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Sales 101 – Pitching & Closing

If you discover the prospect has a big enough problem and you believe your solution is right for them, you need to tell them by pitching. 

This is where you stop asking questions and start talking by pitching your solution to them and linking the features and benefits to their problem.

Your pitch needs to sell three things:

  • Your solution
  • Yourself
  • Your company

Your prospect needs to be sold on all three to maximise the chances of buying. Think about it, would you buy a great service if you didn’t like the person or trust the company they represented?

I recommend you write out your pitch and learn it off by heart. You need to be in a confident mood when you pitch; knowing what you are going to say will give you that air of certainty which the prospect can buy into.

There are only three things someone can say after you pitch them:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Something else.

If the answer “yes” then great but doesn’t stop there; always cement the deal. This is done by asking “is there anything you can think of that could stop or delay you doing this?”

If there is anything deal with it there and then.

And, consider asking for a referral before ending the meeting – the prospect is not a customers and they are in a positive mood – perhaps they have colleagues or friends that would be interested in what you do.

If you do get the odd “no” ask why and you’ll probably missed something earlier in qualifying and understanding.

If the prospect doesn’t say “no” or “yes”, it’s most likely they will say something like:

  • I need to think about it
  • Send me a proposal; I never make decisions straight away
  • I need to talk to my spouse, bank manager, coach or someone else
  • That seems expensive
  • It won’t work for me.

If you think about it, people can say things like this for four reasons:

  • There is a genuine concern which needs to be addressed
  • They don’t’ know you or your company well enough but don’t want to be rude
  • People really like the solution but don’t want to make a decision.

If there is a genuine concern we need to address it before the prospect can move forward. But, rather than keep pitch the objective seek to understand it first.

Doing this is the right thing because it shows respect. And, when you do this sometimes the prospect realises it’s not really worth bothering with.

For example, if you are a new business and a prospect says to you that they were not sure about working with you because you’re not established, you could ask “how important is the age of my business compared to the unique value I can bring?”

I think most people will say that helping them solve their problems is more important than how long you’ve been in business. But, if the prospect genuinely says they want to work with an established business you can ask why. It could be they had an issue with a new business in the past.

When you understand what happened you’ll have much more chance of dealing with the objection.

The strategy to deal with the trust issue is to ask outright and if the client admits this is the issue you can re-pitch yourself and our company as valued partners.

If you’ve pitched a few times and you are still not getting a yes or a no it’s like to be because the prospects doesn’t liking making decisions.

You have two choices:

  1. Ask them what’s the worst that can happen and see if that helps them breakthrough
  2. Book a decision call where the client can confirm they want to go ahead

With sales accept that you’ll need to ask for the order more than once because most people are not decisive. But, if you have taken the time to qualify and understand them, and your solution is proven and will help them then the chances are it’s the prospects limiting belief thats will be holding them back.

Image from Flickr by Robert Brook.

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