Sales skills are a gift like no other. In many cases, no amount of training can transform the average business owner into a persuasive closer. Some people just have the knack for promoting their ideas, and others rely on technical or operational abilities to drive revenues. Yet, if you own a business, much of your success depends on providing compelling reasons for customers to use your services or buy your products. So while you may not be a natural salesman, you can learn to create effective sales presentations, melding concepts, vision, and brand to establish a loyal clientele. The following five components are a vital part of any powerful sales pitch.
Who You Are
Ask yourself how you wound up in the business you have chosen. Chances are you will sell yourself on the many reasons why you decided to start a company. Focus on your strengths and relay those qualities to prospects in the first part of your sales pitch, be it paper, electronic, or verbal. Outline your experience and professional qualifications up front. Educational and career accomplishments help build instant credibility, which paves the way for the balance of the presentation.
Make It Personal
Prospects will relate to the human side of any business pursuit. While your primary focus is to generate profit, there is likely a good story behind your humble beginnings. Tell it. Not only will people identify with your journey, those colorful tales and anecdotes help put all parties at ease. A potential customer may tend to view you as more of a peer and less of a salesperson whose only motive is dollars and cents.
Expose the Need
You’ve done the research and targeted your market. Therefore, in your eyes, the potential buyer has a need for what you’re selling. So how do you make the prospect see that need? His or her reason for buying may revolve around cost. Your product or service is equal to or better than the competition’s offering, at a lower price or rate. There may be soft cost-savings, those that are difficult to measure but easy to grasp. Whatever the prospective customer’s hot button may be, know it, expose it, and most importantly, refer to it throughout the rest of the sales call.
Unless this is your first presentation, you likely have satisfied customers. In the small business world, where circles of influence are tight, potential customers may seek the opinions of existing customers. Therefore, gather personal references or testimonials from clients who have benefited from your business offerings. Paste them into your pitch. The use of those recommendations may have a rippling effect in the community, driving clients to your door.
Get a Commitment
You may not close on the first call, but you can ask for further engagement. That commitment may involve positive next steps or some critical feedback. In either case, the final segment of your presentation should encourage your prospect to ask questions. Open-ended discussion may reveal valid objections or the path to another sale.