Our blog from a few weeks ago was on the topic of preparation before making an initial call on a suspect. We stopped at preparing your pitch. To continue forward, what are some important elements to consider or utilize as you prepare to pitch.

As a starting point, lets begin with some table stakes of understanding. First, nobody wants to be sold to and you will be judged very quickly on whether you are just another vendor hawking their goods and services. You only have one opportunity for that first impression and any stain you leave will be very hard to get out. Second, people are off the charts busy and they will have little time or tolerance to educate you on their company or their industry. They will have assumed you have done your homework. Lastly, they will spend time with people who come referred from trusted sources, who have information or solutions that can help them with known challenges or projects.

The four steps referenced in the previous blog help to gather the information to get you ready. What comes next is the layering of how your goods or services create unique Value based on the business problems that you solve. Based on your proven success, where do you get excited about the applicability to make a difference with this particular business? An easy and interesting way to do this is to use what you know to create a Value Statement that challenges the status quo.

To illustrate, try building a few sentences that capture the essence of your pitch.

From our research, it appears that…… (Identify 1 or 2 indisputable trends or problems that have affected or could affect their way of doing business).

Which could be creating…... (Articulate the Evidence and Impact of the trend or problem).

Given the business impact, we have seen other companies similar to you…… (Describe the possible action or response that addresses the business issue through a proven solution you possess).

In our experience in…… (Describe what enables you to feel confident to you can address the critical issue).

You could expect…… (Create a general statement of a solution or approach and quantitative range of what they could expect in the way of results).

Life is about conversation and you are trying to open the door for discussion. Depending on the complexity of what you are selling and the type of change or challenge to the status quo you represent, be prepared to educate and listen very intently to understand what is happening in their business that will allow you to create differentiated value over those who are not as well prepared. In the world of complex sales, it takes time to build relationships, establish trust and to create impactful solutions. The good news is you can actually differentiate through your preparation, your industry knowledge, your quality of your questions and through timely, professional follow-up.



November 6, 2012

Awesome advice Duke. Always learn something from your blog.


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