By Phil Stella
Realize the difference between your pitch’s goal and objective. While your goal is to win the business, your objective should be to provide the prospect with all the information they need to make a factual, smart, and fast decision. So, you can accomplish your objective but not your goal by making it very easy for them to realize you’re not the best choice.
Do all your homework in the discovery stage. Ask lots of good questions to learn what they need, want … and can afford.
Ask what kind of information they want from you in your pitch or proposal, when they want it, and how. Then, do what they tell you.
Make sure you’re appropriately positioned to deliver what they do need and want. If not, there’s no sense wasting their time or yours.
Create a prospect-centric and easy to follow written proposal or presentation outline. Your executive summary should indicate their investment of time, staff resources, and dollars up front.
Ensure the information you share clearly reflects what they said they needed or wanted. Restate their limitations of time, scope or budget to show that you understand and paid attention.
Use prospect-centric language. Don’t confuse or annoy them with acronyms or jargon. Define very clearly any such language you must use once or stick to common language.
Stress your value proposition and indicate why they should buy from you accurately and enthusiastically.
Ask for the close or at least for moving on to the next step in their decision process.
End your pitch with a strong, concise, and enthusiastic summary of how you’re ideally positioned to provide them with what they need, want … and can afford.
Putting these simple best practices to work will differentiate you from the competition, reduce the pain you experience, and cause and increase your confidence. Such world-class prospect-centric painless pitches will greatly improve your chances of accomplishing both your pitch’s objective … and your goal.
Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication and empowers business leaders to communicate confidently. A popular trainer and executive coach on workplace communications and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty at the University of Phoenix and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. He can be reached at (440) 449-0356 and firstname.lastname@example.org.