17 Actionable Tips to Nail Your Sales Pitch in 2021
Salespeople spend about one-third of their day talking to prospects. If you don’t know how to use that time effectively, it will be a total waste of time.
Having an effective sales pitch is crucial to get your prospect excited about your offering. It also paves the way for the most important step in the sales process - closing the deal.
Want to be a master at pitching your product?
These 17 actionable tips will help you prepare, present, and effectively conclude your sales pitch to captivate your prospects.
Preparing your Sales Pitch
1. Ask yourself what's in it for them?
As salespeople, we tend to adopt the "selling" mindset, which can make us come off as standoffish and sleazy.
To avoid this, think of your pitch as a way of communicating value to your potential customers and understand how the product can make their lives better. This will help you sound more authentic.
Before you start crafting your presentation, do some research on your target audience and try to find out the problem your prospect is trying to solve with your product. This will allow you to better position your solution to their problem.
2. Understand what sets yourself apart
This might sound obvious, but this is a common mistake when giving a sales pitch.
Understanding what sets you apart from your competitors will help you communicate why they should pick you over someone else, making the prospect’s decision a no-brainer. To do this, you should become an expert in your competitors’ products and how your features are superior to theirs.
The most common reasons your prospect will invest with you is that they trust you and that your product provides superior value to their organization than your competitors’ product. Therefore during your presentation, build trust and tailor your pitch to how your features can meet their needs better than any other product out there.
3. Practice your tone
Your tone of voice is one of the most important elements to articulating your message in your sales presentation. How you communicate with your prospect will directly affect how you will be perceived.
If you have a monotone voice, it can really kill your interaction with your prospects. This is because there is not much variety in the pitch of your voice which leaves people thinking that you are untrustworthy or just flat-out boring.
To determine if you need to work on your tone, ask a close friend or co-worker to give you their honest opinion.
We are all born with our own unique voice, but we can train it to sound more friendly and professional. Try watching videos from excellent public speakers like Gary Vaynerchuck or Jon Gordon for inspiration and practice on your own until you get your desired tone.
4. Pace yourself
One of the most common mistakes in any presentation is not pacing yourself. This shows inexperience and it can break your pitch.
Like your tone, even if your message is on point, the person may not trust you.
From experience, the best way to ensure that you don’t speak too fast is to practice, practice, practice. We tend to talk faster when we are in front of an audience so practicing your pitch multiple times will make you look confident and prepared.
A good way to practice your pace is by ensuring that you talk at a rate between 120 and 150 words per minute. This keeps your pitch at a conversational pace. To calculate this, you can use a smartphone and have it put your speech into text. Talk for one minute, and move the text into a word counter to judge whether or not your presentation is moving at the right pace.
5. Prepare questions for your prospects
Before you begin your sales pitch, there’s an opportunity for conversation with your prospect to understand why they want to get in a room with you and listen to what you have to say.
Before the meeting, pull together some questions to identify any pain points that you didn’t find in your research. Once you know exactly what they are looking for, tailor your pitch so that it demonstrates how your solution solves their main problems.
By doing this, you are letting them know that you care about them and are not just trying to push your product onto them.
6. Understand how to use your sales deck
A lot of salespeople design their slides in a way that does the talking for them. Doing this can kill your chances of making a sale.
Instead, use your sales deck to help guide a conversation. Your sales pitch should feel more like a conversation, and binding your presentation slide by slide feels less organic and your interaction with your prospect will not feel as personalized.
You can always go through your deck at the end of your sales presentation to ensure you covered all of the points you wanted to make.
Back to Top ↑
Presenting your Sales Pitch
7. Lighten the mood
It's hard to successfully sell your product to someone who doesn’t like you. It’s important to understand that people buy into people first, not the product.
A great way of setting the mood for your sales pitch is by telling a story. Your prospects have probably heard hundreds of sales pitches with all the same compelling words. By telling them a personal story, you create empathy with your prospects.
You can start your story about how you faced a problem (that your buyers also face), and then offer a solution by describing how your product resolved that situation.
8. Showcase your confidence
First off, it is okay to be nervous and anxious about giving your sales pitch - as long as this feeling doesn’t manage you. Practicing is the best remedy to cure your nerves.
Showcasing your confidence starts from the moment you greet your prospect. You don’t want to sound like there is a question mark after every sentence since they’ll feel like you’re asking permission to speak to them.
Confidence is a two-way street. If they recognize that you lack confidence during your pitch, your prospect will not be confident about doing business with you.
Once you start your presentation, the confidence in your product will come through because you are the expert and you know your prospects will see the value in your product.
9. Include engaging visuals
Did you know that 40% of people respond positively to information that is in visual form, compared to writing?
Meetings are more enjoyable when people are engaged from the beginning. You can do this by showing a short video or some visual information on your slides.
Once you decide on what you want to visually present, use design to communicate your message effectively. The more visual your presentation is, the more persuasive your points will be perceived by your audience.
Back to Top ↑
10. Connect with your prospect
In order to make an impression with your prospect, find a way to connect with them with a catchy hook or getting your customer to relate to something that is not too personal.
Building rapport with your prospect revolves around whether or not they feel they can trust you. This is essential in any kind of relationship. It means keeping your word on even the smallest of things like setting times for meetings, or not listening to what they have to say.
First impressions are everything. So if you rub people the wrong way, it may turn them off to giving you business and building a relationship with them.
11. Be honest
People always say honesty is the best policy, and that is no different in sales.
Building trust with your prospects involves being candid about yourself and admitting where your product needs improvement.
By doing this, you are telling your prospect that they will be working with someone who is not afraid to tell it how it is.
For example, if you are not sure how to address your prospect’s concerns during the meeting, don’t fall into the trap of making something up on the fly. Doing this will put you in unrealistic positions that are destined to fail. Instead, let them know that you will work to find a solution and get back to them.
12. Back yourself up with statistics
Put yourself in the position of your prospect and how they should consider the value proposition you are pitching to them. They need to understand what they will gain from your product or service and justify the cost to their superiors.
This is where you incorporate some hard data about your product so that you can position yourself better than your competitors. This gives them time to calculate how much money they can save based on your qualitative facts.
By using your data, you can help them visualize your product’s value to solve your prospect’s pain points.
For example, “Badger Maps allows you to drive 20% less, which frees up 8 hours of busywork every week. With this extra time, you can schedule 10 more meetings per week on average which translates into an increase of 22% in sales.”
13. Keep it simple
As an expert in your product, you can go on and on about all your product’s great features and benefits. However, you would be overwhelming your prospect with too much information, and not giving them enough time to process it. Too much information can actually turn against you!
Focus your pitch around the features that your prospect will actually need instead of the ones that may not be as relevant. Also, be mindful of your jargon and instead use simple language that your prospect will easily understand.
Back to Top ↑
Ending your Pitch
14. Provide proof for your product
Share case studies that help back up your points in your sales presentation. Using examples from satisfied customers will help your prospects visualize themselves getting the same benefits as your customers.
This will help your prospect see your product’s potential and how it can address their needs.
15. Get ready to answer questions and objections
This is one of the essential parts of your sales pitch.
Your ability to address your prospect’s concerns will show how knowledgeable you are about your product and whether or not you are someone they can trust.
Anticipating your prospect’s objections makes closing the sale much easier.
When you allow the prospect to raise their objections first, you risk losing control over the conversation and getting defensive.
Instead, make sure to bring up any potential objections before your prospect does. This will make you sound more knowledgeable and it allows you to discuss the objection on your own terms.
16. Agreeing to the next
After overcoming any objections about your product, the next key step is to agree on the next steps.
At this stage, have a plan and understand what you need to do to move your prospect forward in the sales process.
Letting them think about it and get back to you does not qualify as a next step because, with each passing day, they’ll forget about you and your product. You need something that is more concrete.
A successful way to move the process along is by creating a sense of urgency to show why deciding not to take action is going to be detrimental to the prospect.
Take Badger Maps, for instance. People have been in field sales for many years, and now they have a mapping and routing solution that allows them to visualize their territory and get to all their appointments faster. You can frame all the extra sales that they could make by using Badger Maps as the revenue they’re currently losing by not having this solution in place.
Back to Top ↑
17. Know when to accept a "no"
Being rejected can be difficult, however, it is how we learn from it that can set us apart.
If a prospect says “I am not interested”, do not try to contradict them. Empathize with them, and let them know that you understand how they feel. Then, tell your prospect how a happy customer initially rejected you but over time realized there was value to your product. If they still don’t see a use for your product, don’t push them.
Knowing when to walk away from a sale is just as important as knowing when you should keep insisting. Make sure that you are not wasting resources trying to convert someone who will never buy from you.
Next, politely ask them why they decided not to buy from you. This gives you feedback on where your pitch (or your product) falls short, so you know how to improve for next time.
Like most skills, it takes lots of practice and preparation before you master it. So, don’t feel discouraged if it takes you some time to get comfortable with your sales pitch.
Also, keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all sales pitch. You need to craft your own and be as authentic as possible.
Don’t put yourself down if you face rejection, instead view it as an opportunity to improve your sales skills.
That being said, you won’t improve if you are not willing to put the time and effort into perfecting your pitch. You can start by implementing all the tips above and rehearse your improved tips several times.
Practice makes perfect!
Back to Top ↑
25 Top Sales Tips From Powerful Women Leaders