The 5-Step Simple Sales Pitch

Rick A Conlow
August 13, 2012 — 1,078 views  
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What's more important to the client you're selling to - your sales success  history with other clients you've helped in the past or the success  that's possible for that particular client in the present?

It's an easy answer, isn't it? The latter - clearly. So now, I ask you: When  you're selling, is it about you or your client? This article is about framing  your sales pitch - strategically and successfully. To put it simply, your sales  spiel should mirror the process customers experience as they aim to fill a  need.

1. Interest

2. Need

3. Learning & Analysis

4. Evaluation

5. Decision

If you think of your sales pitch as a five-step process, you can incorporate  the above in very relevant ways.

First and foremost, is your client initiating the conversation or do you have  five minutes to convince him why this conversation is important? More often than  not, you'll be the one pursuing the sale. So, let's start there. Identify something about your offer that may be interesting to your  client - personally or professionally. You might be surprised to know  that clients are easily engaged when the "interest" you pinpoint applies to  their personal lives. People are "whole" individuals - and most of the time, if  you peak their personal interest, you'll have a more fluid conversation around  their professional needs (step #2). However, I think it's essential to mention  how important it is that you draw a boundary - know where the line lies between  engaging the client professionally and personally. You don't want to be so  casual or informal that you are perceived as unprofessional.

If you do step #1 well, the discussion should naturally move in the direction  of the client's needs. The more you know what the client needs, the more  you can sell the client the right thing. An unfortunate  mistake that many sales professionals make is to sell clients the most expensive  product or service. The reason this is the wrong place to begin is because it's  completely discrediting the clients' real needs, and gives them little reason to  trust you and come to you in the future. Build trust, establish a relationship,  and identify the clients' real needs. This way, even if you don't secure a sale,  they'll have valid reason to return to you when the right need arises  next time around.

The learning and analysis stage is your opportunity to educate the  client. You will want to explain the value of your offer, the benefits  your client will receive, and the alternatives that are available. As a sales  professional, you'll want to mention your competitors, so that you don't  ignorantly imply they don't exist, but you'll want to strategically discuss the  competition. Again, it's about explaining to your client why your offer is a  better fit for her needs.

Although the evaluation stage is usually an inner dialogue that  happens for the client, you'll want to be supportive of this stage from  afar. The best way to do this is to clearly communicate that you  understand the difficult decision they face, and that you want to do your best  to answer any questions that may assist them during the decision-making process.  The more you can send the message that you are there to help them (not pressure  them), the more they will look to you as a partner in the process - instead of  viewing you as a one-sided bystander.

And finally, the decision stage is where they either accept your sale  and commit to your offer, or they decline. Although it may be tempting  to take their rejection personally, don't. If they don't want what you're  selling, sincerely maintain curiosity, so that you can explore why they have  opted out. The more you can understand their rationale, the better you can  understand their needs (which will benefit you in the future). If you react  irrationally, you risk losing the relationship and their respect.

It isn't always easy to think of a sales pitch as a step-by-step process, but  it can be a useful framework when you're in a pinch or new to the  game.

By the way, do you want to learn how help others learn to sell more  effectively? If so, download our free sales guide:

Or, do you want a proven gameplan for leadership effectiveness? If so, check  out Rick's new book,

Rick A Conlow

WCW Partners

Rick Conlow is the CEO/Co-Founder of WCW Partners, a global management consulting and training firm. Rick has helped organizations increase sales 218%, improve repeat-and-referral business by 20%, increase customer retention to 99%, reduce complaints by 60% and achieve 34 quality awards. You can reach Rick at: [email protected] or 888-313-0514.