How to screw up a sales pitch and what to do instead

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!

How to make an awesome sales pitch that gets your startup funded

If you are trying to convince venture capitalists to invest in your startup, you better have your sales pitch down to a science. Savvy investors can spot a “fake” from a mile away and it will be apparent that you don’t know what you are doing if you are not prepared. You will want to know your numbers like the back of your hand and if possible, already have sales to show there is an appetite for your product before approaching investors for venture capital.
Here are some tips that can help you nail that sales presentation so you walk away with the funding your company needs.
1) Have Sales! – This may be the most important part of a sales pitch if you are intending to acquire startup capital; have sales! Even if your pitch is horrific and unorganized, if your company has sales already, an investor will know there is an appetite for your product or service. Also, if you can show that you are profitable, it will make your company appear that much more desirable. Sales are extremely important and you will find that if you are trying to raise money for a startup with no sales, you will have a much more difficult time then if you company has already sold some product. Remember, most businesses fail, and one with no sales is far less likely to succeed then one with sales.
2) Highlight your strengths – Take a hard look in the mirror and be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to business. Ask friends and colleagues what they feel your strengths and weaknesses are and when giving your sales pitch, play up your strengths. It doesn’t make sense to focus on areas where you need some help, and it certainly won’t aid in the convincing of venture capitalists that your startup is a good investment. Everyone has weaknesses; the key is to downplay them during your sales pitch.
3) Don’t give up – You will need to meet with many investors before you find one that is interested in your opportunity. Don’t take it personal when an investor doesn’t show interest. It may be the best startup in the world, but it may just not be for them. The key is to continue to have as many meetings as possible until you find someone who believes in you and your vision. You will also notice that with every subsequent meeting you will get that much better with your sales pitch and before you know it, you’ll be a selling machine!
You will also want to make sure that you keep your sales pitch as simple as possible. Don’t over complicate things with the intention of trying to impress; it will back fire. There is an inherit level of sophistication associated with simplicity and you need to be able to take your big ideas and simplify them so investors know exactly what you are talking about. Chances are, if they feel what you are trying to do is too complicated, they will pass on the opportunity.