Without sales, there’s no business. All the social media strategy planning, networking and business planning in the world won’t do a lick of good if you don’t have sales. Need help crafting the perfect sales pitch? Here are eight steps that you need to take in order to get to the sale.
1. Target your best prospects.
Here’s where you want to spend the majority of your time: block out several hours to research who could most benefit from your solution and why. Then divide that list into different priority levels, and begin with your lower priority leads first — this will give you some practice time without jeopardizing your best chances at the sale.
INSPIRATION: Look through LinkedIn and local business publications and identify people who have job titles that closely align with what you’re trying to sell. Research their background, their wins and think like a mind-reader in order to try and define what it is they are most likely struggling with.
2. Give them a map to follow
Start your pitch — whether it’s email, snail mail or even a phone call — with something that gets their attention. But don’t just leave it there. The next line should build on that subject line, creating a path for them to follow to whatever action you want them to take. Know exactly what you want them to do when they reach the end of the message, and build towards that. Build curiosity (without being too cutesy or obnoxious).
INSPIRATION: Subject lines like “A quick way to overcome [CHALLENGE]” or “Here’s what I use to overcome [CHALLENGE]” get people to open your email, but don’t stop there! Lead with “There’s something important about [CHALLENGE/INDUSTRY] that you need to know,” which leads into “I’ve done some research and found [SOLUTION].” Finish with a strong call to action (“Let me know if you want more information and I’ll send it along”). Embellish and add as necessary, without going overboard.
3. Focus on value to the client.
To make the sale in today’s fast-paced, online environment, cut to the chase and talk directly to the prospect’s problems and how you can solve them. If the prospect wants more information about you or your company, add a quick link to the product or service, but the majority of your focus should be on the client and how you can provide a quick win for them.
INSPIRATION: Dear [NAME], I saw the recent article in [PUBLICATION] that talked about your [RECENT COMPANY NEWS]. It reminded me of [HELPFUL RESOURCE/ARTLE], which I thought might be useful as you move forward. Hope you find it helpful. Respectfully, [NAME]
4. Communicate warmth
Email and the web has changed the way we talk to each other so much that formality has become a trigger for distance — and that’s the last thing you want your prospect to feel when you're trying to make a sale. Connection means everything when it comes to sales, especially if you’re making a cold call. A good trick is to imagine that you’re writing to an old, dear friend of your parents, so that you exude warmth while avoiding being flippant.
INSPIRATION: [FIRST NAME], I work closely with several companies in the [TARGET] industry, and I noticed you’ve [RECENT COMPANY NEWS]. Often [BUSINESS CHALLENGE] becomes a priority during this stage, so I thought you might be interested in finding out how we helped [CURRENT CLIENT] overcome that challenge — minus the typical roadblocks. If you want to learn more, let’s schedule a quick phone call. Regards, [NAME] P.S. If you’re not the person I should speak to, can you recommend someone who is?
5. Stand out from the crowd
Maintaining your dignity and professionalism while at the same time differentiating yourself can be both an art and a science — which is why you need to put some time and thought into it. One way to do this is to think about “common sense” ideas/concepts in your industry, and how your company/solution turns those ideas on their head. Another way is to so clearly and perfectly define the lead’s problem so that they have no choice but to trust your authority.
INSPIRATION: “As a Chicago lawyer, you have to not only differentiate yourself in a crowded market, but also have to explain complicated concepts in a way your clients can understand. I can help.” Or, “Though it’s hard to grow your CPA practice because of so much online competition, we have a custom solution that can fix your problem.”
6. Nail your call to action (CTA).
Know exactly what you want your lead to do, and clearly communicate that action to them. Call, click, watch this video, sign up for this workshop — whatever the next-step action is, make sure they know exactly what it is you want them to do. Make it small and easy to increase your conversion rate.
INSPIRATION: Other effective CTAs include “Start improving today,” “Learn more for free,” and “Email me back now.”
7. Leverage shared connections.
No connection is too small. Whether you have mutual acquaintances, attended the same workshop, have a mutual love for World of Warcraft — you need to be able to build some common ground as a starting point. Add these commonalities to your notes, and hit them (without being overbearing).
INSPIRATION: With social media reaching into almost every corner of our lives, use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more to find common interests or networks that lend credibility to your pitch before you’ve ever met.
8. Keep it short
Get to the point and you’ll stand out — no more than four sentences. None of us have time to wade through long emails, letters or voicemails to try and figure out what strangers want or need from us. By not wasting the prospect’s time, you’ll be ahead of the game, and he or she will be more open to what you have to say next time you contact them.
INSPIRATION: Hi [NAME], [INDUSTRY] companies increase sales with [SOLUTION]. [MY COMPANY] can put proven tools into your team’s hands. If that sound useful, I can explain how it works.
Crafting the perfect sales pitch is one of the biggest challenges you may face as a small business, but it’s one you can plan and strategize around if you know the right steps, bringing you much closer to making the sale, without wasting precious time and money.
Need help writing your perfect sales pitch? I can help, email me to learn more.