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The Perfect Sales Pitch

Whether you’re making a pitch to try to win a new project, to make a sale to a potential customer, or for investment, there are some tried and trusted tips to help you pull off the perfect pitch.

1. Have an Outline

You may know everything there is to know about your product or business but this information has to be organised when making a pitch. Therefore an outline of your pitch is vital. Always follow the following tried and trusted approach:

  • Tell your audience what you are going to tell them
  • Tell them
  • Tell them what you told them

2. Dress to impress

This almost goes without saying but many people still dress far too casually when making a pitch. The first thing that your audience will notice are your clothes – with first impressions so important make sure your clothes are portraying the right image.

3. Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm can be infectious – show that you have a passion about your product or business.

4. Create a ‘hook’

As Mill Valley speaking coach Dan Sapp says – “Hook your audience. A memorable slogan, concept, or pledge gives your audience a reason to listen to the rest of your talk.”

5. Don’t read from your slides

This is a common mistake. Many people put far too much information on slides and nervousness results in them simply reading them out. Keep the words on your slides to an absolute minimum to prevent this temptation. It’ll also give the audience more of an incentive to listen.

6. Don’t talk too fast

When people get nervous they usually talk too fast. Remember that during a pitch the audience is hearing it for the first time. Speak too fast and they’ll be left behind.

7. Remember to take pauses

Silent pauses are seen as something to avoid at all costs. However, during a pitch they are essential to allow the audience time to think about exactly what you’ve just said.

8. Watch your body language

Remember the advice from speaking coach Dan Sapp – “Keep your weight balanced on both feet; it conveys strength for both men and women. Think of the metaphor of people who have both feet on the ground.”

9. Make eye contact

Experienced speakers always speak about the need to make eye contact with your audience. This doesn’t mean staring at the same person throughout the pitch but try to make eye contact with a different person for each part of your pitch. It’ll help to convey yourself as being confident, trustworthy and honest.

10. Be honest

You see it all the time with people trying to bend the truth and bluff their way through questions put to them after a pitch. If you don’t know an answer be honest and say that you don’t. Similarly, don’t paint a rosy picture if there are in fact many obstacles in the way. As long as you believe in your product or business and you’re capable the audience will see through these problems.

Related Articles:

How to Master the Art of Selling
How to Write Effective Sales Letters
How to Close a Sale
The Importance of Sales Targets
Characteristics to Look for when Recruiting Sales Staff
Where to Find Sales Staff

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

sales recruitment guy September 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Great advice here. The only thing I’d add is ‘do it as often as you possibly can’. Not everyone is born with a natural ability to pitch, and for those of us that weren’t, it’s about getting out there and doing it time and time again, pushing aside all the fears, the doubts, those unsure moments….the good news is, for all that, you’ll come out the other side of it pitching like a master.

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sales pro October 21, 2011 at 9:02 am

Great advice!

….and, remember to smile (or laugh if on the phone) 🙂

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