One of the hardest things to do during any initial sales call or presentation is to create a memorable experience. Below are three things you can do to help ensure that you and your pitch will be remembered.
1. Remove prospects’ fears at the top of the conversation.
At the onset of any initial conversation with prospects, it's likely that the prospects are going to come in with their guard up. They’re going to be skeptical that the conversation will be worth their time and afraid of entering into an agreement that won’t be of optimal value.
One of the easiest ways to remove prospects’ fears at the top of a meeting is to be passionate—about their business.
Expressing passion is something that most people can’t fake well. The good news is that passion is contagious. Ask the prospects questions that will help you determine what they’re passionate about, and allow yourself to tap into the things that excite them about what they do. Then, refer to those things throughout the rest of your pitch.
Feeding off of prospects’ passions can help you tap into your own, determine the energy level you ought to maintain throughout your pitch, and accelerate the establishment of a genuine rapport. It’s also a great way to remove prospects’ doubts or concerns and make everyone feel comfortable.
2. Ask thoughtful questions throughout your pitch.
Salespeople tend to be trained to ask simple questions and make clear statements. They’re taught what to say about their company and its products and services and, hopefully, how to say it.
What most sales training programs neglect to do is to train salespeople to ask questions beyond those such as, “How often does your company replace its toner?” Questions like, “How often does your company replace its toner?” might be necessary, but they’re not the types of questions that generate real dialog; they’re questions that invite one-word responses and evoke tedium.
If you want you and your sales pitch to be memorable, the last thing you want to do is invite tedium into the room. Yikes! (Snore.)
Instead of asking, “How often does your company replace its toner?” ask a more powerful question, such as, “What is it about sourcing, receiving or recycling your toner, however many times you do it in a week or a month, that most concerns you?” In the latter question, you’re not only giving prospects more to think about, which helps create a more memorable experience and further real dialog, but giving yourself an opportunity to obtain important information without inspiring snores from your audience.
3. Make prospects uncomfortable—in a good way.
At the onset of your conversation, you sought to make the prospects feel comfortable. Towards the end of your pitch, you need to make them feel uncomfortable—in a good way.
Present them with scenarios that depict what might happen if they don’t take advantage of what you’re offering. How much money could they potentially stand to lose? How might productivity levels suffer? How might operations be disrupted? Provide examples of how you’ve helped other clients prevent losses.
Prospects are inclined to remember the things that scare them, so don't hesitate to scare them just a little bit at the end of your presentation. Often, the point at which prospects become more afraid of missing out on the opportunities you’re presenting than of taking a chance on you is the point at which you win the sale.