It may seem a bit strange but you can use stories of ‘failure’ as part of your sales pitch. By ‘failure’ I mean situations where other clients and prospects really made the wrong choices and suffered as a consequence. That simple illustration can help your current clients see the advantage of fresh new ideas and perhaps the recommendations made as part of your sales pitch today.
Clients don’t want to make mistakes. A ‘failure’ situation is actually something that can help your current clients move ahead in a positive way and in doing so avoid any poor decisions.
So here are the rules to the process:
- Tell stories from the market and provide real life facts and information.
- A failure situation is actually a valuable lesson to someone. Your current clients may appreciate that knowledge.
- Make connections between your current clients situation and the ‘failure event’ so they know that it is relevant and real.
- From the failure you can work up recommendations and alternatives. Every client likes to have a few alternatives to consider.
- Put yourself in the solution and in the story. Show the client the timeline to progress as you see it and break it up into stages of action. Small simple steps are the easy way to move through a problem.
It is fairly easy to pitch on a sale situation if you follow these rules. It is simple sales logic. The client doesn’t want to make a mistake; they will listen to you. You become the solution process. The depth of your recommendations and solutions will help the client move ahead. That’s how you can close on a sales pitch.
In professional sales, most of the things you say can support your focus towards a sale or customer relationship. It is easy to see that the process of speech and dialogue is really important if you want to get anywhere in your career as a top salesperson.
Consider how you do your job now. It is likely to be a mixture of some or all of the following:
- Submitting a proposal
- Pitching for new business
- Showing the product or service
- After sale support and service
- Building referral opportunities
At the centre of all of these things you will find ‘dialogue’; that is the words and phrases that you use when connecting with your clients and customers. When you use the best words that match your message and product, then the sales process gets a lot easier. You will find that well-chosen words reflect the skills of the person and the pitch.
To help with this ‘verbal equation’ you can practice the words that you use in sales and in business. Sales team role playing and feedback will help you do this. You can also get a good book of words and phrases that sell; that are ‘sales and communication based’. Some words will match your market and your customers more than others. You can make the choices based on how you like to connect with your clients.
There are so many words that can be used in a client or sales situation; you probably only need about 25 of them. Over time you can find and practice some more words into your sales pitch.
This whole concept is quite logical, and yet so many salespeople do not take the steps to improve their verbal skills for client contact. If your career is based on your commission and results achieved, now would be a good time to start the practice process on words that match your market and client base sales focus. Twice a week take the time out to practice your sales approach, words, and presentational skills. The rewards are many.
When you are selling or pitching your services it is important that you stand out as relevant and real as a professional in your industry. One of the ways that you can do that is by offering the client or prospect a timeline or timetable of actions to be taken. It will show how you will take them forward.
A timetable process is a tool of presentation and will help the client when it comes to the final agreement. It is easy for the client to see what is about to happen and why. It helps them make a decision.
Here are some tips to help you with this process:
- Get a graphing package that allows you to create and use GANTT charts. They are timed based methods of display.
- Whilst you can have a graph for each product or service offering, create a personal graph for the client that you are working with.
- The beginning of the display graph should be where the client is today, and the end of the process is the ideal position of where they want to be.
- If you have a complex product or service then you may need quite a few stages in the graphing process. In the most complex of situations you can use a ‘PERT’ graph to comprehensively display the stages to the transaction or order. In that situation, the PERT graph is used before you use the GANTT chart.
- If you want to see examples of PERT graphing you can get a good set of examples from the internet or in a professional graphing software package.
If you have any challenges of supply and lead times to the end result for the client, then you will need to handle that in the graphing timeline. If you are getting goods and services from your overseas suppliers the same rules apply. Understand the time factors and feed them into your presentational material.
The clients that we serve today are under all types of pressures when it comes to business stability and growth. Our job in sales is to help our clients improve their position; to make their business life easier and more fruitful. When you understand that fact and feed it into your sales pitch the whole thing gets a lot easier and more logical. The client can then see why they need your services above that provided by others.
If you make a lot of presentations on a regular basis you cannot help but improve your skills and communication strategies. The whole thing can however be fast tracked with personal practice and role playing.
Here are some facts to feed into your presentational processes:
- Understand your market and where it is headed over the coming months and years
- Understand your clients business and the pressures that they operate under
- Provide comprehensive information on your service and product
- Show results that are proven and have relevance to your client
- Use pictures and graphs as part of attracting the clients attention
- Have a selection of ‘success stories’ that can be used to strengthen your presentation
- Use your database to build your personal brand and relevance to your prospects and clients
- Be clear about prices, supply chain, and supply times
- Don’t make your proposal too complex or detailed (keep it simple)
- Understand beforehand if others will be involved in the meeting or presentation and just who they are in the decision process
- Offer discounts if they are of benefit and relevance to the client today
- If possible choose a location for the presentation that gives you some control of the situation
- Find out what the timing of decisions are likely to be
- Understand the competition and how they may approach the client with a counter pitch
- Know where the client is at when it comes to purchase urgency and choice
- Ask questions to fill in the gaps with the clients knowledge and understanding of options available
When you really understand these facts, you can improve your conversions from presentations. Use your prospecting efforts to get to know more business people and prospects in your market. Your options will soon open up and the sales can grow for you.