How to screw up a sales pitch and what to do instead
Working in sales is an art form that needs to be practiced over and over. It is not something that works the same way for every customer and the only way to get good at it is to put yourself out there, attempt to sell, and learn from your mistakes. There are also a plethora of sales manuals and training guides designed to help with specific aspects of sales, such as overcoming objections, how to close, writing a good sales script, and identifying buyer personalities. All of these things can help you hone your skills on your way to becoming a rock star salesman or woman!
With that being said, there are definitely things you are going to want to avoid during a sales pitch and it’s important to make sure you don’t make these mistakes while trying to close a potential client.
Put away your cell phone!
It is extremely rude, and also very unprofessional to be checking or staring at your cell phone during a face-to-face sales pitch. By doing that you are showing you are not engaged in the conversation and not even remotely interested in what the customer’s needs are. If the customer sees you doing this, it will be a huge turn off for them and don’t be surprised if this activity flat out kills the deal entirely. Put your cell phone away or turn it off during a sales pitch/presentation! Although this seems like it should be common sense, in today’s society, it isn’t.
There is a twist to this rule, nonetheless; if you are using your cell phone to write notes, as some professionals do nowadays, clearly let the prospect know that you using it to write notes. And keep making it obvious you are using your phone to document what is being discussed during the meeting. For instance, type words with which you are unfamiliar into your phone as the prospect spells them out.
Learn to listen!
Often time’s sales people get so excited or anxious when a potential customer is asking a question that they have a tendency to cut them off before they are able to finish speaking. Even if you already know the answer and have been asked the same question 500 times, let the customer finish speaking before answering their question or offering insight. By cutting the customer off you are not allowing them to get settled into the conversation, which could make them feel anxious and uneasy about doing business with you. If you learn to listen carefully, you’ll find that the customer will almost always tell you everything you need to know in order to close them. It just comes down to how much you were paying attention while they were talking.
Stop saying “uhhh,” “ummm” during your pitch
This is more prevalent in phone sales then face to face however it happens in any sales scenario. A sales rep that constantly uses words like this is doing so because they are trying to fill “dead air.” It often times comes from not having their script memorized well enough yet or just due to inexperience, however, it’s best to offer brief moments of silence when one is gathering his thoughts versus using annoying filler words that sound completely unprofessional.
Although only 3 tips have been mentioned, all are a good to avoid in an effort not to screw up your sales pitch. Remember to practice your pitch over and over until it becomes second nature and study all of the sales manuals you can get your hands on. Doing these things will greatly reduce the probability of you killing the deal and bring you more closings every day!