To kick off our month of HOW TO, we offered some tips and advice on how to create a mission statement. This week, we’d like to focus on crafting and delivering a winning sales pitch. No matter what type of business you’re in, you will need to explain to people why they should buy your product or service – and why they should buy it today. In other words, you need to develop your sales presentation, or “sales pitch.”
A sales presentation must clearly answer the core question that is on every customer’s mind: what’s in it for me? We call this the “WIIFM” (pronounced “wiffum”).
WIIFMs come in two basic flavours:
- Hope of Gain (If you buy this, you will be happier, more successful, etc.); and,
- Fear of Loss (If you buy this you will avoid something bad that could happen to you very soon.)
How to structure your sales presentation
Your sales presentation must answer these four questions, in this order:
Why should I trust you?
Before someone buys from you, they need to believe that your product or service will deliver the desired result. You can build trust with testimonials from other customers, third-party references, or your own experience, education or expertise. Free samples can work too. That’s why grocery stores hand out free samples all the time!
Do I really need this?
It sounds obvious, but establishing the need for your product or service early in your sales presentation is essential. Keep in mind that a customer may not even be aware that they need your product or service. In that case it is up to you to create the need. You can usually do this with a few simple questions. Take some time to figure out what those questions should be before approaching potential customers.
How will this help me? (WIIFM!)
Give practical examples as to how your product will save the customer time, money or headaches. Note: It is not enough to just talk about the features of your product or service. You must explain the benefits! What is the difference between a feature and a benefit?
Feature: What it is or what it does…
Benefit: What this means to you is…
Why should I buy this today?
The last part of your sales presentation must give the customer a compelling reason to “act now.” Examples of compelling reasons could be:
“The sale ends tomorrow.”
“It’s the last one I have in stock – and someone else is looking at it too.”
“Every day that goes by it is costing you money by not having this service.”
“For new customers, we offer a special welcome package of…”
If it is not the type of product or service that a customer would normally buy on the spot, give them a compelling reason to at least move ahead with the next step in the process, such as agreeing to meet with you again, etc.
Closing the sale
Once you have finished your sales presentation, you need to ask for the sale. If you don’t ask, you will miss a lot of opportunities to grow your business! Here are a few basic “closing questions”:
Does this make sense to you?
Does this look like the kind of thing that all (insert name of target market) should be doing?
Which one do you prefer: the red or the blue? (or both! J)
How many would you like?
When can we start?
Will that be cash, credit or debit?
If you prefer, we can do this on a “month to month” basis. Will it work better for you if we do it that way?
Once you have agreement from the customer, move immediately to complete the transaction and (if appropriate for your kind of business) ask for a referral.
TIP: Referrals are one of the best ways to make your next sale!
A wise man once said, “Nothing happens until somebody makes a sale.” It’s true! If you want to make things happen in your business, a structured and polished sales presentation is a great place to start.