Everyone needs to learn how to sell. Whether you’re currently in the sales profession or not, knowing how to sell is a valuable skill. It can literally change your life – and the people you’re selling to – in an instant. Sales is not just about selling products and services, it’s also about sharing your ideas and your beliefs with others. With that said, if you want to know how to increase your chances of success, you definitely must know the elements of an excellent sales pitch!
- Element #1: Know your product or service
- Element #2: Know your prospect
- Element #3: Have a presentation sequence or outline
- Element #4: Find engagement points
- Element #5: Believe in yourself
- Spend time working on your sales pitch, not designing your slides
Element #1: Know your product or service
Product knowledge is at the top of this list because if you don’t know what you’re selling, then what are the chances people will buy from you, right? If you’re selling a cheap product, then you most likely don’t need to hard-sell.
But what about if you’re selling something that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars? For high-ticket items, you’ll need to have an entire funnel or system in place to persuade people to buy your product. You need to know everything about it, so you can tell people how they’re going to benefit from it. You need to know all the ins and out of your product or service, so you can answer all their questions and handle any objections that may come up.
The truth is that the more expensive your product, the more objections people will have. It’s all part of the game, which is why you need to do your homework and study your product.
For instance, do you know your product’s USP or unique selling point? You need to know this info before you meet any of your prospects. Otherwise, what will you tell them when they ask you what makes your product unique? Or why they should buy from you and not your competitors?
Here are a few methods you can follow to know your product better:
- Use it yourself
The first thing you absolutely must do if you want to know what your product is like is to experience it first-hand. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How do you think they’re going to perceive it? Will they like it? Will it feel good in their hands?
Of course, the only exception to this method is if you’re selling something intangible, or something you physically can’t touch. In this case, you’re limited to knowing your product’s features and benefits (and doing the other methods below).
- Read your sales page or product brochure
Most high-ticket items and services usually come with their own sales page, brochure, or catalog. This is part of your company’s marketing efforts to put the product in front of your intended audience. If your company provides training materials for the sales teams (like one would expect), then you should do your due diligence and read up on these materials.
- Check client testimonials
If you’re selling something that has a good track record, that is, you’ve got a good number of buyers in the past (either repeat or one-time customers), then you most likely have access to client testimonials. Go through each testimonial. Find out what the customer liked about the product. Use these as selling points when you go out and present to prospects.
- Search for online reviews
Go on online forums and social media. Read up on what people are saying about your product and your company itself. If you see something negative, don’t be discouraged.
In fact, according to Neil Patel, your business needs negative reviews. When everything you see on the web is positive and glowing, the whole thing seems fake and scripted. But when you see a negative review, you feel like a real person actually used the product.
Let me ask you this question: when you buy something online, do you also check out the 1-star and 2-star reviews? I bet you do! And I bet you also read the company’s response to these reviews to see if they’re actually legitimate.
- Ask your teammates
If you’re new to the team, then don’t be afraid to ask your teammates for their opinions. What do they personally think about the product? Can they share some tips on how to close deals? Do they have any fun or not-so-fun stories about their clients or the product itself? Take down notes and learn from the pros.
Now that you know what your product is all about, you should be able to answer the question, “Who will benefit the most from what I’m selling?” You should at least have an idea on the types of people who will gain the most from buying your product.
For instance, if you’re selling a product that will benefit one gender over another, then you should target the right gender. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time talking to people who have no use for your product. They’ll most probably laugh you off for not doing your homework or pre-qualifying your leads in advance.
Element #2: Know your prospect
In the sales world, it’s important to know what your prospects want. Just because you think your product is great doesn’t mean everyone else will feel the same way.
You don’t want to waste your time trying to sell to someone when they have absolutely zero intention of buying from you. It could be because they have no use for your product (a mismatch), or you didn’t explain how they can benefit from the product.
But how do you know if someone’s the right fit for your product? Here are a few tips to help point you in the right direction:
- Know their motives for buying
What would make people buy your product? Does your product or service have a specific feature that can solve your prospect’s problems? If yes, then there’s your buying motive.
Paint a picture of how much their quality of life will improve if they make a purchase. Don’t just tell a story – show them images or videos of what their life could be like in the very near future. This will make the possibility so much more realistic for your prospects. They’d be more likely to say “yes” to your offer!
- Know their motives for not buying (objections)
It’s often said that if you want to make a career out of sales, then you need to develop very thick skin. Why? Because of rejections. You’ll probably never hear the word “no” uttered as often as in the world of sales.
This is why if you want to make an excellent sales pitch – and increase your chances of success – you need to know people’s objections.
Don’t just think about the positives or the benefits of buying your product. Rather, you should also know why people may say “no” to you. Spend some time compiling a list of reasons people reject the product. Then use these objections in your presentation.
- Listen to what they’re saying
Don’t push your product down people’s throats. No one’s going to appreciate it. In fact, that’s what makes people dislike salespeople. Ever heard of the term “sleazy salesman?”
Yes, these are the sales folks who are too aggressive. They don’t care about their prospect’s opinions. They’re not interested in hearing about how the product is of no use to them. They only want to hear one word – “yes.”
Don’t be one of the bad guys. Listen to what your prospects are saying and address their objections. This is how you close sales deals.
- Are you targeting B2B or B2C prospects?
There are plenty of differences in selling to B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumers) audiences.
A B2B prospect is concerned with how your product can benefit their business. Will it help them save money or time? Will it make their employees more efficient, etc.?
On the other hand, a B2C prospect will generally only care about themselves. So, you have to essentially answer the customer’s question, “What’s in it for me?”
Know the type of prospect you have in front of you so you can customize your sales pitch accordingly.
Element #3: Have a presentation sequence or outline
Typically, the sales process goes like this: prospect, connect, research, present, and close. The sales presentation is just one step in the whole process, but it’s where most of the action takes place. It’s where you finally get to meet with the prospect and share how you can help improve their lives or their business in some way.
At this point, you’ve already done a lot of hard work pre-qualifying your prospect. You also know exactly which pain points your product is going to solve. Your job here is to sell them on the benefits. But how exactly do you go about doing this? Here are a few tips:
- Plan out the outline of your presentation
Depending on how experienced you are at selling the product, you may or may not have a ready-made outline. You may also even have a PowerPoint presentation ready on your laptop or your iPad. But if you think you can just fire up the same PPT file in every meeting, then you’ve got another think coming. This is where knowing your customer comes in.
If you’ve done your homework, then you should know which points should be presented first to your customer. There’s no harm in moving around some slides and re-arranging it to suit your prospect’s needs.
Think about it this way – what you say first could have an effect on your prospect’s perception. It can heavily influence how they think about your product from the get-go. Again, this is only possible if you know exactly who your target client is and what their major pain points are.
- Address their motivations and objections in your presentation
Include your prospect’s motivations and objections when you plan out your presentation’s sequence. As you’ve learned earlier, their motivations are whatever will help address their pain points. And their objections are those that will prevent them from buying your product.
When you address both, your prospects will see that you’re a true sales professional. You’ve done your homework and you’ve tailored your presentation according to their needs. It will show them that you care about their needs and that you’re not just out to get their money.
Element #4: Find engagement points
Finding something to engage your audience during your presentation is easy when you’ve got a tangible product in front of you. You can pass around a product sample and they can touch it. Maybe they can play with it for a few minutes while you discuss its main features. But what about when you’re selling something intangible? Something they can’t hold in their hands? Well, this is where you can get creative. Here are a few tricks you may want to try:
- Ask them questions about their biggest pain points
If you’ve done your homework ahead of your presentation, then you should already know what their main pain points are. But still, it’s good to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
When your prospects’ tell you their problems, and you’re able to present an enticing solution right away, then it’s easy to win them over. You’ll come across as someone credible and trustworthy, someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.
- Tell stories they can relate to
Storytelling helps build rapport and makes for wonderful ice breakers, especially if you inject some humor into it. Your prospects already know you’re trying to sell something to them.
Unfortunately, you’re may come across people who’ll be negative right from the very beginning. You’ve got your work cut out for you in cases like these. But you don’t have to let their negativity get to you. Think of a story that will appeal to them. Slowly but surely, you’ll see them warming up and engaging with you during your presentation.
Element #5: Believe in yourself
Last but not least, the fifth element of an excellent sales pitch is to have the confidence to believe in yourself. If you lack self-belief, you’ll find it hard to achieve all the other elements I’ve listed in this article. You’ll never get around to crafting that excellent sales pitch that can boost your career.
It’s okay to be nervous. It’s okay to let that nervousness show. But you’ve got a job to do and that is to let people know you’ve got THE solution to their problem. It’s your duty to share this information. Otherwise, your target clients and customers will miss out on a lot and will continue to suffer unnecessarily.
Sales is all about presenting solutions to problems. Don’t be part of the problem. Instead, show you’re part of the solution. If you’re not too confident, then you need to rectify that right away. Study ways on how to speak so people will listen and take action!
Here’s an important thing to consider: if you don’t believe in yourself, then how can you convince others to believe in you? Think about it. Will you trust a salesperson who doesn’t believe in themselves? Probably not.
At the end of the day, you’re also selling your skills as a salesperson along with whatever product or service you’re selling. So, double down on your self-confidence and self-belief. Then, go out into the real world and solve people’s real problems.
Spend time working on your sales pitch, not designing your slides
One of the biggest pitfalls of sales presenters is that they spend far too much time working on their slides. They spend hours or even days tinkering with how their slides will look. Don’t get me wrong, slide design is important. But as you’ve learned in this article, there’s more to presentations than just slides.
That being said, here are 4 PowerPoint templates you can use to help free up your time. You need not design your slides from scratch. All you have to do is just replace the placeholder content with yours, and you’d be done in minutes!
This 24-slide template includes all the slides you’d normally use in a sales presentation. There are several data-driven slides which you can quickly customize by editing the linked Excel file.
Making your start-up attractive enough for investors may sound like a herculean task. But if you manage your time wisely and use this 19-slide template pack for your presentation, you’ll have plenty of time to work on your message and practice your sales pitch!
If you’ve only got a few minutes for your presentation, then this 3-slide template pack may be exactly what you need. It’s got an introduction slide, a project timeline slide, and a market size slide – all the essentials for a quick pitch!
Your potential investors have probably been pitched to hundreds of times. If you want to stand out and make an impact, do something they haven’t seen before. Think about how you can make your presentation special. Use this professionally designed 10-slide template pack as your presentation’s visual aid!
Ready to apply the 5 elements of an excellent sales pitch?
Your prospects and your leads are real people with very real problems. Don’t look at them with dollar signs in your eyes. Treat them with respect and help solve their problems. You’ll find they’ll be more than willing to invest in you and the products or services you’re offering.