The National Institute of Mental Health says glossophobia (fear of public speaking) affects about 73% of the population. It’s a high statistic, but you can work around it. You might be a complete virgin at giving pitches, or perhaps you class yourself as a bit of a pro. Whatever stage you are at, it is always worth spending some time to get it right. The perfect sales pitch does not exist. However, with a bit of prior planning and research, you can deliver a near-perfect one. If you want to make a successful sales pitch without stress, read these five tips to get yourself up to speed.
- Know Your Product Or Service Inside Out
- Presentation is Key For A Successful Sales Pitch
- Practice It, Even With Your Dog
- Learn How To Handle Objections
- Leave A Lasting Impression
A successful sales pitch ends with a happy new client and a presenter with a natural high. It is a magical feeling delivering a successful pitch and realising that you made it work. All the preparation and hard work to get there finally seem worth it. You can relax knowing you did your best and you have managed to secure a new client. But what do you need to get to that point? Use these tips to get yourself pitch ready.
1) Know Your Product Or Service Inside Out
How can you sell your product or service unless you know everything about it?
Therefore, make sure that you take some time to get to know it well. It’s not all about the detailed product description. How does it benefit the customer? Take a step back and give it a critical look.
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential client and think about how it can help them.
Once you have done this, you will explain the benefits more clearly to the client. Your sales pitch will be more relevant for them, and there will be more of an interest to buy your product or service.
2) Presentation Is Key For A Successful Sales Pitch
I’m not a tech girl, and you will know that is true if you know me well. Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely try my best, but an overhead projector or even a remote control can get the better of me 🙂 So when I present, I like to keep it simple.
I use flipcharts, humour, props, and body language.
Over time you will find the best way to present for yourself. If you are into your tech and like big screens and laptops, go for it. The critical point is, stick with what you know. When you use things you are familiar with, it can help keep your stress levels down.
At Toastmasters, here in Spain, I learnt a nifty little trick to speaking clearly and at a good tempo. When you orate, imagine that everybody listening does not speak your native language. This thought process makes you speak slower and more clearer to your audience.
3) Practice It, Even With Your Dog
Practice your sales pitch till you know it by heart. It’s a great personal development challenge. This process means you will have to spend a good few hours with your notes, then with less help from notes, to going completely naked! (Don’t worry, without your notes, not your clothes).
If you live alone but have a dog, read the sales pitch to him.
However, if you don’t have any pets or family members living with you, hook up with a buddy on zoom/skype and do it there. There is no excuse to keep practising, and you can also try it out when you are exercising.
There is nothing worse than watching somebody do a pitch that refers to their notes. It breaks the delivery, and it doesn’t project confidence in your product or service.
Keep practising the pitch till you know it word for word. Because when you do know it at this level, you will have two significant personal benefits.
- You will be able to adlib some parts and go “off script” during the presentation. Especially if something pops in your head that might make the presentation better.
- It will increase your confidence tenfold. You can go into that room knowing you know the presentation. You’ll still feel a little nervous, everybody does, but you can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy it more.
4) Learn How To Handle Objections
So you are making the best sales pitch of your life, and you come to the Q&A section. Somebody asks you a question, and you have no idea how to respond. You want the ground to swallow you up, so you don’t have to stand there any more with a blank expression.
This situation is a common fear.
Quickly think about your product or service and come up with a suitable answer based on your knowledge of it. If nothing comes to mind quickly, all you have to say, with a smile, is: “That’s a great question. I don’t know the answer to it right now, but I will find out and let you know as soon as possible after the presentation.”
If you dread this section, you could reach out to a professional public speaking coach, who can check over the whole presentation for you. They can then pretend to be the client, ask you relevant questions, and help you with appropriate answers. The coach can also help you with delivery, voice control, and other tips to handle speaking in public. Watch this video on YouTube to find out more about public speaking coaching.
5) Leave A Lasting Impression
You’ve made all the effort and preparation to create a great sales pitch. But to make it all worth it, finish it with some style. It doesn’t have to be gimmicky or cheesy, only something that people will remember.
Think back to a presentation you watched that left an impression on you.
Did they have a prop they used at the beginning and tied it into the end? Or did they say a funny joke?
Do something that fits your personality and you feel comfortable doing in front of a bunch of people. You never know. It could end up becoming a trademark for all your presentations.
If you are still stuck, have a look at some TED talks online for some inspiration.
In Conclusion: You Can Make A Successful Sales Pitch
A run-up to a successful sales pitch doesn’t have to be full of stress. If you follow the advice here, you can feel confident that you have done your best. You will have covered all bases, and things should run smoothly. However, life can be unpredictable, so be prepared for random questions, technical issues and awkward interruptions. When and if these things happen, take them all in your stride. Before you know it, you will be looking forward to your next sales pitch instead of worrying about it. Enjoy!
It would be great to hear your thoughts. Leave a message at the bottom of the webpage. Also, don’t forget to sign up for The Power of Tuesday newsletter to get inspired every week.
Sally Leslie is a motivational coach and speechwriter. She helps people to stay motivated and create balance in their lives. She is passionate about helping people think differently and grow. Sally also creates content for businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. Lover of plants, freedom, and football!