Read our article to learn how to write a sales email from start to finish that gets opens, reads, and positive replies from your potential buyers.
A sales pitch is a short explanation of your product and its functions framed in a way that can convince a prospect to make a purchase. Sellers give this pitch when they’ve identified a need their product can fill for the prospect, typically during an informal scenario like a networking event or a more formal meeting like a sales presentation. To provide the best sales pitch ideas, we asked experienced sales professionals about how they pitch and added our own key tips to remember.
To learn more about the process of sales pitching, check out our guide on how to create and deliver a sales pitch, where we provide key steps to follow plus tips and examples.
Keeping your sales pitch concise and to the point helps ensure you maintain your prospect’s attention. This usually means building a one- to two-minute pitch. We talked to Nathan Hughes, Digital Marketing and SEO Manager at Diggity Marketing, and this is what he had to say:
"The right sales pitch is usually short. Therefore, you will not be able to describe all the characteristics of your product or mention a lot of facts. Instead, pick no more than three theses and describe them in your pitch. People cannot perceive many details, but they will certainly remember three main ideas."
Empathize with your prospect and their daily workload, understanding that they are receiving plenty of emails and calls throughout the day. If they choose to spend their time reading your email or speaking with you in person or over the phone, be respectful of their time, and hit the following key points quickly:
Your sales pitch doesn’t need any fluff; just ensure that these bases are covered and you shouldn’t need more than a couple minutes. In case you're ever really short on time, check out our elevator pitch article to find ways to get your point across in under a minute.
Before giving your sales pitch, listen to your prospect and understand what they want to accomplish. This allows you to better explain how your product or service can help them solve their problems or reach their goals. An underinformed pitch is usually an ineffective one, so allow your prospect the opportunity to give you the information you need. Jeroen van Gils, Managing Director at LiFi.co, had this to say regarding this aspect of pitching:
“Before the pitch, ask them questions: Find out what the client's flaws and needs are before you start drafting a pitch. No client will resent you for doing your homework before the pitch, and it will greatly enhance its worth.”
As Jeroen said, listening to your prospect involves more than just the words they say. You also need to do research to uncover who has the authority to purchase your product and how their business or household could benefit from it.
Your sales pitch shouldn’t be centered around your product, it should be focused on the solution your product offers to the prospect. This is especially true if your pitch is part of a larger sales presentation. We talked to Tatiana Dumitru, Founder of PreTee Creative, about what she focuses on in her sales pitches, and this is what she told us:
“Identify the problem you're solving and start your pitch with a solution. Right now, you’re not trying to sell anything; your pitch should be less about you and your product, and more about how you can bring value to their brand or how you can simplify their life.”
To illustrate the difference between focusing on your product and the solution it brings, imagine that you’re selling a vacuum cleaner. While it may be your product, you don’t want to spend 1–2 minutes talking about what a terrific vacuum cleaner you’re selling. Instead, pitch the time they’ll save by having a more efficient vacuum and the clean home they’ll live in as a result.
Giving information about your company’s philosophy and why you offer what you do can benefit your pitch. Having a defined company image that you include in your pitch can give your prospect an additional reason to purchase your product and can give you an edge if they’ve considered other products similar to yours.
Here are some aspects of your company that are worth including in a sales pitch:
If you can give your prospect a reason to buy from you and your company specifically, you’re much more likely to leave a lasting impression on them and set yourself apart from the competition. Customers will also be more likely to refer your product to other people if they feel it makes them a part of a larger movement or a higher goal. Bring your prospects in on your mission, and they’ll help you achieve it.
If your prospect begins to ask questions about the specifics of your product, this is likely a sign of interest in making a purchase. Understanding this will help you score them as a lead and move them up in priority as a potential sales opportunity. Edward Mellett, Founder of WikiJob.uk, talked to us about monitoring interest when pitching:
“Recognize when potential clients are ready to make a purchase. A buyer could show they're ready by inquiring about the product or the purchasing process: How long will delivery take? Can you tell me what colors it comes in? or Is there an upgrade? Complaints about prior vendors and curious responses like ‘really?’ or ‘good idea’ are also indicators.”
When your prospect asks these specific questions, it means they’re beginning to picture a reality in which they buy your product. They’re working out in their mind exactly what the process would look like, and your job is to help them do so. How you respond to these questions is important, which leads us to our next tip.
When a prospect asks about specific product details like the colors your product comes in or how it’s delivered, what they’re really wondering is if you offer your product in a color they want, or deliver it in a way that works for them. To ensure that their questions are cluing you into their preferences, you can respond to their questions with your own.
For example, if a prospect asks if your product comes in a certain color, ask if they’d prefer it in that color. If they respond with “yes,” this serves as a form of commitment. If you offer the color (or other qualities) they want, you’ve gotten them to tell you preemptively that you have what they want. This gives you extra sway in negotiations, as you can remind them that you can provide exactly what they're looking for.
After your pitch, it’s important that you ask them to buy from you. This means that you are directly asking the prospect for the opportunity to follow up, or even to get them started on your purchasing process. Many salespeople get cold feet or feel like the pitch may be “too soon” to ask for next steps from the prospect, but it’s a vital part of pitching. Chris Taylor, Marketing Director at ProfitGuru, had this to say about asking for the sale:
“It's appropriate to ask for the sale after you're sure of the answer you're delivering to the buyer and their firm. Make the buyer feel at ease, but don't be embarrassed to express any urgency you have to complete the transaction.”
By the time you pitch, you should have an idea of what you offer the prospect, including a solution that's beneficial to them. By the end of the pitch, be clear about your intention to make a sale, and create a sense of urgency by asking them “So, can I put you down for an order?” or a similar question that asks for the sale. This should be part of your call-to-action and state the next steps of the purchasing process.
An urgency close is a closing technique that focuses on a limited time discount or other benefit that requires the prospect to buy within a certain timeframe. If you’re in an industry wherein the close can happen on the same call as the pitch, an urgency close is a great way to get a commitment from a prospect right after you’ve delivered all of the pertinent information. Richard Latimer, CEO of Veritas Buyers, recommends leveraging this as a way to convert quickly:
“Make an offer to your prospect that they can only get if they commit within a certain time frame (including today). ‘This is the last product we have left. Anyone who commits today gets a 15% discount.’ The prospect now feels as if they are missing out on something, so it makes sense to do it now if they’re likely to say yes later.”
If you’re going to piggyback any closing technique to a sales pitch, the urgency close is usually best. It references a tight time frame of opportunity, so it makes an early close seem more appropriate. After all, if you don’t try to close them right away, they may miss the discount or benefit your business is offering. For other closing strategies to add to your sales calls, check out our guide on sales closing techniques, where you’ll learn which to use, when to use them, and how to do so.
If the conversation continues past the pitch at all, it will usually not take long to get into the prospect’s objections to your product or the way that you pitched it, or the reason why they can’t buy yet. It’s vital to prepare for common objections and be ready to respond to their concerns in a constructive way. Teo Vanyo, CEO of Stealth Agents, discussed how to do this:
“Any salesperson seeking to meet their sales forecasting targets must be prepared to deal with concerns from customers . . . you should establish a list of all likely objections and prepare responses ahead of time. Find someone to play the role of the client so that you can practice with them.”
Roleplay can be an effective tool when preparing for prospect objections. Find a coworker or a friend to play the role of the prospect, and give them a list of objections to run through so you can practice your response. If you can’t find anybody, search for sales-focused groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, and post that you’re looking for sales roleplay partners to practice pitching and objection handling.
Throughout your pitch, ask your prospect if they understand what you’re saying. It can be something as simple as “Does that make sense?” after you make a key point, offer an example, or explain a company philosophy to them. This ensures that you don’t lose your prospect along the way, and it reduces the likelihood of objections based on a lack of knowledge about the product.
This can also benefit your pitch by keeping the prospect engaged. We often pay more attention to a conversation when we expect that our counterpart is going to ask us about what they said, similar to when a teacher asks a student to recant what they just said when the student looks like they’re nodding off. While we aren’t going to ask our prospect to recap our pitch, simply asking if they understand is usually enough to keep their attention.
Many salespeople, especially those in B2B sales, can get overwhelmed when dealing with prospects that hold a high-level position. When speaking with high-level executives, it can be easy to speak to them as if they’re above you, or to be too careful or nervous when pitching them. Treat every prospect like a peer, as it’s hard to negotiate from the bottom position. Lee Grant, CEO of Wrangu, gave us this adivce about being your prospect’s peer:
“Act as if you're one of your prospect's colleagues. Look your potential client in the eyes. I don't care if you're the lowest-level salesperson in your firm and you're speaking with a Fortune 500 CEO. Talk to the prospect as though [they] were a peer. You don't have to speak in a super-casual tone, but you should speak to the prospect as if you're a regular person who puts [their] pants on one leg at a time.”
As a salesperson, you are always your prospect’s peer. It doesn’t matter what title you have — what matters is that they have a problem, and you have the solution. Make that clear, and they won’t care what your title is. If you pitch well, all they should care about is the solution that you have for them.
When delivering your sales pitch, it can be difficult for your prospect to keep up with the background information that you reference. So, it’s often helpful to bring along supporting informational materials, or props for a demonstration, to help your prospect retain the information you share. Make sure that you weave your pitch and materials together so that they complement each other.
Likewise, if you send your pitch over email or deliver one on a call, you can send some supporting materials or a sales deck via email for the prospect to look through. Any materials you offer should include information you shared in your pitch, as well as some more in-depth details or imagery to make things easier to understand. If not, consider punching up your material to make it more useful to your leads.
If you tend to rehearse or pre-write your pitches, your pitch might include information that you’ve already shared with some of your prospects. To avoid wasting the prospect’s time or losing their attention, review your pitch and cut out any redundant information before delivering it to them. Kami Turky, Founder of Solar Energy Hackers, explained this well:
“Don't overcomplicate things and overwhelm your prospect with technical details . . . Don't tell them what they already know; be straightforward and talk about the actual benefits without wasting their time or bor[ing] them to death.”
The point is to keep your pitch focused on information that the prospect doesn’t already have that may convince them to buy. So, cut out as many redundancies as possible, and make sure that you review your pitch before every delivery. Even pitches that are often successful need to be tweaked from time to time to ensure that they’ll work for a specific prospect.
Each of these ideas can help you refine your pitch — incorporate as many as possible if you want to improve your lead nurturing and closing rate. The expert advice here has been refined over years of trial and error, so use the experts’ experiences to your advantage. Choose some ideas to implement, improve and practice your pitch, and you will see positive results in no time.