Knowing your sales presentation inside and out is good practice, but reciting lines like you’re acting in a school play doesn’t leave room for a dialogue. Today’s sales meetings are not soliloquies – they are an opportunity to have a conversation with your prospect. Your pitch needs to be flexible enough to work in any circumstances, and so dynamic that it can engage any audience. It’s evident that one size doesn’t fit all, so how do you craft a strong sales story that will work for all occasions?
Know your brand
When you really know your brand, you don’t need a script. Of course it’s OK to refer to your marketing collateral, but you should be able to articulate the key elements of your pitch without prompting. Know your business. Know what makes it valuable. Know your prospect’s pain points or desires and how your products could fulfil them.
When you’re not focused on remembering lines – instead allowing the discussion to develop naturally – you can actively listen to what they’re saying. Moreover, having the head space available to observe your audience while you’re speaking means that you can see their reactions – spoken or otherwise – and adjust your pitch accordingly.
Have a structure - but keep it loose
Think of your pitch like a ‘choose your own adventure’ book – it still has a beginning, middle and end, but the direction of the story is dictated by the reader, or in this case, your prospect. When using PowerPoints Author Guy Kawasaki has defined 10 slides you need in your pitch, but there are many tools out there to help you structure your presentation to ensure you include the fundamentals.
At the very least, you need to:
- Reel the prospect in by defining the problem that your product/service solves.
- Describe your solution, focusing on the features, benefits and the ideal outcome for their business.
- Ask questions. It’s important to remember that the story you’re telling is not about your business – it’s about theirs.
- Ask for their business in whichever way suits you best. Here’s 18 closing phrases that might help you out.
Prepare different types of content
You’ve done your research. You know your brand back to front, your customer’s business inside out, and you’ve checked out the LinkedIn profile of the person you’re meeting. Even with all this information, you may not know exactly what kind of pitch you need to make until you start talking. Some people are completely turned off by numbers, whereas others feel reassured by them so focus on the important stats. Creative thinkers often respond to visuals, so for these types it’s good to have plenty of imagery – perhaps infographics or video content. Still others may prefer straightforward bullet points for clarity. This is why it’s so important to a) observe your audience’s reactions and b) have plenty of content available for them to view. Your pitch needs to be so dynamic that you can switch it up at a moment’s notice, without losing your stride.
Use a Sales Enablement platform
Using a Sales Enablement app on a mobile device allows you to store, access and present your marketing content easily and fluidly. There’s enough pressure in sales without adding to it by being unable to find what you need when you need it. No one wants to watch you scrolling through your documents folder or worse still printed collateral.
Bearing in mind the necessity for a dynamic sales story, it’s crucial that all your marketing collateral – whether that’s slides, graphics, videos, or whatever it is your prospect wants to see – is all in one place, up-to-date and easy to navigate. A sales enablement app lets you get on with the pitch, moving seamlessly from one piece of content to another in harmony with the conversation. A good app will enable you to work with your content offline, so you don’t need to worry about an internet connection and will allow you to email the content the customer is interested in instantly from the device. It also ensures that all the content is updated centrally, so there’s no question of the content being old or off-brand.
Finally, none of this means anything if the speaker lacks enthusiasm. Be a storyteller. Talk clearly and openly, and don’t forget to smile. If you can get your audience to believe in you, you’re on your way to a sale.