Ditch the Pitch to Perfect Social Selling Skills

ditch the pitch

"Ditch the pitch" may be an entirely new concept to you as a salesperson. Traditionally, sales pitches have been an inevitable part of the sales process. But, sales pitches aren't always done effectively, and some reps even throw out a pitch the first time they speak with a prospect. Darryl Praill, in a blog post for VanillaSoft, suggests reps ditch the pitch for a more modern approach. 

Ditch the pitch for a “give first” mindset

Prail writes about this concept, crediting Barbara Giamanco, founder and CEO of Social Centered Selling, and her emphasis on social selling. She encouraged sellers to consider social selling, which focuses on establishing a human-​to-​human connection before jumping into a pitch. “When someone genuinely appreciates you and does something for you, it’s natural to want to reciprocate,” he explains. “Too often…salespeople who contact prospects with genuine intent and then ruin it all by launching into a pitch right away.”

To ditch the pitch, Prail explains Giamanco’s strategy, breaking it down step by step, including.

  • Research. Don’t go into any meeting or call without researching a prospect and their business and industry. Take time to learn as much as you can, but, Prail warns, don’t get stuck down a rabbit hole. The more you understand about the prospect and their business, the easier it will be to establish a connection.
  • Pick up to three specific insights. Then, ditch the pitch by reaching out to a prospect and establishing a connection rather than pitching immediately. “Write a short message sharing these insights and asking their opinion on them, no longer than four sentences,” he explains. “Encourage the prospects to respond with their comments. You might also offer to video chat with them for 15 minutes instead.”

No response? Resist the urge to pitch! Tweak the original message in a brief follow-​up, then send a third follow-​up suggesting a call or virtual chat. If you only get silence, simply put the prospect aside for future revisiting (using the ditch the pitch method again). 

He goes on to share other strategies from Giamanco that you can utilize, ensuring that you don’t fall into the old pattern of pitching prematurely. This person-​first approach will likely inspire you to embrace social selling because you’ll find that, as Prail points out, “Approaching prospects with heart and authenticity never goes out of style.”

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.