Take Your Sales Pitch from "So What?" to "Say What!?"

“This thing is really cool.  You should buy it.  Let me tell you why.”

I think this accurately boils down the way most people feel about selling.  A bunch of “Blah, blah, this product is amazing…” infomercial-type talking.  Well, if this guy is your role model, then I can understand that.  And if you want to play the pricing shell game, and pretend that your product is worth hundreds when you actually only intend to sell it for 59 bucks, then you can fool people into thinking they’re getting value.  The fact remains that most of us don’t sell that way because so many of us don’t buy that way.

A Sales Pitch Should Not Be All Talk…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Selling is not about telling.  Back in the days before we had all of the collective information in the world at our fingertips, we needed someone, a salesperson, to tell us all about the features and benefits of their products.   Multiple sizes… your choice of colors… simple and easy to use…  But at the end of the day, or at least the end of the pitch, all you heard about was the product or the service.  The listener was left to their own devices about how they could visualize themselves benefiting from the purchase.  Sure, the stated benefit may have been “It’ll make your life easier,” but what does that even mean?

What Does That Mean For Me?

Your prospect doesn’t care about your product.  What they care about is how that product is going to help them achieve their goals– as specifically as possible.  We’re bombarded by messages all the time, and we’re constantly being interrupted.  There is very little mental bandwidth available anymore to imagine what those benefits could be.  You need to paint the picture for the prospect and do so in a way that makes them feel as if they’re already using it.

That’s going to take a little bit of prep work.  You’re going to have to ask great questions.  Trust is earned, not given, so there will be a certain amount of rapport that needs to be established before you can ask those questions.

All of that before you can even pitch?

You betcha.

You need to know how to position your service before you can talk about it.  Otherwise, you’re just another salesperson talking loud enough so that hopefully someone will hear you.  And that’s just annoying.

Well, When You Put It That Way…

So what happens when you make that presentation in terms of the listener instead of the seller?  What happens when you stop talking about how great you are, and start talking about how much you can help your prospect?  I’m not just talking about the generic benefits of increased productivity or better profits.  Again, be specific.

I’ve been married now for almost ten years (somehow this pretty lady continues to put up with me).  When we first got engaged, my mom asked us if we were going to register for a stand mixer.  “What would we use that for?” we asked.  “What wouldn’t you?” she’d reply.  We don’t bake a lot, we mash our potatoes by hand, and we’d never seemed to be missing a mixer.  We didn’t understand why we’d benefit from it, and considering the expense, we opted to go in a different direction with our registry items.

Fast forward to the holidays last season… A Cyber Monday deal caught her eye, and my wife ordered a Kitchen Aid.  Christmas cookies will never be the same.  Neither will birthday cakes, cupcakes for school, or anything else we can create with that thing.  Homemade pasta?  Are you kidding me?

Had Mom just been a little more specific about what the mixer would mean to us, the food lovers that my wife and I are would have understood those benefits a lot more clearly.   We weren’t buying a kitchen appliance that would get occasional use.  We were buying consistent batches of cookies, fluffy frosting, dough that rises perfectly…  That’s a no-brainer of a purchase, we just didn’t know it because we weren’t able to see it.

Paint The Picture

Your marketing department knows what they’re doing.  You’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how your service can benefit your prospects.  The message you’re trying to get across is probably a good one, it’s just not being delivered the right way.  Stay away from the boilerplate stuff and personalize it.  A safe, watered-down statement will not get anybody’s attention, let alone their business.

Instead of “this service is great, you should buy it,” say, “this service will make your customers get better results, and that’ll make you look good.  Your business will grow and scale at a faster rate because of it.”  It’s really the same message, but the part that was first implied is now spelled out.  Don’t leave it up to your prospects to paint the picture, take out your palette and brush, and do it for them.  Take a little risk.  The flip side of “this might not work” is “this might be absolutely perfect.”

Now get out of your way, and go and be great.