Even Experts Need to Practice Their Sales Pitch

Jan 17, 2017, Written by Sue Miley

sales-pitch-small-business-baton-rougeWhen I started coaching 10 years ago, I had been writing blogs and posting on social media consistently when I received a phone call out of the blue about my services.  I had been coaching awhile, but most of my clients came from referrals.  My content marketing worked.  I received my first call.

I then proceeded to stumble through how I could help the person on the other end of the line.  By the time I finished, even I wouldn’t have hired me.  I had been reading all of the advice about having your one minute pitch and your unique selling position…blah, blah, blah…

That doesn’t work when you are really trying to get business.  When someone calls and they want to know about your services, costs, and how it will specifically help them, they don’t want to hear, “I help Christian small business owners grow a successful business on a foundation of their Christian values.”

That is okay as a tag line, but if someone is going to buy your services… they need more.  Yet, you still have to be succinct, personable, relevant and confident.

Even though I was the expert at my own services, and I knew my services were very well received and recommended by my clients, I was horrible at explaining how I could help to new prospects.

Why?  

I hadn’t practiced.  I took it for granted that I knew what I did and that I could sell whenever someone called.

I cringe thinking about that call and many of the one’s after.

  I wanted to share this story because I am hoping I can help others avoid this… the flashbacks are painful!

You may not be in this camp, but it is very often that I come across business owners who are great at what they do, yet…

  • have a poor conversion rate and blame it on an outside issue, like price.
  • tell me they don’t want to role play or practice because they know what they do and “have it down.”
  • tell me their positioning is wrong because they pitched to one person, one time and they didn’t buy (so it must be the wrong service or positioning).

I would bet that many (not all), but many, have received that first call and failed miserably at their pitch.  They stumbled and mumbled and went off on rabbit trails.  Intuitively, they (I) knew they (I) sucked, so the next time with lower confidence, it got worse. 

Then our competent-I-am-good-at-my-job-self says something must be wrong with our pricing, or program, or…

BUT, it could just be your pitch.

This is much easier to fix than changing your whole service, program, target audience, etc.  It probably isn’t even what you are saying in essence. 

You just need to practice.  Practice in the mirror.  Practice with a coach.  Practice with your kids.  Maybe even record yourself and keep practicing until you can listen to the whole recording with out wanting to throw the recorder across the room.

How To Nail Your Sales Pitch Every Time

Now, many years later I usually convert 90% of prospect calls to clients if I believe I can help.  I’ll share with you what I learned. 

  • It is going to take practice before you get good at pitching any new service or project.
  • Listen first and find out enough about the prospect so that when you do give them your pitch, it doesn’t sound like a rote, cookie-cutter, I-do-the-same-thing-for-everyone service.
  • Write down your process of helping people and then summarize it into clear-cut steps. This way, when you are explaining it, A) you stay on track, and B) it sounds like a tried-and-true, successful process.
  • Customize the process back to what you learned about the person when you were listening.
  • Don’t rush.  If you are speaking conversationally and patiently, it is perceived as comfort and confidence by the prospect.
  • Examples of successful case studies that relate to the prospect are the best sales tactic of all.

We work so hard at our craft and ensuring we execute our services well.  It is worth the time and humility to practice how we are going to communicate our services to others.  

Track it.  I guarantee that as you practice and refine your approach to prospects your conversion will improve!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Avatar

Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.