What is a sales pitch?
A sales pitch is a message used to persuade a prospect to purchase a product or service.
It can be delivered in a variety of different ways, including in person, over the phone, through email, or via online, TV, or radio advertisements.
In most cases, a sales pitch should be short and to the point. It should also explain or demonstrate the value of the product or service to the prospect.
Here is a presentation that gives a higher level overview of this post, or continue reading as I’ll go into more detail.
Slideshare Presentation: Sales Pitch: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Message
Before We Start…
Before we get too far, I’m going to assume you already have leads to pitch. So we’re just going to get straight into actually pitching them.
However, if you do not yet have a stream of leads, this is what LeadFuze’s software can do for you.
LeadFuze helps you build lists of accurate leads automatically, while integrating with sales outreach tools to allow you to contact those freshly verified leads.
The elements of a good sales pitch
Every sales pitch consists of these four elements:
Who is you target audience? What are their needs, challenges, pain points, and goals?
You’ll need to tailor your pitch to your audience to be able to generate the best possible results, so it’s crucial that you know everything about your potential customers.
What problem is your target audience experiencing on a regular or semi-regular basis?
Highlight the problem in your sales pitch and describe its impact. If possible, share stats that will drive home the importance of solving the problem.
Let your audience know that you understand their problem completely.
After addressing the problem, show your audience how your product or service can help them solve it.
Summarize the value of your solution, and explain why they should do business with you. Make sure to break down your solution into smaller chunks or steps so that your audience will have an easier time understanding it.
Be prepared to show that you’re able to solve any potential issues that might arise during the implementation of your solution.
Once you’ve outlined your solution, you should let your audience know about all the benefits that come with solving their problem. If possible, provide hard data based on case studies and results from your current or past customers.
Types of sales pitches
In this section, we’re going to go over the most common types of sales pitches. A good sales rep should have all of these pitches prepared and ready for when a situation arises to pitch their company’s product or service.
Can you sum up your entire brand in one word? You should be able to.
Your one-word pitch should consist of a single, powerful word that best describes what you do. All large companies have a one-word pitch. Google’s one-word pitch is “search”, while HubSpot’s is “flywheel”.
To find a word that best describes your brand, think about your company’s values, goals, and products, and find a word that aligns with them.
Once you decide on your one-word pitch, use it everywhere: on your website, in your sales presentations, and during meetings.
The elevator pitch is a type of sales pitch that’s short enough to be delivered during the course of a single elevator ride. This means that is should be kept under two minutes.
The purpose of having an elevator pitch is to be able to quickly present your company, product, or service in situations outside of sales presentations where there isn’t a lot of time to discuss what you do (e.g. at business networking events).
Cold call pitch
Cold calling isn’t dead. In fact, as much as 49% of buyers prefer a cold call as a first point of contact with a business.
If you’re using cold calling as a way of generating leads for your company, you certainly need to prepare a cold call pitch.
A cold call pitch should be modified for each specific prospect. It should also be practiced over and over again until you know it by heart.
While your cold call pitch can be longer than an elevator pitch, it shouldn’t be too long. Try to get to the point as soon as possible before you lose your prospect’s attention.
An email pitch, while similar to a cold call pitch, does come with a few differences you need to keep in mind.
It’s harder to convey tone over email, so avoid using any ambiguous language in your email sales pitch.
Additionally, keep in mind that your prospects receive a lot of more emails than phone calls every day, so it’s going to be harder to stand out. This makes it crucial that you use the right subject line and keep your email short and to the point.
Sales presentation pitch
The sales presentation is the traditional method of pitching a product or service. It provides you with the most space and time to pitch your offering.
Since a sales presentation takes more time than other types of pitches, you’ll need to find a way to grab and keep your audience’s attention.
As always, try to get to the point as quickly as possible. Be enthusiastic and avoid speaking in a monotone voice.
Add striking visuals and interesting facts and stats to your presentation to have an easier time getting your audience’s full attention.
We tell people this all the time… having the right sales hooks will make all the difference with your outbound sales efforts.
Your main goal is to quickly attract your target audience and make a sale.
Since the market is becoming more and more competitive, it’s getting harder to accomplish this goal without effective sales hooks in your sales pitch.
By sales hooks, I mean all those targeted, personalized, and emotional mental hooks that will get both the attention and the affection of your prospects.
The important thing to remember here is that these hooks are only teasers, not your full offerings. They should act as baits that give out just enough of a taste to leave your prospects wanting more.
The easiest way to understand the purpose of sales hooks is to think of them as elevator speeches.
If you had only one thirty-second chance to tell a prospect about your product, what would you say?
How to develop sales hooks for your product
You need to be prepared to say what you do and what makes you special at any time, and as quickly as possible.
To be able to achieve this, you should do your research first.
This is the research that will help you gain a deeper understanding of your market’s characteristics, and consumer wants, needs, habits, and preferences.
Then, you need to find at least one thing that sets you apart from the competition.
Today’s consumers are faced with hundreds of marketing messages trying to persuade them to buy something.
You can’t expect to sell your product only by stating that it is out there on the market.
You have to develop sales hooks that are relevant to your product and your business as a whole.
Tell a story that your prospects can relate to
“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.” — GaryVee
Everybody loves a good story. We can identify with them, learn something new, and get inspired.
Stories can quickly grab our attention and engage us emotionally.
This makes stories an excellent choice when creating sales hooks.
Just be careful – do not bore your target audience with a never-ending story that will ask them to keep them listening or reading for too long.
People nowadays have short attention spans.
The only way to make the sale is through stories that are brief, compelling and straight to the point.
But, how do you create such stories?
Use colorful, authentic language when describing your product.
Try to create an experience for your prospects.
Make sure that this experience includes all the positive aspects of your product.
To help people relate to your story, ask them to imagine a scenario and play along.
Structure the story in a way that will create a mental image of a better tomorrow – thanks to your product, of course.
It’s crucial here to not let yourself get lost in the story and start exaggerating. You have to make sure that your story is realistically optimistic.
Otherwise, many people won’t buy it.
Stick to the real value and features of your product, just communicate them in an interesting way.
You can end with a lesson or a famous quote that supports your viewpoint.
Engage prospects with surprising questions
There’s no better way to engage your audience than asking them a question.
The more surprising the question is, the greater the engagement that you can achieve.
Just make sure to pose intelligent questions and try not to be too personal – it may offend your audience.
Find a counter-intuitive or unexpected piece of information, and use it in the form of a question or as an answer to a question.
Pick a less-well-known fact which includes a large sum of money, a famous person related to your business or the interests of your audience.
Keep your questions relevant to your business and your product.
If you want to use provocative questions, make sure that you have an equally provocative idea to share.
Also, never start your sales hooks with harsh communication.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to tell tales to your prospects before you start talking about sales.
You only need to establish a certain level of credibility and trust before shooting these kinds of questions at your prospects.
Push the pain-point buttons
Solving the right problems for your prospects can bring you massive sales.
Getting into the problems of your customers will inevitably get you their attention.
But in order for this tactic to work, you need to know your customer’s fears, struggles, and insecurities very well. Otherwise, your efforts may backfire on you.
If you have done good research, push where it hurts the most.
Describe the greatest frustrations with the language that your target audience uses. Go into details. Show them you can relate with their trouble.
This is the best way to gain their trust.
Find the things that set your product apart from others on the market.
Then, talk about the issues related to your competitors’ solutions.
Use numbers to quantify the issue, if applicable.
As soon as you remind the prospect of all the headaches, you’ll have a clear way to push your product and save the day.
This is how you’ll motivate people to purchase your offer.
Nailing your sales pitch is the difference between winning and losing.
What if someone gave you a sales pitch by saying, “I make some mean pancakes. They’re really good, my kiddos love them. I may be the best at making them. You want to buy some?”
Sounds silly, self-promotional, and probably not true, right?
Unfortunately, we see cold emails like that go out all the time.
Emails with a sales pitch talking about “our great link building”, or “social bookmarking”, “directory listing”, on and on.
Just like the pancakes, there are lots of other companies with testimonials (like the kiddos in the example), promises, and a similar result as the other guys.
These emails get ZERO responses.
You’d have to send out thousands of them to get just a couple of deals using this type of outreach methodology.
We’re not talking open rate here, we’re talking about what is inside of your emails that are getting sent to leads.
Whatever they read will make or break your cold campaigns and possibly the revenue growth of your company.
What else should you do to improve your sales pitch?
How about a case study of one of our clients when we offered a done-for-you lead generation solution?
Sales Pitch Case Study
We had a customer that was targeting plastic surgeons.
This industry is hard to reach (putting it softly).
Surgeons make tons of money, and plastic surgery is almost straight cashflow.
These doctors are bombarded with offers from everything from time shares to marketing firms.
Instead of the pancake approach, our customer created a tailor-made podcast specifically to talk about the latest tactics, strategies, and trends in the plastic surgery world.
Did this take time? Yes.
Was it worth it?
In ONE month this led to 71 conversations with actual plastic surgeons.
From there (very important point), they would go on to make their sales pitch.
We’re talking about marketing qualified leads in a super hard medical niche.
Now a relationship was established.
To have any hope in an outreach campaign, you have to establish yourself in a way that makes leads want to talk with you.
Telling them how awesome you are isn’t going to cut it.
What’s In It for Me? (WIFM)
Hopefully, you understand that everyone you try to reach wants to know what’s in it for them.
You know what you get out of the equation…The chance to pitch and sell your product/service and grow your business.
Here’s the catch:
Most don’t want to know your direct benefit at first.
If you do SEO, they don’t want to hear about how you can get them more traffic in only three months.
That’s not really on your prospect’s radar enough for them to open a terrible cold email and beg you to take them as a client.
Even with good prospecting, quickly trying to sell your goods won’t resonate.
There are three core things that you have to do to get responses:
- Be interesting (to your target audience).
- Make what you do relevant (to your target audience).
- Offer something compelling (ditto).
Time for a Dose of Reality
What you do is boring.
Helpful, but not interesting.
Don’t get mad, it’s bad all over.
How many heads you think we turn (outside of Silicon Valley) when we mention we’re in lead gen software.
But we love what we do and make great businesses even more money by automating their outreach.
Arnold in True Lies was a super spy who had to act like he was a computer salesman to keep up appearances.
Most businesses have the opposite problem.
You’ve got to convince them that you’re some kinda super hero before you set them up with the usefulness of your product (like those sweet Windows 98 computers Arnie was pretending to sell in the movie).
Sales Pitch Stage One: Research
You may have heard the old sales term, “It’s easier to sell an aspirin than a vitamin”.
If someone has a headache, the aspirin is a sure bet.
The vitamin, someone has to be sold.
It’s pain point vs. luxury and it’s a very accurate portrayal of how it can be easier to sell products that solve a problem and harder to sell things that don’t.
But if you really want a positive response from your sales pitch, you have to go further by taking that aspirin and putting it in the form of one of those gummy vitamins.
You’re turning something that is useful into something that’s attractive.
You could have even thought, “Maybe we could do something similar to our case study above and make a podcast?”
It could be that simple, but
- What do your targets want to hear?
- What kind of research needs to be done?
- Is there any psychology that can compel them to respond?
- Will your leads listen to a podcast?
These are all questions that must be answered before you begin to worry about packaging your offer into a sales pitch.
Showing them a boring service or product (that they really need) takes thought.
Re-positioning your sales pitch to where it’s actually interesting takes time and effort.
There are tons of ways to make people perk up when your email arrives (no matter what you’re selling).
- Restaurant owners want to get positive reviews, lower shrink, and open a second location.
- Manufacturers want to shorten supply chains and improve output without increasing overhead.
- Nursing homes want to protect, improve, and build their reputation.
- Really, take a minute and figure out what your leads want to do to improve their business.
Bonus: Here’s a quick post that could help you (if you’re still having trouble).
Go Where They Go
To begin answering those questions about your prospects, you have to start visiting the same places they do.
If you’re not willing to find what interests your targets, you have no business trying to reach out to them in the first place.
You may as well send one of those, “I was going to call you, but figured I reach out here first” canned emails.
Read some industry blogs, or white papers.
Try to find some keywords and terms that seem to be buzzing around.
Once you have a loose idea of what your buyers want to hear, it’s time to go into deeper water and extract the things they’ll want right away.
We’ll give you a couple of tactics to get you started.
Find What They Already Enjoyed
Go to a site like Buzzsumo (it’s free) and see which terms are getting shared the most.
We did a sample search below for the term “lead generation”.
That quickly let us realize that it’s not a perfect method 🙂
Then, we tried searching for “dental practice management”.
We all know that someone reading this is trying to sell something to dentists.
It’s like the go-to B2B market, right?
Anyway, here’s what we found in the results.
A couple of the links there and another search let us know that dentists of an unsuccessful practice seem to look up anything from advertising tips to management best practices. (See screenshots below.)
There’s a lot of room here to find a topic that can bridge the gap between you and your ideal client.
Let Others Do the Research
Doing studies and running surveys of your audience is a great way to gather intel, but that will take a lot of time and maybe even a third party.
It’s more likely that the research you need is already available.
One of the best places to look is Pew Research.
And social media is a key component to both gaining and interacting with leads.
We went to Pew to find out if their research could help.
A quick search along the menu at the top lead us to see the “Internet & Tech” section.
We found the “Fact Sheets” tab interesting and clicked on it to find a few sets of data.
Low and behold, one of them was about social media.
On this piece, we were happy to find a ton of basic, but useful facts that could be used in creating a resource that speaks to businesses in a way they understand—facts.
The cool part is that you only need to give credit to Pew in order to use these facts in your own material.
Like, right now, we are using Pew research to help you understand that we know what we’re talking about when it comes to researching.
Bonus Resource: These are just a couple of ways to find the content that your leads really want from you. HubSpot wrote a great post summarizing 17 different tools. You may want to bookmark it for future use.
A Word on Psychology
There is a lot that goes into the buying process (from your buyers’ point of view). Almost every step has to do with their noggin.
We aren’t going to go deep into the brain activity of the consumer here, but we will cover the basic points that you need to know when creating your irresistible offer.
Copyblogger wrote a great post that is worth reading. In it, they state that “people make decisions emotionally” and “people justify decisions with facts”.
It’s these two keys that help you get responses from your sales pitch.
Giving your targets something they want, triggers them emotionally.
You are giving them a resource that will help them attain their goals, fulfill their desires, etc…
At the same time, you are setting yourself (or your brand) as the expert.Simply put, you compel with emotion and you sell with facts. Click To Tweet
Readers, viewers, and listeners all need to be moved from their wants to their needs over the course of an email or two. Let’s break it down.
Bottom Line: If you get this, you can get leads to respond. Creating a compelling offer happens when you can make leads emotionally desire a result (that you convey with your resource) and factually prove that you can create the result shown.
Don’t Stop There
Once you find that bridge between what you’re selling and what leads want to learn, it’s important to run the full hundred meters of this race.
It would be tempting to just spin the data you looked up into an original post or white paper. Or to hire someone on Fiverr to write content that barely passes inspection.
Nope! Don’t do it.
If you’re going to do that, just send spam. It’ll work about the same.
One of the best tips we could give you to make your pitch unique is to find out the most shared and valuable piece of content—and make it better.
Think about the real-life sales pitch example we gave.
Do you know how much effort it takes to record a podcast and upload it on the internet? If you’re interested, here’s a detailed post and a couple of hours worth of video tutorials on the topic.
It wasn’t easy, but the results speak for themselves.
Why would you put so much into your business and not do your best to sell the product?
Stage One Recap:
- Take what you have to sell.
- Find (related) things leads want to know.
- Research to find out what they already like.
- Make a (better) resource for them.
- Highlight (factually) your ability to solve a problem.
Sales Pitch Stage Two: Packaging
Hopefully, your sales hook is starting to become clear.
If you’ve read this far, your mind should be starting to think about the ways you can grab the eyes and ears of your leads in ways that don’t start with a cold, hard sales pitch.
Now, we’ll change gears a bit and talk about how to package your sales pitch within the confines of a cold email.
You’re Nothing if Not Relevant
There is a lot to convey in such a short amount of text.
You have 2-4 sentences (5 max), to tell them what you do and give them a way to learn more.
That’s not a lot of room for an introduction.
In fact, you shouldn’t introduce yourself.
That’s why you have one of those fancy signatures at the end.
With Gmail, they already see your face anyway.
Just get to the point; the clear value that you hope to tell them more about in a conversation.
“Delivery of your value statement should take no more than 15 to 20 seconds — generally less.” — Dave Hibbard
Here are the elements of a relevant cold email:
You’ve probably read several posts about this one little thing.
It dominates that discussion of outreach, because it’s so important to the open rate.
We could hash out those details, but we’ve written extensively on the subject. Here are few links on the topic (from us and others).
- Subject Line for Cold Email – The Art, Science, and Successful Examples (LeadFuze)
- Follow Up Email Subject Line – How to Write Something Compelling that Actually Works (LeadFuze)
- 164 Best Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Email Open Rates (OptinMonster)
How to start a sales pitch
Most readers can see the first sentence, making it the second most important part of the email (subject line being first).Make the first sentence concise and exactly what your ideal buyers would want to know. Click To Tweet
There are a few sales pitch ideas that you could use, depending on who you’re trying to contact.
The Gush: If your audience is a reach up like to CEOs, celebrities, or others who may be publicly notable—tell them that you enjoy their [insert thing they do here].
- Sales Pitch Example: We’ve been a user/reader/subscriber of [blank] for years and are big fans of…
The Brag: This is where you start off with a closely related and well-known client of yours to prove that you are a potential fit for their brand right up front.
- Sales Pitch Example: We just finished a project for [insert fancy-pants customer you’ve worked with here] and thought….
The Point: You know your leads. If they don’t want their time wasted, often times the best thing to do is give them the goods in the first line.
- Sales Pitch Example: I was wondering if you were looking for more social media leads for your dental practice?
Make sure that one of your few sentences is a question.
It’s like the call-to-action.
The whole email should be geared toward getting a response.
You should actually include a couple of sentences that maximize the potential to getting an email back.
For instance, (using the question above) asking a direct question, first sentence, about their business needs (e.g. do you want more XYZ?).
Then, end with a less confrontational and related question. Something like, “Which social media platform gives you the best results?”
Doing this provides two opportunities for the lead to answer, one aggressive and the other not.Which question a lead answers is also a great way to gauge where they stand. Click To Tweet
If they answered the less aggressive question, they may need more nurturing.
But if they email back asking for quotes—it may be a faster qualifying process.
Your signature should be the only contact information that you give.
Don’t introduce yourself, don’t start out with who your company is, none of that.
Put all relevant data in your (professional) email signature at the end of the email (before the P.S.).
Don’t make it too long. They don’t need to know your birthday, favorite color, and NO inspirational quote.
- Company (with address)
- Your immediate contact data
Post Script (AKA P.S.)
Always include a P.S. in your cold emails.
It’s more likely to get read than the second sentence.
O.k., so we may not have hard data on that last sentence.
That said, post scripts get read by everyone who opens the email.
If you have a great resource that is perfectly tailored to your ideal leads, this would be the ideal place to put it. Those leads who opened your email and shrugged with a “Meh” may look down and say “Ohh”, leading to an eventual response.
Remember our case study? This is how you go from ZERO to 71.
Sales Pitch Stage Three: Delivery
We have to go over one last critical piece to the cold outreach puzzle—timing.
Your compelling offer is going to be the cornerstone of your outreach, but most of the time it won’t take on the first send.
Often times, it takes multiple touch points and emails to get a response from even the best leads.
In order to make the most of your lead list, you’ll want to send several emails; timed in a way that gets a response without annoying people.
We go into a lot more detail on when to send cold email.
Sales pitch best practices
We’ve discussed the sales pitch from a lot of different angles in this blog post.
Before we wrap this up, we’ll go over a few best practices you should keep in mind to ensure that your sales pitch is as effective as possible.
Start with a question
A good way to start a sales pitch is to ask the prospect a question.
Avoid starting your sales pitch by listing a bunch of facts (e.g., who you are and what your company does). Instead, begin your sales pitch with a question which helps to start a dialogue between you and the prospect.
Try asking a question about something you and the prospect would agree on, such as an undeniable fact or truth within their industry. You can start your question in one of the following ways:
- You know how…
- Doesn’t it seem like…
- Have you ever noticed…
Getting the prospect to agree with you right at the beginning will help you build rapport and frame the conversation in the right way, giving you a better chance of making the sale.
Keep it conversational and friendly
While you should certainly practice your sales pitch, it shouldn’t sound practiced. Don’t turn your pitch into a monologue.
Think of talking with a prospect as chatting with a friend who could use your help. Keep the conversation casual and genuinely try to help the prospect while presenting your solution.
Focus on the benefits
Focus your sales pitch on the benefits that your solution can provide. Show the prospect how your product or service can solve their pain points, and the results it can generate for the prospect’s company.
This will help make the conversation highly relevant and interesting to your prospects, allowing you to grab their attention and get them interested in what you have to offer.
Make it short
You shouldn’t strive to explain everything about your solution in your first conversation with the prospect. Your sales pitch should result in the prospect wanting to learn more about your offering.
If you’ve done your research, you should be able to deliver your pitch within a couple of sentences.
Apart from intriguing prospects, a short pitch will also show them that you’re considerate of their time.
Take advantage of data
Your prospects most likely get pitched by companies similar to yours all the time. They hear a lot of different claims, some of them hard to believe or prove.
If you want to make your sales pitch believable, use actual data and stats to support your claims. Mention case studies you’ve produced, as well as any testimonials from satisfied customers that you might have accrued so far.
This will help prospects have an easier time trusting you and having faith in the effectiveness of your product or service.
People are naturally attracted to stories. Storytelling is a great way to captivate your prospects and make them lower their guard.
Delivering your sales pitch in the form of a story allows you to build rapport and create a stronger connection between you and the prospect. A story helps prospects relate to your brand more, making it easier for you to sell to them.
Tell the prospects a story that covers where their business is now, what problems it’s facing, and where it could be if they had a way to solve their problem. Then, tell them how your product can help them get there.
More sales pitch examples
Before we conclude this guide, we’re going to mention a few of our favorite sales pitches.
G2Crowd’s pitch revolves around agitating a pain point of their target audience, and then offering their solution as a way to help their audience solve it.
They highlight a clear disconnect between what’s currently available in the market and what prospects actually need.
The pitch accomplishes all of this while staying relatively short and focusing on the benefits the G2Crowd platform offers to its users.
Vidyard’s pitch addresses their core audience right from the start and focuses on the competitive advantage their product has, as well as the clear benefits it can provide to its users.
They also make sure to mention a number of different use cases for their product, helping prospects quickly understand all of Vidyard’s possibilities and making them imagine using it within their own company.
Brightfunnel’s sales pitch is the shortest one on this list. In just 15 seconds, they manage to explain what their platform is about and how it can benefit their target audience.
By keeping their pitch short, they manage to both keep their audience’s attention as well as have them asking for more.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
If your goal is conversations with quality leads, then your offer (aka your sales pitch) is what you need to focus on.
Everything should be tested, but it’s the offer that’s most important. It needs to resonate with your target audience.
Make it a good one.
Connect with me on LinkedIn, but please don’t share your sales pitch ?
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