Over the past 15 years I’ve sat through, recorded and critiqued 1500+ sales presentations. The bulk of them (80%) are adequate at best, 18% of them are good to very good and 2% are brilliant. Along the way, I’ve discovered that there are five presentation success habits that, when combined, create the PERFECT pitch. These success habits represent the five quickest and surest ways to double your business win rate:
1. Elicit a broader and deeper understanding of the client need.
Most unsuccessful sales presentations can be traced back to the inconclusive assessment that preceded it. Not having absolute certainty on the client’s current reality situation and his or her desired reality outcome is a sales opportunity squandered. In my experience the average sales professional obtains only 22% of the information required to generate a complete understanding of the client requirement. A perfect pitch bridges the gap between where your client is and where he or she wants to be … so in the future take the time up front to fully diagnose the client problem before attempting to prescribe the right product /service solution.
2. Demonstrate how your product/service solution bridges the client gap.
Understanding the client requirement is only one piece of a two-piece puzzle … being able to communicate how your product (or service) offering will bridge your client’s gap is another. Your sales message must be structured and delivered in a way that convinces logically and inspires emotionally. After all an unconvinced or uninspired client will rarely take the desired course of action, even if you have the ideal product or service solution. A perfect pitch is structured, using an information sequencing strategy that convinces logically and inspires emotionally.
3. Communicate a valuable point of difference.
When clients are unable to distinguish between your product /service and competitive offerings they will render a buying decision based on price rather than value. Since no one wins in a price war you must be able to clearly articulate a valuable point of difference that you, your product or your organization brings to the relationship. Keep in mind that your point of difference must be unique, it must be provable and it must bring value to the client’s situation. A perfect pitch creates a value distinction about what you have or what you do that separates you from your competition.
4. Align your sales message with your client’s unique decision-making needs.
Every client is different. As such they have their own unique decision making needs. Some require a mountain of information to support a buying decision … others require next to none. Some will secure your professional services based on their perception of your personal competence … others will base it on their perception of your character or likeability. Most sales professionals fail to take these differences into consideration. Instead they design and deliver sales presentations that are designed and delivered to inspire themselves to take action … not the client. They speak a language that they are most comfortable with, they point to the features and corresponding benefits that they are most impressed by, they introduce the evidence that supports their own logical decision making needs and communicate at a pace, tone and volume that is pleasing for them to hear. They are in essence pitching to themselves and unless the client has similar decision making needs and listening preferences the presentation will most certainly fail. A perfect pitch is “client-centric” and accounts for the unique decision making needs of the client.
5. Recognize and respond to underlying client fears.
A client’s buying decision is a reflection of the delicate balance between fear and desire. When desire for product ownership is stronger than the fear of taking action the client will buy. When the opposite condition exists the client will walk away. The phrases “Leave it with me,” “I’ll get back to you” or “I think we are going to hold off on our purchase decision” are all anxiety laden responses from a client who has succumbed to his or her own unresolved fears. A perfect pitch eliminates client fears by introducing the evidence, action plan or performance guarantee that effectively addresses them. Know with absolute certainty that when you integrate these five presentation success habits you will immediately and dramatically increase your pitch win rate. www.thegapanalysis.com
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