The Wrong Way to Get Your Message Out…
Were you ever told that you have the “gift for gab” or are a natural-born talker?
Maybe someone once said you should be in sales because you could talk an Eskimo into buying ice?
If you’re operating under either of these assumptions, you’re going about your pitch the wrong way in today’s consumer-driven sales environment.
It’s not about over-talking your prospect until you’ve worn them down enough to say “yes.” Nor is it about persuading someone to buy something they don’t necessarily need.
Mark Roberge, Senior VP of Sales and Services at HubSpot:
“You know you are running a modern sales team when selling feels more like the relationship between a doctor and a patient and less like a relationship between a salesperson and a prospect…It’s no longer about interrupting, pitching and closing. It is about listening, diagnosing, and prescribing.”
The following tips are designed to help you overcome these pitch fails and succeed in modern day sales:
Refrain from talking for at least the first 20 minutes of your pitch. Does this sound counterintuitive? Maybe you think you should jump right in and tell your prospect how wonderful your product or service is, how your company makes high quality products, and the many features that your product or service provides. Today’s consumers, both B2B and B2C, are more educated than at any other time in history. They’ve probably already Googled your company and product or service. What they need to know is how you can help them solve a problem or get better ROI or some other measure they’re most interested in. And the only way to find that out is to listen to what their problems are, what they’ve tried in the past, and the goals they have for the future. So don’t talk, other than to ask pertinent questions to make sure you get down to their deepest wants, needs, and desires.
Pay attention to the language they use. Are they motivated more by problems they’re facing (pain) or by goals they want to accomplish (gain)? This is basic selling psychology that emphasizes aligning yourself and your pitch to the way your prospect speaks, especially the terms used and their guiding emotion. Pain or gain is your prospect’s language, and you want to speak his or her language when you pitch your solution. This also helps to build rapport. When your prospect hears you speaking her language, she’ll feel heard and understood. And she’ll be more open to hearing the brilliant solution only you and your company can provide.
Experiment with new approaches and repeat what works. If pitching were an exact science, everyone would be in sales. Since it’s not, you need to experiment with different techniques to try to find what resonates the most with your prospects. The best way is to practise your chosen approaches to pitching to various prospects and use the experience to find out what they respond to, what seems to peak their attention or interest, and use those discoveries as a spring board to learn how to adapt your pitch to what is proven to work best.
Be fully prepared. Have you ever tried to approach a prospect when you’re not quite in the zone or fully engaged? Or especially when you’ve not completed due diligence on your prospect’s business and industry, and the current issues facing both? Don’t be pressured into contacting a prospect when you’re not prepared for whatever reason. Hesitation and inauthenticity spell doom for most sales pitches and is a sure fire way to present the wrong message. Take the time to be as educated as you can, and polish your sales pitching skills. This might include training, reading sales books, or getting advice from peers who excel at pitching.
As Roberge said, selling today is more like a doctor/patient relationship. You establish rapport and trust by listening, and then help your prospect with the perfect solution to what ails him.
A winning combination!
If you’re interested in honing your communication skills, we offer several solutions that use your own natural abilities in combination with some winning structures that help you become confident and poised when pitching – call us to learn more.
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