You probably already have a great sales pitch. But what if you could make it a bit more effective? Hold your audience’s attention? Get a few more sales? That‘s what we’re going to talk about today.
Today’s sales presentations often happen online. And you probably aren’t facing a lone decision maker. You could be eye-to-eye with an entire executive committee from one big company or with hundreds of individual small business owners. To close sales, you have to cover all the bases in the right order.
1. Here’s who I am.
This first step is a little tricky. Some audience members may know a lot about you. To others, you may be a complete stranger.
Your best bet is a tight script that hits the high spots. Only your mom cares that you were president of your high school chess club (and she’s only pretending.) Let your audience know how your background makes you relevant to them.
2. Here’s what I’ve got for you.
It’s no secret that you’re trying to sell something, and prospects want to know what it is. So tell ‘em. But don’t go overboard. Ask yourself the magic question: “What does a person need to know about my product or service to make a purchase decision?”
3. Here’s what it will do for you.
Now we’re getting into the meat of the presentation, the part that answers the prospect’s burning question: “What’s in it for me?” We’re talking benefits.
Think about three types of benefits: immediate, longer-term, and eventual. For example, maybe the product saves the customer time and money immediately. In the longer-term, she can use those resources to accomplish other business goals. The eventual benefit is a more profitable business.
4. Here’s how to get it.
This is the beginning of your closing sequence, and you’re walking a razor’s edge — one slipup, and you’re bleeding. First make sure they know exactly what they get. Then state clearly how they get it. Do they click a button? Visit a website? Call you?
5. Bolster your authority.
People like to believe they make up their own mind. But the truth is, we have a strong instinct to follow the herd. So prospects want to know who else agrees with you. You might provide a strong testimonial. Or relate a case study. You could cite a scientific paper that proves your point. Or quote an expert.
6. Reverse the risk.
But what if your product or service is too new to have all these things? In this situation, consider providing a guarantee. It’s a practically foolproof way to lower the prospect’s fears and increase conversions.
The guarantee can vary based on the risk you’re willing to shoulder. For example, a digital product might have a negligible cost per unit. So you might provide a money-back guarantee for 30 days, 90 days, or even lifetime. But if you’re selling your time, maybe you’ll simply promise to do anything within reason to make sure they’re satisfied.
6a. Add value (optional).
If you’ve ever listened to an infomercial, you’ve heard these transitional words: “But wait!” It means the announcer is about to add free steak knives, or give you free shipping, or both — “but only if you order in the next 10 minutes.”
If you decide to use the add-on technique, it’s a great opportunity to impose a time limit to increase urgency. How can they resist?
7. Close again.
In step four, you explained exactly how to get the product or service. But don’t rely on the prospect to remember. Instead, restate your call to action.
Why it works
This sequence replicates the thought process human beings use for making decisions. Your job as a salesperson is to think on behalf of your prospect.
Steps 1-3 provide facts to satisfy the intellectual requirements of a decision. Steps 5, 6 and 6a provide emotional fuel for overcoming resistance. Closing steps 4 and 7 make it easy to say “yes”.
With a sales structure in place, you can relax, educate your prospects, and help them solve a problem. Add just a touch of entertainment — delivered with your irresistible charm — and you’ve got a winning formula. People like to do business with people they like.