How to Give the Perfect Pitch
A company can fail or succeed with its pitch to a perspective client.
For those startup companies having difficulty, here are some tips and tricks from an industry expert.
Jay Longwell is the president of Stratus Marketing and has been in business for 30 years.
Sales pitches are important and, in most cases, generate the majority of a company’s sales. Before delivering the pitch, the objectives must be clearly known.
“I always start out with, ‘I want to win the meeting,’” Longwell said. “That’s the overarching thing.”
According to Longwell, to win the meeting means to:
- Understand the client
- Understand the need
- Have a clear idea of the product and how if fulfills the client needs.
- Close the sale
Along with these guidelines, Longwell also said the most important thing to consider when constructing a pitch is to understand the client’s real motivation as to what they are asking you to do and what they need out of your product.
Once the motivation is known, Longwell said he does a great deal of research on the client.
“Usually I’ll start a pitch with restating the problem,” Longwell said. “Restate what their objectives are and then show that you clearly understand what you need to accomplish.”
Aside from focusing on what the problem is, an attention-grabbing hook is necessary. Longwell said, with his company’s technological focus, they like to mention how specialized their services are. Since Stratus Marketing has a tight niche market, they use this to establish value to their clients.
“There are a couple sides to that (establishing value),” Longwell said. “There’s the price value; that’s the easiest one. Then there’s the service value, service meaning getting things done on time, on budget and all that. (Finally) knowledge and experience about the industry and showing that to the client (are important).”
At this point in the presentation, it may become apparent if the client has expressed interest in the sales pitch. A client may give subtle hints and clues that can be used to guide the execution of the close.
“We know we are getting to the close by looking at the reaction of the client,” Longwell said. “There are tangible reactions that the client makes that you can read and use to your advantage.”
Unfortunately, not all the clients will say “yes.” Longwell said it’s important to keep doors open; sometimes you just don’t get the sale.
Overall, Longwell said it is important to understand the client and their needs, and how your product specifically meets these needs.
“Show them how your company fits them perfectly and what makes you better than your competitors,” Longwell said. “You may be nervous, but confidence comes in when you are well prepared.”