A sales pitch is a script or message that you use to lead your listeners to a specific action — for instance, ask for a demo or book an appointment with your brand's representative. The pitch sets the tone for your entire relationship with the client. It can be written down or verbal, informal or formal.
The term encompasses many different types of pitches:
When talking with a prospect, you might want to use several pitches. For instance, you might start with a presentation pitch when you meet offline. The next day, you deliver a phone pitch and a follow-up in a few days.
Mind that you need a sales pitch to engage a person in conversion and not try to sell products to him or her. Consequently, your pitch should be concise and provide value to your interlocutor.
Its ideal length depends on the type of pitch:
Cold calls should last no longer than 8 minutes. Otherwise, they will have poor conversion odds.
An optimal length of an email message is approximately 300 words, which equals roughly 1,400–1,500 characters. The recipient will be much more likely to respond to it than messages that contain 100 words or less.
An elevator sales pitch should last no more than 30 seconds. The most common mistake that professionals with little experience make consists in the following: they get too nervous and can't concentrate from the onset. That's why it is highly important to practice your pitch many times and learn every syllable by heart.
As for full-fledged sales presentations, they should be no longer than 18 minutes. Scientific discoveries reveal that at the 19th minute, the audience gets tired and pays little attention to the speech. If you talk for too long, it would be much harder for you to make your listeners say "yes" to your offer.
In general, people's attention span has been gradually shrinking over the past decades. The first seconds of your business conversation determine your odds to sell your product.
If you have already talked to a prospect before — then, you have established rapport with him or her. Capitalize on that and remind this person that you're not a stranger! Instead of talking about your products, your brand or yourself, remind your prospect about the time when you last met (or had a phone call, or a video conference). Remind the person that you understand their pains and can offer a way to fix them.
Ideally, you should prepare for using this type of sales pitch in the following way. When you talk to a prospect for the first time, you should get to know their pains and their tools for measuring the efficiency of overcoming them. For instance, your prospect might be a designer. Because of a poor Wi-Fi signal, they might struggle to share their projects with clients and contractors. They changed the provider but it didn't help.
This is an example of a follow-up email that you can send to them after a face-to-face conversation: "Hi Becky! Thank you for taking some time to visit our showroom on ZZZ street on Wednesday. You were absolutely right when saying that the light was a bit too bright. We've tried to dim it and it looks stunning. I remember you told me that your clients complain about mediocre Wi-Fi connections in their homes. What if I could offer a reliable and affordable solution to this problem? I'm collaborating with an XXX company that has released an amazing Wi-Fi amplifier. I use one in my house and we have the other one in the showroom that you visited. I guess this device might facilitate the process of exchanging large files with your clients and editing large documents collaboratively in real time. Would you like to meet once again sometime soon to discuss it? Ellie".
Sales reps with little experience often make the same mistake. When they lack time, they try to talk about themselves and their products as much as they can: "I'm Ben and I work for the CCC company. We develop AI-powered software solutions that enable online businesses to retain their customers". These are important facts — but they are no good for this sales pitch. This kind of information doesn't engage your client in a conversation.
Here are a few examples of worthy questions that you might want to start your speech with:
● Have you heard that..?
● Is it true that you..?
● Do you agree that..?
Your goal is to make your interlocutor say "yes".
Some people might realize that you try to sell something to them — and they might say "no" just to avoid the dialogue. In this case, you might want to reverse the trick. You might try to assume that they don't have the problem.
Example: "I guess you have no troubles using collaboration tools with cloud services, right? No matter where you are, you can easily access any tool that you need".
You hit your prospect's nerve — and they will be likely to give you an emotional answer.
The aim of your first pitch is not to inform the client or sell the product to them immediately. Your goal is to make them want to learn more. First, you should do your homework and get to know the pain points of your target audience. Then, you should tell them just one phrase. This phrase should convince the prospect that you know how to fix their problems.
Example: "We'll help you get rid of insomnia". You can say so if your company produces sleep-tracking wearables. Or: "We teach people to write hits". You can use this phrase if you work for a music production school.
You don't mention your products or their benefits. You just show the result that many people perceive as a game-changer. You don't need to limit yourself to one sentence. Feel free to add a second and maybe a third one. But make sure that your initial idea doesn't get blurred.
Example: "We'll help you get rid of insomnia. You won't need to take medications or complete expensive courses. Your sleep patterns will improve and you'll have a good rest after spending 7 hours in bed".
When you start enumerating the features of your product, it might sound too boring. Let's consider this example: "Our book recommendations service helps people to find old and new books that might seem interesting for them. In our app, you can search for book titles and filter books by genre. You can rate books that you have already read and bookmark those that you're planning to read. You can review books and discuss them with other users". All of these statements are true and relevant — but will such a description strike a chord with a potential user? Probably, no.
Instead, you might want to say something different: "In our app, people can openly express their opinion about fiction and non-fiction books. We don't edit or censor negative reviews that provide constructive criticism. Unlike some of our competitors, we don't pay users to praise the books that we'd like to promote. We encourage readers to be open and honest. This approach should help them to detect the books that they will be likely to enjoy in the shortest possible time".
Do you see the difference between these two sales pitch examples? The second is concise and crystal clear. Most customers will find it much more appealing than the first one.
You're not the only company that approaches your prospects. Your target audience regularly hears pitches — and their susceptibility has largely decreased. Data will help you to prove that your information is important and trustworthy. You try to appeal to quantitative evidence and not people's emotions.
For instance, you might say: "Social referrals lead to faster conversions". Or you might express the same idea a bit differently: "70% of businesses report that social referrals convert faster than other types of lead". The second example sounds much more compelling and professional.
With this type of sales pitch, you accentuate the importance of your prospect's pain. You convince them that you realize how badly they need a solution. The trickiest task, in this case, is to "scan" your interlocutor's reactions and assess their readiness to buy. These signals are rather subtle and reps with little experience might occasionally misinterpret them.
A prospect should be likely to try your product if they:
● Ask you about the pricing, warranty, modifications, delivery dates and other details
● Say something like "This might help me cope with that task"
When communicating online, you don't need to rely on your gut feeling or analyzing your client's body language. You can check whether the recipient opened your message, when exactly they did it, how long it took them to read it, which comments they left and so on.
It would be great if the tracking tools that you used allowed you to detect which parts of your message seemed the most interesting to the reader. When you get in touch with them next time, you'll be able to prioritize these topics.
This piece of advice is relevant only for those situations when you have enough time. The mission of your story is to explain to your customers how they can benefit from your products or services.
Here is the structure of an ideal story for a sales pitch.
● State that a major change has taken place that affects the audience
● Name the enemy
● Tease the "promised land" – that is, describe how life will look like for consumers who use the right transition tools
● Highlight several features of the product that can help consumers reach that promised land
● Prove that your story is based on the real life
Some professionals tend to include the "About Us" slide in their pitch decks. And that would be a mistake! Excessive details might make your story sound boring. Besides, such information puts your business at the center of attention. Meanwhile, you need to fully focus on your audience and make them feel like the main protagonists of your story.
Your pitch shouldn't sound too formal. The last thing your prospect wants to hear is a long monotonous monologue. Ideally, you should start with a quick snippet to warm up your interlocutor's interest. Then, you'll have no more than a couple of seconds to assess their reaction, both verbal and non-verbal. If you see that they're curious, feel free to go on.
You might want to rely on a trick that is known as the WOW, HOW, NOW framework. This is what these acronyms stand for.
● WOW – You should say something that will make your interlocutor respond with "Wow!". If they don't explicitly say it, they should at least think so. Come up with a short and interesting statement that can pleasantly surprise a person.
● HOW – You realize that your interlocutor wants to get more information. You briefly deliver to them the main essence of your message.
● NOW – Provide a real-life example of what you're talking about.
A potential client: "What kind of a business are you running here?"
Me: "I collect the most beautiful sopranos"
Him or her: "How exactly?"
Me: "I've launched a platform that connects music producers with professional singers. It is AI-powered and it makes the process of searching for the best candidates quick and simple. Also, my platform contains templates of contracts that artists can sign. Plus, we provide legal support, which is especially important for young talents".
When you send an email to your client, you might want to start talking about them. Praise them and express your gratitude to them. Stay focused on your prospect in your first two paragraphs. Only in the third paragraph, you can start talking about your brand and products.
Example: "Hey Tom!
I wanted to reach out to you to say thank you for your YYY track! It's a blast! For me (and for thousands of other people) it has become the main tune of the season. Whenever a DJ turns it on, it becomes the peak moment of the party.
I remember you speaking at the FFF conference. You said that you don't produce your tracks 100% by yourself. Instead, you create the melody and the bass, you approve the lyrics and choose the vocalist. Then, you explain to your team how they should develop the tune. It seems to be an amazing approach because you get superb tracks and you have enough time for your fantastic gigs.
The other reason I'm reaching out is because I work for the DDD company that develops software for music producers. We've just released a new app that facilitates the process of writing songs. Its interface is extremely intuitive and you don't need to have any profound technical skills to use it. I was just wondering whether you might try to use it to enhance your communications with your talented team? Or maybe you might want to use it to increase your own input?
As you might remember, I was talking at the FFF conference as well. My speech was about choosing proper tools for remixing old pop hits. Then, we had a quick talk at the bar with you.
Would you be up for chatting this week? Please let me know, I will be looking forward to hearing from you!
Your message shouldn't trigger any fear alarms. It should be a pleasant piece of news that your prospect didn't expect to receive. Thanks to such a tone, your email will stand out from all the other white noise that your recipient has in their inbox.
Hopefully, this article came in handy and now you better understand what a sales pitch is. One of the best merits of this tool is that you can assess its efficiency almost immediately after using it. The sales pitch examples that were described above should be helpful for businesses from nearly any sphere. Feel free to use them to sell more products, expand your client base and maximize your income!