The ideal sales pitch is a two-way conversation between the seller and prospect, rather than a one-sided lecture.
Of course, you can have a sales script in mind, but it’s just as important to listen to your prospect and adjust your offering based on what they say.
You don’t want to sound overly rehearsed, but you also don’t want to feel unprepared. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.Let’s take a look at what makes a successful pitch, along with sales pitch examples and tips to help you make a great impression and move the deal forward.
The Core Components of a Successful Sales Pitch
1. An Understanding of Your Prospect’s Needs
Delivering a winning sales pitch begins well before you meet with your prospect. Since the goal is to showcase how your product or service can ease a prospect’s pain points and solve their problems, a successful pitch begins with research and preparation.
Before any sales pitch or demo, you should review the company’s website, check out the prospect’s LinkedIn profile, and search for any articles or press releases you can find about the company and their products. Learn as much as you can about their industry, competitors, and potential challenges.
During your discovery call or initial email exchange, ask qualifying questions. This is your chance to ensure the prospect is a good fit for your solution and to find out which pain points you can solve for them.
The more you know about the prospect, the better you can tailor your sales pitch – and the more impactful it will be. Not only will this help you establish trust and credibility, but it will make it easier for you to demonstrate the value of your product in relation to the prospect’s needs.
So, do your homework to make sure you fully understand your prospect’s needs, want, and challenges.
2. A Friendly Opener to Build Rapport
Once you’ve scheduled a meeting or phone call, you need to think about how you’re going to warm up your prospect to make them more receptive to what you have to say. Rather than diving straight into a polished sales pitch, work to build rapport.
Rather than relying on generic small talk, try to use an interesting nugget you dug up during your research. This shows you put in the effort to look them up and helps build a more genuine connection.
For example, maybe you get lucky and find that you share a mutual contact, cheer for the same sports team, or attended the same college – or anything else that provides common ground. If you don’t have any obvious personal connections, you can always look for inspiration on their company blog, personal Twitter page, or in recent industry news.
Here are a few potential openers that can help you break the ice:
- “Congrats on your recent product launch! How’s it going so far?”
- “I know this is your busy season, so I really appreciate you taking this meeting. How is your team holding up?”
- “I just saw your latest blog post. Really loved what you said about [relevant topic]. It reminded me of...[similar post/relevant topic].”
- “Before we get started, can I just say I’m a huge fan of your [brand/product/service]. Do you think you’ll add [feature idea] any time soon?”
- “Hey, did you hear about [relevant industry news]? What’s your take on that?”
Regardless of what you open with, aim to project a friendly, open, and confident attitude. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice - and remember that a genuine smile can go a long way.
3. An Engaging Story to Highlight Value
The goal of your sales pitch is to present your product or service in a way that really resonates with your prospect. One of the most tried-and-true ways to show value and bond with your prospect is through the power of storytelling.
Whenever possible, share real-life examples and customer success stories to position your product as the ideal solution for a prospect.
Here are a few sales pitch examples that use storytelling to highlight value:
- “I recently talked to a startup about how much money they could save by switching to our solution. The founder was interested but concerned about the time it would take to train his team to use new software. Once I showed him how easy it was to get started, he was more than happy to make the switch. Not only did his company cut their costs by 30% within the first month, they also increased productivity by 20%!”
- “Earlier this year I met a small business owner who couldn’t figure out why her sales reps weren’t closing more deals. After doing some digging, we realized they weren’t following up with leads more than once or twice – essentially leaving money on the table. When they started using our platform to schedule automatic follow-ups, they saw a huge spike in the number of closed-won deals. Now her business is growing faster than ever, and she’s already hired three new sales reps!”
Telling these types of stories creates a chance to showcase the value you’re offering, leverage social proof, and boost your credibility – especially if you can name drop a well-known business that uses your product or service.
Want to learn more about how storytelling can help you sell? Check out 9 Storytelling Techniques to Elevate Your Sales Pitch.
4. Open-Ended Questions that Foster Dialogue
Don’t let your product or service hog the spotlight for the entirety of your pitch. Once you’ve demonstrated how your offering provides value to similar companies and customers, bring the focus back to your prospect.
Remember, the best sales pitch examples are dynamic two-way conversations. So, ask questions, listen to what your prospect says, and encourage them to talk about their challenges. The better you understand their perspective and pain points, the better you can tailor your close to appeal to their specific interests.
For instance, you should ask about their current solution or how they’re handling the challenges your solution would solve. Find out what’s working for them, what’s not, and what they’re looking to gain by switching solutions.
For example, if they tell you about a challenge that’s slowing down their productivity, you can ask questions like:
- “What are you currently doing to improve your situation?”
- “Do you use technology to solve any of these challenges?”
- “How’s your current solution working out for you?”
- “How would you rate your frustration level with it on a scale of 1-10?”
- “What would be the biggest roadblock to switching?”
If you can get your prospect to share their frustrations, to vent their concerns, or just be honest about their hesitations, you’re on the right track. This type of conversation builds your relationship, provides information you can use to propel the deal forward, and gives you valuable ammo to power your close.
5. A Confident Close with a Clear Call to Action
By this point in the sales pitch, you’ve thoroughly demonstrated how your solution can provide value in the context of your prospect’s pain points and needs. Your prospect is primed to hear your offer, which means it’s time to transition into the close.
Lead by reiterating your experience, the benefits of your product, or the number of customers you’ve helped. For example:
- “My clients trust me to provide [value proposition]…”
- “For the past ten year, business owners have relied on our products for [unique selling point]…”
Next, use customer-focused language to make your recommendation. If your company provides a range of services or different products, make a specific suggestion based on your knowledge of the prospect. This might sound something like:
- “Based on the size of your team, I’d recommend starting with the [appropriate package]. It includes [benefit A, B, and C] for only $X/month.”
Once you’ve laid out the offer, use actionable language to move towards the next steps. By clearly stating a call to action, you signal to the prospect that you’re confident the solution is right for them.
Here are a few phrases you might use to assume to sale:
- “What day and time works best for us to do the installation?”
- “Shall I ship over the details this afternoon so we can get this thing signed?”
- “Do you have any questions before we make it official?”
For more closing tips to improve your win rate, read 9 Techniques for Closing the Sale Like a Boss
Deliver Personalized Pitches and Sales Demos for Maximum Impact
For each of the sales pitch examples above, there are infinite ways you can customize your offering by playing off the prospect’s unique situation, needs, and desires.
Aside from studying sales pitch examples and improving your own pitch through trial and error, you may also want to read up on cold calling and selling techniques. Here are a few resources for further reading, so you can kick butt at every stage of the sale.
- 17 Cold Calling Tips Master Salespeople Use to Warm Up Leads
- 39 Battle-Tested Cold Email Subject Lines That Will Help You Get Anyone’s Attention
- Product Demos that Sell: 14 Tips for Incredible Sales Demos
- How to Overcome Sales Objections: Learn to Reframe These 4 Common Deal Killers
- How to Write Sales Follow-Up Emails that Close Every Time (With 10 Templates You Can Steal)