Sales pitch: Definition
What is the sales pitch
Presenting a good sales pitch is at the heart of the salesperson's job. This is the moment in the sales interview where the salesperson will use his sales pitches to lead to the commercial offer and the conclusion of the sale.
The right argument is the one that arrives at the right time, which is adapted to the needs of the prospect and which allows the potential customer to express himself on the resolution of his problem easily.
The main difficulty in reality is to understand which are the right arguments to use and why an argument will work on one prospect and not on the other. To do this, you must understand the place of the sales pitch in a sales process.
The sales pitch in a sales process
All sales processes go through three main stages:
- Qualification: Understanding the prospect's needs and who they are
- The value proposition: This is the phase where we meet the needs of the future customer, the sales pitch is part of this phase.
- The closing: It is the conclusion of the sale, the one that transforms a commercial process into turnover.
It is mistakenly believed that this is the most important phase of the sale, the one that makes the difference between the good commercial and the bad commercial.
That's not true at all.
The sales pitch is the step that links the discovery phase to the closing phase.
There is no good sales pitch for someone who hasn't asked enough questions and done enough active listening in the sales conversation.
Good news, this step is very simple when you follow the right method!
How to build an effective sales pitch in 5 steps
Step 1: Properly qualify the problem of your prospect
In three words: Ask questions. To build a good sales pitch you need to understand what your prospect needs but also and above all what are the problems he is looking to solve. To understand the difference between need and problem, I have the perfect quote:
People don't need a quarter inch drill bit. They want a quarter inch hole
Why this changes everything, because by digging we will realize that what the prospect is looking for is to put down his kitchen (potential turnover 2000€) not just a drill bit for his drill (potential turnover 5 €).
Step 2: Understand your prospect's decision-making process and profile
Once you have understood what your future customer really needs, you must understand how he will choose the product or service he intends to buy but also what he is sensitive to. This happens as soon as you make contact and methods such as the SONCAS method or Q2C selling conversations can help you.
This step is particularly important because it is what will allow you to choose the right sales arguments to convince this specific prospect.
Step 3: Submit the right arguments
The long-awaited phase of the sales pitch is now that you present your sales pitches to your prospect. But be careful, do not do it anyhow!
First of all keep in mind that among the dozens of potential arguments around your solutions, you will only choose 2 or 3. The most important, the most powerful for your prospect! They are simply those that resonate with his decision-making process and his psychological profile.
Being exhaustive has NO interest.
Also leave some breathing room between each argument to give your prospect the opportunity to voice any objections.
Step 4: Dealing with objections
An objection cannot be “against”, the worst you can do is try to counter-argument in a hurry.
Objections are positive, not negative.
They testify to the fact that your prospect is engaged in the decision-making process and is trying to project himself with your solution. The best method to deal with an objection is the CRAC method.
The idea is to clearly understand where the objection comes from, confirm that you have understood it correctly, then comes the additional argument and finally the check with the prospect that the objection has been lifted. We have written a dedicated guide here.
Step 5: Validate that the sales pitch has been understood
What is true for objections is also true for your arguments in general: you must check that your message is well received.
A good technique is to focus the discussion on “the future made possible”. This technique comes to us from Q2C selling and allows you to discuss with the prospect what he will be able to do with the proposed solution.
You will very quickly see which arguments worked and which were integrated by your future client.
Sales pitch: the 3 mistakes not to make
Argue too quickly
The worst mistake a salesperson can make is to fall into the argument too quickly. That is to say, start presenting the advantages of your solution without having taken the time to discover them and without your prospect waiting for them.
Nothing is more counterproductive than trying to convince someone who has not yet clearly identified either their problem or who you are.
Good things come to those who wait for.
Have a typical sales pitch
So that's a puzzle. Often it is not the fault of the salesperson but the sales management who loves powerpoints with a perfect pitch scripted and imposed on all salespeople at all times.
Do not hire salespeople who have 3 to 5 years of study and as much experience if it is to impose this on them. A chatbot on your website will do the job very well and will cost less in psychoanalysis.
The job of a salesperson is to fully understand the customer and his problem in order to precisely choose the relevant sales pitches and present them in the most impactful way possible. If you are naive enough to believe that everyone is the same and thinks the same, you are making a big mistake.
Stop at the presentation of the argument
You've made the sales pitch of your life, impactful, smooth, effective... you're the best of the best, a rising sales star.
In theory everything always goes very well, until in practice your prospect has understood absolutely nothing of your great pitch and goes to the competition.
Use the conversation on the future made possible by Q2C selling, this will allow you both to verify that the argument has passed but also to help the prospect to reclaim it to better talk about it around him.
3 examples of effective sales pitches
You have seen that the right pitch is simply a matter of timing and method. It is the most important. Next, there are simple selling techniques that can help you structure your argument to make it more convincing. We therefore give you 3 examples of pitches that are based on an effective sales technique.
Example of a sales pitch with the CAP method (or its evolution cab)
These methods are very simple and quite effective for presenting technical arguments for a product, for example. There are three dimensions to each argument:
- Features: Describes the technical feature, the attribute of the product that you want to highlight.
- Advantages: We describe what this characteristic brings as an advantage to use.
- Proof / Benefits: We prove the advantage / we insist on the impact of the advantage.
Example with a marketing automation tool that would send emails automatically at the best times for each of your contacts:
Feature: “Our marketing automation tool automatically sends your campaigns at the best time for your contacts”
Advantage: “It allows you to spend less time planning campaigns and your emails will be more likely to be read by your customers”
Proof: The average opening rate of our email campaigns is nearly 80% compared to 35% for competing solutions.
Example of pitch with Stories
Storytelling is the most impactful and powerful form of communication ever used by man. It is as old as the world and certain stories have the gift of remaining etched in our memory instantly and for decades.
The irony is that to sell we act as if it didn't exist. So you can either choose to use them or wake up and grab them.
To build a good story, Q2C selling offers a very effective story creation canvas:
An example of an iconic story: The story about the future made possible
It is a story diagram applicable to all products or services and which allows an effective pitch because it projects the prospect with your solution.
- The goal of the story: to increase the value of its solution by going beyond solving the prospect's initial problem.
- When to use it: during the value proposition, it is the logical follow-up to the presentation of the solution.
- The initial situation: your prospect is the hero of this story, he has become a customer and has implemented the solution that you have just presented to him.
- The final situation: your client who was able to solve many more problems than expected and who even seized new opportunities that are currently inaccessible.
- The moment of truth: the moment when his main problem is solved.
- Complications: the secondary issues that he will now have to face, but which are in fact solved thanks to your solution.
- The resolution: how did the implementation of what you propose finally allow much more things than your prospect thought?
There are tons of other stories to create for your needs, the power of a story comes from the fact that it plays on your prospect's emotions, projection and imagination.
Example of a pitch with SIMAC
Much more academic and widely used, this method allows you to structure the value proposition phase and therefore your argument:
- S for Situation: Understand the prospect's context, needs and issues.
- I for Idea: Present an idea to the prospect that would solve his problem.
- M for Mechanism: Explain how to concretely implement the proposed idea using a detailed action plan.
- A for Benefit: Describe the benefits of deploying this solution in your prospect's context.
- C for Conclusion: Obtain feedback from the prospect and validate its relevance.
It is useful in contexts where the sale is short and can be done in a single appointment because it incorporates the notion of qualification (the Situation). It can perfectly be combined with the two previous ones for the most skilled of you ;-).