It is somewhat deceptive to refer to a sales presentation as a "pitch." In baseball, excellent pitchers get hitters out by striking them out. However, in sales, an effective pitch connects with the prospect and hits the ball out of the park.
Good salesmanship, by its nature, is an artform when it comes to pitching. People want to be given a narrative to comprehend the value of your offer to their operations. Does it mesh with the company's values and style? Will it improve operations? How? Decide on how you would respond to the challenge and what alternatives you can explore.
On the other hand, sales is also a science that requires a particular bit of scientific knowledge to benefit a pitch. There are two categories of presenting information most likely to convince someone to buy something or understand what you're talking about: visual and textual.
Did you know that visual information accounts for 90% of what the brain processes? The human brain can analyze a picture in as fast as 13 milliseconds and process images 60,000 times quicker than text. Consequently, 85% of people are more likely to purchase after watching a product video.
It takes a balanced mix of scientific knowledge and artistic touch to craft the ideal sales presentation — the salesperson has to create a picture that tells the story of how their product or service will improve the lives of their prospects while keeping it concise but profound, concrete but interesting, personalized and credible.
Today, the competition for attention is cutthroat, while people's attention spans are shorter than ever. Your prospects are busy individuals who don't have the luxury of time to give you their undivided attention more than is necessary or deserved. The effectiveness of one-hour sales presentations to market a product or service has diminished. Now, sales pitches must be concise, to the point, but relatable and engaging to be successful. We've discovered the five most critical rules to follow to create the perfect sales proposal.
But first, let's pay attention to a vital aspect of your marketing strategy — your audience or market. Before you can communicate the value of your products, you must carefully identify your target audience.
Know Your Target Audience
To build rapport and connect with your audience, you need to personalize your message to them. You can only do that by carefully identifying and knowing your target audience. Pitching a single message to a broad, diverse, and poorly profiled audience is not efficient; thus, focusing on a specific subset is critical.
It might be challenging to target a particular audience for your sales message. Each of them is an individual with their own set of wants, needs, characteristics, behaviors, and preferences. Having a specifically categorized target audience is more crucial than ever in the current economic scenario. However, know that you can't target everyone.
Many companies use the tactic: Market to "everyone interested in my services." They don't distinguish which market is the primary target and which one is secondary. Small business owners, homeowners, and moms are all primary audiences. It's hardly possible, and a tall order, to get all those markets on board at once. Small businesses can successfully compete with bigger ones by prioritizing and focusing marketing efforts on a particular market.
If your goal is to target a particular group of people, you should exclude anybody who doesn't fit that profile. Since you'll be focusing on a specific market that's more inclined to buy from you, your chances of getting your message across are much better.
For instance, an interior design business in Baton Rouge, Louisiana might focus on families with yearly incomes of more than $150,000. They are most likely to only market to those who want to redo their kitchens and bathrooms in a traditional style. They may also consider that parents on the move and baby boomers heading into retirement are two distinct segments of the interior design market and tailor their strategy accordingly.
It's simpler to decide where and how to promote your business when you have a target audience. This strategy allows you to reach more people more efficiently and at less cost. So how do you get to know your target audience? By asking questions, analyzing their social media activity, generating targeted advertisements and surveys, and determining new consumer demands and shifts in behavior, here are some other tips to help you define your target audience:
Review and Look at Your Existing Consumer Base
Who are your existing clients, and why do they continue to do business with you? Look for features and hobbies that everyone shares. Which ones have contributed the most to your company’s revenue? Other individuals similar to your clients would probably benefit from your product or service.
Take a Look at Your Competitors
Who are your competitors targeting? Some of their current clientele are listed on their website or in public reports. You may uncover a niche market that your competitors are unaware of.
Analyze the Product or Service You Are Attempting to Sell
It would be best to know your products or services inside out. Make a list of their features, especially those that set them apart from other products or services. Then, list the benefits each feature offers to users.
When you've created a list of product strengths and benefits, you can now make a list of people whose needs your products and services can address. For example, given their particular talents and skill set, a graphic design company chooses to advertise their service to businesses interested in growing their clients through branding. Those businesses need branding assets such as logos, brand colors, etc., which they can certainly provide.
Now let's walk you through the five critical rules to follow to create the perfect sales presentation.
1. Create a Concise but Impressive Introduction
Introductions are critical when developing a sales pitch. It would help if you captured your prospects' attention to comprehend and appreciate the value of your product and how it might benefit their organization.
Set the tone of your presentation with a positive impression — pose a question or initiate a conversation relevant to your core message. Avoid opening your presentation with numbers or statistics. Statistics are abstract and forgettable unless presented in the context of human experience. If you open your presentation with numbers or statistics about your product, your audience will zone out.
2. Provide a Personal Anecdote
Begin your pitch by sharing personal experiences and perspectives gained from using your products or services. In that way, you will promote the value of your products or services more authentically among your prospects and inspire empathy.
Many salespeople begin their sales pitch by talking about a product's sales performance instead of delving deeper into its key features and benefits. Your prospect's immediate concern isn't necessarily how much revenue your product added to the company’s coffers, but how it effectively solved any problems or improved any unsatisfactory conditions you may have been experiencing before use. So ensure that at least half of your anecdote is about an issue that the product can solve. Make it as painful as possible but remember to be sincere and relate your narrative to the prospect's business.
3. Deliver the Pitch with Great Composure and Enthusiasm
Make a solid first impression by being enthusiastic and confident and utilize your posture to demonstrate that you are at ease. Shuffling your feet and throwing uncomfortable glances around while setting up will make your client question your readiness.
Communicate with your audience in a friendly and approachable way. Have a conversation with them, not an MBA lecture.
Make it a habit to maintain an upright posture and avoid slouching. It reduces tension and expands your diaphragm, allowing you to talk clearly and easily. When you notice that you are running out of breath or about to collapse, take a break, perform the breathing exercise, and proceed more slowly when you resume.
Your enthusiasm is one of the most critical factors in making an excellent first impression. A salesperson's passion is infectious, but so is the lack of it. More often than not, the energy you give off is the same energy you get back. Many of us have watched technically excellent demonstrations that failed to spark excitement because the presenters were distracted or flat. Then there were demonstrations without razzle dazzle but had presenters excitedly scream, "Hey! Look at how amazing this product is!" and visibly enjoyed what they were doing. Those presentations left us feeling ecstatic about the product, didn't they?
Customers and clients instinctively gravitate towards positive and passionate salespeople. If you are enthusiastic about your company and products, your passion will rub off on your prospects and encourage them to give your products serious attention. According to Gallup, businesses with engaging and passionate staff have grown their sales two-and-a-half times more in the last seven years than businesses with poor employee engagement.
Your enthusiasm must be genuine and should not make your audience feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Your prospects can easily sense if you're faking it. You'll turn them off or drive them away from your company if you are.
While giving a presentation in front of a crowd can be nerve-wracking, it is an incredible opportunity for your company and products to shine through that you should make the most of.
4. Use a Cover Slide
People are more receptive to visual presentations; thus, you must include clear graphics, statistical diagrams, and other visual content in your presentation. In a sales pitch, your slides need to provide enough detailed information to take the audience further along the purchase process, even though most presentation professionals recommend the "more is less" approach.
A lively and visually-attractive cover slide will immediately grab the audience’s attention. But ensure that your cover slide is appropriate for your company's products and services. Given that 40% of people prefer visual information to plain text, Google, Flickr, Unsplash, Pinterest, and Fubiz are all excellent sources for images that instantly improve your pitch.
Here are some recommendations on how to effectively use visuals in your presentations:
● Build a shared repository of visuals to ensure consistency across all your customer touchpoints between your marketing teams.
● Incorporate high-quality pictures that are related to your message into your marketing strategy.
● Keep an eye on the picture sizes, particularly if your audience will view the presentations on a mobile device or another portable device.
5. Demonstrate the Product's Value
The critical aspect of developing a trustworthy relationship and rapport with your audience is understanding the nature and scope of their demands and needs. With this information, you can address each of their needs with your product as the solution.
Moreover, you can also provide your prospects with a value proposition to further convince them of your product's strengths and why they should buy from you. The best way to promote your products through an excellent value proposition is to learn about their recent developments and emphasize their distinct differentiators.
Tips for Demonstrating Product Values
To improve your pitch quality, here are a few sales demo best practices:
- Have a flexible and extravagant sales demo script.
- Have a sales demo agenda ready.
- Provide sufficient sales demo training.
- Become a product champion.
- Tailor your sales demo to your audience.
- Schedule time before the demo to prep.
- Make sure your sales demo is hands-on.
- Run video sales demos.
- Get creative with Q&A.
- Record your demo for future use.
Check out these examples of value propositions from different organizations:
Geekdom: "We're a new kind of collaborative workspace where entrepreneurs, technologists, developers, makers, and creatives help each other build businesses and other cool things together."
Airbnb: "Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world."
There is no cut-and-dried formula or "one-size-fits-all" strategy for creating and delivering the "perfect sales presentation." Feel free to discover other approaches until you find what works best for you and your products.
Your sales pitch can only get better. It's always a good idea to be creative. Exert yourself beyond your comfort zone and experiment with new ideas while keeping your mind open to interpreting time-tested concepts that still work wonders today but in new ways. Make your pitch specific to your consumers to connect with them on a personal level. Pay attention and listen to what they say about your products or what they seek in products like yours. Make improvements following other people's responses,especially from other sales pitchers. Practice makes perfect, so keep at it.