It seems that everyone knows what a sales pitch is and yet few know what is a good sales pitch except when on the receiving end of one! This article aims to demystify what is a key part of the sales process. Whether we like it of not, if we want someone to say yes then we need to do a pitch, no matter how subtle, or rely on our prospects to either be psychic or desperate enough to work it all out for us!

According to dictionary.com there are 53 separate meanings to the word pitch so it is hardly surprising that there is some confusion about a sales pitch!
One of the many meanings was presented as this:

“To attempt to promote or sell, often in a high-pressure manner”

This means that pitching is about promoting or selling. The fact that some people do it in a high pressure manner does not make it a good sales pitch. There is so much to sales and a key part of the whole process is pitching the deal. You are presenting to the other person why doing the deal with you is going to be good for them.

It does not matter what you are selling, at the end of the day it all boils down to a good sales pitch. Maybe you are pitching why you are a perfect person for that job. Maybe you are pitching why your new project is a great idea and your colleagues should buy into it. Maybe you are pitching your products and services. If you want people to say yes to you then you need to work on developing a good sales pitch.

Lets look at the typical stages of a sale for business services:
• Generate interest
• Qualify Interest
• Discovery/Gap analysis
• Present solution (pitch!)
• Negotiate
• Close

You effectively need to do some form of pitch to generate interest whether it is in written form, on the telephone, or face-to-face. If you do it well then you will not be pitching your product or service at this stage and instead that you can possibly help them solve a business problem and that it is worth them investing some time in talking to you. You are pitching a proposition that it is worth talking and not that they should buy anything from you – that comes later!! The more research you have done on their problems the more effective the pitch will be.

After you have met with them and have taken the time to discover their motivations as well as their needs then you make your sales pitch. It may be through a written proposal, through a conversation, or even a formal presentation. You are pitching your solution to their problem and the deal. This pitch is the key to selling but its also where most people go wrong because they have not done enough work on presenting the deal from the other person’s viewpoint. In short, they have not got the right sales angle.

We all know that we can look at something from one view point and get a totally different impression then viewing it from another. For example, London looks very different from the top deck of a double-decker bus to walking around the streets on foot. You can have a great deal but unless the prospect can see it as a great deal from their perspective then your pitch will fall on deaf ears!

So what is a good sales pitch? One that is attractive (even compelling) from the view point of those listening to the pitch and not those delivering it. Understanding your prospects world is a key selling skill and yet in a rush to win a sale, one that people often forget to use.

In order to improve our ability to produce a good sales pitch we need to take more time to really understand our prospects, the emotional motivators and potential resistance to the deal. We need to be able to see the world through our prospects eyes. When we can do that then we will understand how to present the deal as what I call a ‘no-brainer’, especially when competing against other pitches.

I see so many companies pitch before knowing anything about who they are pitching to and then wonder why it is not effective! If you chuck enough mud up against a wall, some of it will stick! It would make selling a lot easier though if people understood what is a good sales pitch!