In our last blog post we identified the process of pitching our goods or services to new clients. Here are a few more ideas that may be beneficial to you!
You need a key phrase, a ‘single-minded proposition’ or ‘unique selling point’ when you are designing your communications, selling, or public relations program. For example, ‘Minolta – we understand your office. Printers, faxes, photocopiers’.
To do this, first ask your current clients or customers what it is they get from you. When you hear a common theme, you create from it a tag line that is directly linked with your company name. Test that tag line with clients and non-clients. If it makes sense to them, you then use it in all types of communication.
Wendy Evans, How to Get New Business in 90 Days and Keep it Forever, Millennium Books, Sydney, 1997, pp. 84-88.
Bell’s truths on pitching:
- Successful pitchers are not born that way. They are made. There is no one in the universe who cannot become at least a competent and successful performer and these are not just the extroverts of the world.
- Most new business isn’t always gained immediately. It takes time and effort to build up relationships. The fact that a prospect doesn’t have a current need, doesn’t mean that s/he won’t next year. So keep up a consistent dialogue (without getting on his wick), so that you’re remembered when it matters.
- Never underestimate the power of the initial contact itself. Meeting prospects face-to-face and leaving a favourable impression is a major achievement that will, in time, pay dividends.
- As people, we are not snapshots – we are moving pictures. Examine how you appear to others, in order to make the best of your pitch.
- People buy people, not organisations. Whilst the reputation of your company and the standard of your physical execution will influence a decision, it will be you who matters most in clinching a deal.
Quentin Bell in Win that Pitch!.
- 80% of all new sales are made after the fifth call to the same prospect.
- 48% of all sales persons make one call, then cross off the prospect.
- 25% quit after the second call.
- 12% of all sales representatives call three times, then quit.
- 10% keep calling until they succeed.
US National Sales Executives Association.
The New Consumer
Author David Lewis in his book ‘The Soul Of The New Consumer’ (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, UK, 2000) describes the New Consumer as individualistic, informed, involved and independent. The new scarcities are time, attention and trust.
He writes, “Shortage of time inevitably results in reduced spans of attention, and this in turn makes New Consumers less trusting. First they are either unwilling or unable to invest sufficient time to develop a close relationship with a service provider. Second, time pressures make them less tolerant of any delays or errors.”
He argues that we need new ways of selling our service to New Consumers. Below are five of his suggestions…
- You have to go out and get New Consumers instead of waiting for them to turn up at your door.
- Human emotions play a paramount role in choice so build an enticing story about your product or service.
- Time-poor consumers will pay a premium for the privilege of not being kept waiting.
- Service providers whose mindset revolves around notions of mass production, mass marketing and mass consumption will find their brands eroded.
- Information based on images rather than words is more likely to capture the New Consumer’s scarce attention.
Let your product star
It’s most important, when presenting or demonstrating anything – anything from a suggestion that the water-cooler be replaced in the office to a multi-million dollar piece of high-tech equipment for a Fortune 500 company, or anything in between – that you let the product shine. Let your product be the star.
When you pitch your case, writes Tom Hopkins in Selling for Dummies, “one of the players may be an inanimate object, even an intangible one. But you need to think of that object in someone else’s terms because the future primary relationship will be between the product, or service, and its new owner. And you need to let the possibilities for that relationship develop (with your encouragement, of course).
He adds that, when pitching the product, you are not unlike the matchmakers of old. “You may help me find a bride but, once we’ve met, you step out of the picture. Let me decide. Of course, you may occasionally monitor the progress of our relationship, but you won’t be coming to live with us.”
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