Life’s a pitch … and then they buy.
The pitch is the first act of the performance; the second act is the post pitch with act three consisting of the close. Without a strong beginning you rarely inspire the audience (the prospect) into staying for the show’s finale. They don’t care how it turns out. Why? Because somewhere along the way they were all too aware that this was a sales call. The pitch was canned, robotic, emotionless, dry, lifeless.
“Sorry,” they told you before hanging up, “not interested.”
As you rambled on, the prospect said to himself, “This guy doesn’t know his product. He’s not excited about what he’s selling. This is going to cost me too much time and aggravation … is it my turn to pick up the kids?”
There are only a finite number of pitches to make during the day. It might be eight, it might be twelve, it all depends, but they all have to be rock solid. The prospect doesn’t know, nor does he care, in how many you get out. He has only a self interest: What’s in it for me? Will I see an ROI?
It’s essential for you to concentrate on the pitch at hand and forget about everything else, all the lousy pitches, the deals that haven’t closed, and the prospect’s to reach later. Focus on the pitch, the prospect. This is much easier said than done, but you’ll feel different after delivering a great pitch. You’ll feel lighter, more confident.
The office is your stage. So get off your chair and walk the stage and remember at all times that this is your show not the prospect’s. You’re in control, you’re the star, and the prospect is audience member—but don’t treat him as just a regular audience member. No, treat him like a president (which he may be), like royalty, as if he is the only person in the audience—and he is! That’s just it. This is a performance for an audience of one.
Now, it goes without saying that you know your product well and that you’ve gone over the pitch so you know it by heart and that you’ve made it yours. You’ve taken those words on the paper and by reading them over and over you’ve created a style that’s all your own. The words have life now, they leap from your mouth instead of sitting dead on the page.
Keep your voice up and punctuate certain words: special, opportunity, ROI, advantage. Don’t lose your energy halfway through the pitch. Finish with a bang.
Stand tall, walk the stage and deliver a great first act.
More than likely, your audience of one will want to stay for the final act: the deal.
View a related video, Inside Sales (The Pitch).