How to Ditch the Pitch to Perfect Social Selling Skills

BY Jessica Helinski
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"Ditch the pitch" may be an entirely new social selling skill for you as a salesperson. Traditionally, sales pitches have been an inevitable part of the sales process. But, they 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 it, focusing 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 first. Part of your social selling strategy is taking time to learn as much as possible. 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,” Prail 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 rely on your usual sales 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.”