09 May The perfect sales pitch
Don’t leave that precious sales pitch to chance, put everything into it. The presentation can be a live pitch or a profile document or often, both – either way, it needs to be brilliant.
People make a number of mistakes when preparing a sales pitch, often missing crucial points. Here’s the complete 4-point Sherpa approach:
1. Figure out the intangible benefits of doing business with you.
Sure, price is obviously important. But what’s going through the buyer’s head at the time? What is the real benefit of the buyer doing business with you? Will you enhance their reputation? Will choosing you position them as smart, savvy or astute? What will the buyer tell the CEO about you? How do you make them sleep easier at night? Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and construct your presentation accordingly. Is it actually the intrinsic product that they buy? Seldom. So what is it that touches them at a deep level?
2. What is it about your company that they will like?
Talking to a brand strategy guru who helps company directors to select the winning company at pitch time, he said that when he asked the directors which company they preferred, the responses would often be as simple as:
“I actually like so and so. I think I can work with them.”
This suggests that you are not expected to anticipate all of their needs in the presentation. It means that they believe that – based on what they’ve seen in your presentation – you have the ability, resources and desire to deliver their needs.
What will give the buyers these impressions about you?
3. Keep things simple and focused.
If they like you and can associate with you, there will always be a next meeting to delve into greater detail. Or, you’ll have a detailed profile presentation to leave behind with them.
Some people refer to the Elevator Pitch – even more relevant in these time-pressed digital days – could look something like this:
- Who are?
- Why are you here?
- How will you benefit them?
- Roughly, what will you cost them?
- How easy or difficult is it to do business with you?
Here, what we’ve discussed in points 1 or 2 becomes crucial. Get it right.
4. Design the presentation as if your life depended on it.
So now we’ve got points 1-3 waxed and we’re ready to prepare the actual presentation.
Here’s some points to consider:
- Get a sharp graphic designer to do it for you. We can all knock a decent Powerpoint presentation together but a trained graphic designer understands the space, delivering something technically correct that is also pleasing on the eye.
- A picture tells a thousand words, but a few carefully selected words dispel a thousand pictures and focus your prospect where you need them to be. Ideally, use a copy writer to help you to convert intent accurately.
- Keep the presentation clean. Don’t irritate or distract your audience with noise or side shows.
- Get the structure right by creating a natural flow. Upfront, tell them what the flow is so they’re not left guessing or interrupting you by asking questions that may well be answered later in the presentation.
- Make sure that your core benefit is covered as a header in the first slide. What is the most compelling benefit of doing business with you? Pretend that you are creating a five second TV advert, that’s all the time that you have to capture their imagination.
“Companies spend so much time and money on generating leads, it’s worth investing in a next level sales pitch and profile doc. It takes a number of integrated skills to create the perfect pitch. Brand, as it’s about creating a spontaneous connect. Design. Layout. Copy writing. And of course, the digital space informs us about behaviour and attention spans”.