Need help delivering a sales pitch? Sales is very much an art and relies on having a good understanding of how to influence and persuade people. Here are just a few tips that could help you to improve your sales skills and deliver a more engaging pitch that gets buyers interested.
Identify the need for your product
If people have no need for a product, they won’t buy it. This doesn’t have to always be a practical need – people drink soft drinks because they taste good and people play video games because they want to have fun. The best way to identify a need is to identify a problem in the current market and then explain how your product solves this problem. By emphasising the negative impact of the problem and the positive impact of your product’s solution, it can make your buyers believe that this is a product that they need in their life.
In order for your product to come across as exciting, you need to show this excitement. Don’t let nerves make you come across as agitated – almost everyone gets nervous during an important sales pitch, however most professionals learn to turn this nervous energy into enthusiasm. Smiling, using your voice creatively and using arm gestures can help to show enthusiasm. Obviously, you don’t want to go over the top as this could annoy people – practicing in front of a mirror and in front of close friends/colleagues can help you fine-tune this.
Use facts and figures
Facts and figures build trust. Try to use data gathered from your own studies and from other people’s studies to support the need for your product. Some people have a hard time memorising statistics – if you’re one of these people, take some notes with you that you can refer to. Always reference sources when using these facts and figures so that people know you haven’t just made them up.
Tell a story
Appealing to people’s emotions is just as important as using hard stats (if not more important). The most effective way to do this is to recount real life stories. This could be a story of someone that has lost out due to not having your product or a story of someone that has been successful because of your product. Personal stories can also make your more relatable and could be worth throwing in, especially if you aren’t just a sales rep but also inventor of the product. Try to keep these stories genuine and learn to use humour and tragedy tastefully.
Make use of visuals
A lot of us also respond well to visuals. If you’re giving a presentation using slides, make sure that it’s not all text – use this as a chance to use memorable images and infographics. You could even add in some flashy modern technology such as 3D visuals if you’re trying to sell property or gain investment in a development project. When using images, try to be creative and don’t just use generic stock images that offer no added meaning. Instead, use visuals to emphasise metaphors and idioms (this can help to make descriptions of complex and abstract concepts more entertaining).
Learn to read your audience
There’s sometimes no way of predicting the types of people you’re going to be selling to. By learning to read your audience you can alter your pitch slightly to cater to them. If you can tell people are getting bored by the technical stuff, try to hurry through this and spend more time connecting on a personal level. If you think your audience are more interested in the figures, make this the focus of your pitch. You may be able to do some research into your audience beforehand on some occasions which could help you to determine their familiarity with your product and the likeliness of them buying it, allowing you to then alter your pitch so that you’re not coming across too descriptive or too forceful.
Do your homework
Knowledge is truly power in sales. After your pitch, your audience is likely going to want to ask questions and you need to know the answers. It may be impossible to prepare for every question, but you should try to do as much research as possible. The most important information can go into your pitch whilst the less important information should be memorised for potential use after (don’t try to pack all information into your pitch as you don’t want to overwhelm people and if anything your audience will want to ask more questions in order to reiterate information).
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