk too much? Most people would say they want to chat, which is why short pitches matter so much.
But it doesn’t end there. Long pitches risk being unfocused and meandering, which means that critical points may be lost on buyers. With a shorter pitch, reps are forced to distill their product into its best qualities, which leads to more interest from more prospects.
What Needs to Be Included in a Sales Pitch?
On top of all the components of a sales pitch (e.g value, the problem it solves, the solution, and measurable proof), there are a few things you need to mention during your short presentation. Here are the three key concepts that lay the foundation for your pitch.
Whether your sales team is running a cold call scenario, email pitch, or presenting to potential buyers in person, you need a hook to grab their attention. This all happens in the opening line of your presentation, so it’s essential to lead with an exciting statement or thought-provoking question.
Here are a few ways you can incorporate a hook into your presentation:
- Ask an interesting question: Posing a question to your buyer will make them think and prime them for a solution. For example, “what if you could have someone do your admin work for you? What would you do with the saved time?”
- Share your research and interesting statistics: Presenting hard numbers to a buyer can make your product or solution feel more tangible in their minds. For example, “Did you know that 87% of people who use our automation software get promoted within a year?”
- Create personal connections: If you and your client share a mutual friend or interest, then you can use that to break the ice and get your proverbial foot in the door. For example, “I heard you were also a fan of X celebrity…”
- Cut through the sales talk: Sometimes, the most direct approach is the best one. It can make you seem more genuine and likable if done correctly. For example, “Let’s get straight to it. I want to tell you about my product…”
- Reference your interactions: If you’ve met with this particular prospect before, reminding them of your rapport can make them more open to a sale. For example, “Meeting you last week at the convention was fantastic…”
Once you or your sales rep has hooked the client, you can now begin to contextualize your product. That means describing what your service or solution can do for your potential buyer. This section needs to be short and clear without missing out on the key points.
Here are a few guiding principles for your pitch:
- Describe your product in plain English: Avoid using technical terms and industry-specific jargon to put your potential buyer at ease. Describe your solution in the simplest possible way to move forward quickly.
- Use research: If your buyer seems unsure, you may want to present a few key figures and facts based on your research. This can establish credibility and trust, which are essential for closing the sale.
- Mention how the product would benefit this specific client: To do this, you should have established some rapport and know what your client is trying to achieve. Use your knowledge of their goals to establish a connection with your product.
Call to Action
So, you’ve hooked your potential buyer and contextualized your product to fit in nicely with their goals, but what’s next? The answer: a call to action. Giving your client a call to action means providing them with a path for purchasing and reaching their goals.
One way is to ask them about their future availability to discuss things further. We recommend giving specific times, dates, and a duration for your next meeting.
What Makes a Sales Pitch Bad?
So far, we’ve discussed building the perfect pitch. However, it’s just as important to avoid giving subpar presentations.
Here are a few of the things you’ll need to watch out for before pitching to a client:
- Talking about yourself too much: One of the first things you’ll need to watch out for is using too many “I” statements. If you have a small window of time and use it to talk about yourself, you’ll have wasted the opportunity to speak and your buyer’s interest. Ensure your pitch is about the product and its benefits alone—there’s always time to build a rapport outside the presentation.
- Complex explanations of services and products: Even the most complicated software solutions and products can be explained simply, and it’s your job as a sales rep to do just that. Study each of your product’s specific features, then create a one-sentence description of each of its benefits. This way, you’ll be able to communicate the best parts of your solution without getting too wordy or technical.
- Being too familiar with a client: Starting your pitch with a greeting is a great way to break the ice, but be mindful of seeming too friendly with someone you don’t know well. For example, asking a client about their family life might be inappropriate when you’ve only spoken for about 30 minutes, so keep things professional, relevant, and straightforward.
- Too generic presentations: If you’re regurgitating the same pitch for every client, then you’re not doing your due diligence. Every pitch needs to be tailored to that specific buyer so that they’re more likely to buy into the pitch and product.
- Overpromising: It can be tempting to promise incredible gains and life-changing miracles, but the truth is that no product can deliver those results. Stick to measurable proof and keep things realistic.
How to Deliver a Sales Pitch
Here’s the truth about delivering a sales pitch: it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or a new sales rep just barely out of their first week—pitching is difficult. However, it isn’t impossible to nail your pitches every single time.
Everything comes down to preparedness and research, which anyone can do before pitching to a client. Here are a few ways you can ensure your pitches go as smoothly as possible:
- Practice, practice, practice: While it may seem like the top salespeople are naturals who never have to practice, their perfect deliveries, quips, and jokes are built through repetition. Consider staging a practice pitch with a friend, family member, or even with yourself in a mirror. This way, you can sound out difficult words, hone your tone and tempo, and get more comfortable talking about your product. Even if you’re pitching to a client over an email, you will have to speak to them (via phone or in person) eventually.
- Prepare buyer profiles: If your initial pitch occurs over the phone or through chat and emails, you have the distinct advantage of checking your notes. Keep your client’s profile open and easily accessible as you write the email or chat on the phone. This can help you personalize your pitch and make them feel special and appreciated.
- Be prepared for anything: Ideally, your sales pitch will go exactly as planned. However, this rarely happens in practice. Sales reps need to be prepared for anything, especially if a client suddenly decides they want to purchase your product before you’re even done pitching. Be ready to do on-site demonstrations. Preparation is also essential if your client belongs to the industry elite since they’ll usually want to talk shop and get a bit more technical.
Here Are Some of the Best Sales Pitch Ideas
1. Tell a Story
Straightforward sales pitches can be a fast and efficient way to get the point across, but sometimes weaving a narrative into your presentation can help you close. This can be as simple as relating a client’s positive experience and positioning your product as the solution to their issues.
2. Include a Value Proposition
As mentioned earlier, every product is only as desirable as the value it brings to a client or individual. Therefore, to position your solution as the most valuable solution, you’ll need to establish that it can and will help your potential buyer with their specific problem.
For example, you can tell a client that subscribing to your service will cut their time spent on menial administrative tasks by 40%, leaving more space for completing more essential tasks.
3. Personalize the Sales Pitch
Getting to know your buyer is the first step to building a personalized pitch. After all, would you want to buy something from someone who doesn’t even know your name or what you need the product for?
Personalizing a pitch means relating your proposed solution to a person’s specific pain points. This demonstrates an understanding of their circumstances while also providing a goal-oriented path to purchase.
4. Create a Dialogue
As a sales representative, you don’t want to come off like you’re telling people what to do. Instead, open the floor up for conversation and dialogue. This way, you’ll be able to glean more information about your client while also quieting their fears about the purchase. Putting the effort in early will increase your client’s initial trust in you while also keeping buyer’s remorse at bay.
5. Test Before You Pitch
While it may be tempting to follow every lead that comes to you, some aren’t worth the effort of a full pitch. That’s where testing and qualifying come in.
First, ask yourself: does your buyer suit your ideal client profile? Can they afford this specific product or service? Do they even need it? Finding the answers to these question early will save you lots of time and effort.
For example, if you tell a potential client that your service costs $200 a month and they say it’s much too expensive, you’re better off finding another customer willing to spend that much on your product.
6. Back It Up With Facts
One of the biggest roadblocks to closing a sale is a client’s perception of the sales rep being self-motivated. Instead of pushing the product or solution to make a sale, back your claims up with hard evidence and social proof.
These “social proofs” are third-party testimonies given by former or current clients. With this, you can convince the efficacy of your proposed solution without seeming self-interested.
Here are a few things you can use to appeal to your buyer:
- Testimonials: Testimonials from your customers can serve as an essential source of information for future clients. Adding them to your homepage or keeping a record on hand could be the tipping point for a client on the fence about purchasing.
- Statistics: Do your current customers experience great success with your product? If yes, then you’ll want to conduct interviews and studies to see exactly how much your product has impacted their business or day-to-day life.
Sales pitches are essential—a good one is your main weapon when approaching a prospect. Luckily, preparing the perfect pitch is easier than it seems. With a little bit of practice, preparation, and research, your presentations will convince people to buy almost every time.
Keep reading our blog for more information on sales, techniques, and insights that can boost your career performance. And make sure to check out the People.ai revenue intelligence platform to take your sales to the next level and grow pipeline, increase deal sizes, shorten sales cycles, and improve win rates.
Sales Pitch FAQs
How do you write a catchy sales pitch?
A catchy sales pitch needs to be short, clear, and entertaining. Use a hook or question to draw your client in and supply them with all the relevant information without being too wordy.
How do you start a sales pitch over the phone?
The first thing you need to do is state your name and where you’re calling from. Afterward, tell the prospect your purpose and ask for a little bit of time. If they’re still listening after your 30-second pitch, ask if they’re open to learning more.
How long should a sales pitch be?
A sales pitch should be under two minutes.