Your sales success hinges on your ability to pitch well; your pitch depends on how well you can identify, and connect to, each person in the audience. The ability to recognize and speak to different people and personality types has a big effect on how your pitch is received. "You might believe your idea can make your client or customer successful," writes Mark Miller for Entrepreneur. "But it's not enough for you to believe in it. The trick is to help them believe in it too. Every piece of your pitch should point back to strategy and be aimed at showing them a desirable future vision of success."
To accomplish this, Miller shares five suggestions to boost your presentation, two of which are highlighted here.
- Know who is in the room.
- Turn adversaries into advocates.
Your sales success depends on your connection to everyone in the room
It can be tempting to craft a cookie-cutter presentation and only change a few details for each pitch. The problem with this method is that it won't truly connect with your audience, which lessens the chance of aligning with their needs and values. This is why Miller stresses that when pitching, it’s important to know who is “in the room.” As Miller explains, “When teams come together to make a decision, each person shows up with different motivations, interests, responsibilities and decision-making power. They may even have wildly divergent ideas about what exactly is at stake.” It’s up to the sales rep to be able to identify each person in the room and what they are seeking. Typically, he believes there are five specific archetypes that reps will pitch to:
- The Decider
- The Money
- The Dissenter
- The Individual Responsible
- The Builder
Your next presentation may be to a room filled with one of each or multiples of the same type. Take a moment to read Miller’s description of each; your understanding of each type can help you craft a pitch that will appeal to whoever is in your audience.
Turn adversaries into advocates
Each group you meet will likely have at least one member who threatens your sales success. While an advocate can see your value and roots for you, an adversary can be a major roadblock. It’s important for sellers to be conscious of any adversaries and then get to work converting them. Miller writes that an adversary may be:
- A barrier, i.e., someone who has a specific need they want met.
- A person acting as an opposition who has a conflict with your solution.
He recommends that when faced with a barrier-type, it’s best to meet them head-on. “Connect with them one-on-one to explore how your idea can meet their unique need. The more clearly you articulate your idea as their solution, the better your chances of turning them into an advocate.”
When it comes to facing opposition, you can get them on your side by making them the hero. SalesFuel also shared this advice, noting that positioning a prospect as a hero in your strategy can boost sales success.
Find creative ways to integrate them or their ideas into your solution, which you can do by storytelling or crafting a sales impact model. Not sure how to start? SalesFuel’s Kathy Crosett has some advice, writing, “To develop a story that will appeal to this prospect, look through your case histories and success stories for similarities. Was a previous client able to save their business because they found a way to cut expenses using your service? When you weave these details into a larger narrative about what your prospect should be able to achieve, with your help, you’ll capture your audience’s attention.”
Your pitch, your sales success.
Take ownership of your pitch, and how well it goes, by making sure that each one you deliver is valuable and personalized to your audiences. A little research and preparation, with Miller’s insights in mind, can give you the knowledge needed to successfully showcase your solutions and it increases your credibility.
Photo by Jason Goodman