The art of pitching can be daunting to many. Not only do you have to speak to relative strangers, you also have to try and win new business. However, it’s nerves that stop people from putting across their best pitches. If you can master them, there’s nothing stopping you from delivering a powerful pitch that wins business.
On top of this, you also need to address a number of issues. A key thing to remember is that you’re not pitching to sell, you’re pitching to improve you clients business. If you can focus your pitch from this point of view, it becomes much more customer focussed and allows you to really understand a client’s problem.
There are many ways in which you can pitch, formats change frequently. However, there are essentials you need to include and this article will teach you how to pitch to win every time.
Be Well Researched
Moving on from the point of pitching to help your clients business rather than pitching just to sell, you need to be well researched on the company you’re speaking to.
How does your product or service become a solution to a problem they’re facing? How can it save them money, time, or resources? Know what issues the company is facing and be sympathetic to that.
Many people pitch with a rehearsed script they barely change from meeting to meeting. It’s really obvious when that’s done and you’re already showing a lack of respect to the company by doing that.
Researching the company well, being able to personalise all your facts, and bringing all your points back to how you can help your company, shows you really know your stuff.
Be Clear and Concise
Avoid technical speech or jargon and keep it as clear and simple as possible. If people are confused they will but much less willing to buy into what you’re selling. You need to be able to pitch in the simplest fashion possible, making sure not to waffle.
Keep your points short and make sure you’re not losing the people you’re speaking to. If you’re using visuals, make sure they aren’t cluttered and are used in order to reduce statistics or information you’re passing across verbally.
This is useful because your clients can take down the information they need. Another useful tool is to prepare packs containing all of your information and a summary of your presentation. Handing these across at the start of the pitch and explaining what they are, allows your clients to relax and really listen to what you’re saying.
Ask questions about the company, never make assumptions. Assumptions can show a lack of research, or understanding, and lead to some uncomfortable pauses.
Instead of assuming the company’s biggest issues, ask. If you know your product and service well enough you’ll be able to speak about how it can be of help. With more pitches this becomes easier as you start to notice common problems among companies.
Asking rather than telling builds engagement and trust. It shows that you’re interested in the company and not just in making a sale.
You need to be very passionate about your product. You also need to be passionate about your client’s company. They’re proud of it after all and addressing it with anything short of enthusiasm can be taken up the wrong way.
Be positive and smile throughout the pitch. If you feel comfortable, add some anecdotes that will be a breather from the business end of things. A good laugh makes everyone relax, but don’t attempt unless you’re sure that’s the result you’ll achieve. There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as a joke that finishes in an awkward silence…
Perfecting the pitch does come with practice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be confident on your initial tries. Make sure you’re well prepared and know everything there is to know about your product and client. Be passionate and positive throughout your pitch, taking the time to check in with those in attendance and ask questions that will let you know even more about them.
If you can throw all of this together, you’re pitching well and doing a lot of things that others are missing. Remember, people’s time is valuable and they aren’t hugely enthusiastic about having to be sold to. Turn this around and make sure they leave thinking that their time has been well spent, not wasted.