Stuart R. Crawford (Calgary, AB - Business Development Manager of IT Matters)
In baseball, the number of strikes that the pitcher can throw in the strike zone is very critical the overall success of the baseball team on the field. The pitcher has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that strikes outnumber the balls thrown. In business, the pitcher is us, the business owner, the entrepreneur, the Business Development person or even an IT Professional. We are the pitchers!
How effective is our pitch? When we outnumber the amount of balls thrown with strikes we have a much better chance at winning in our businesses over the competition that exists in our marketplace. Our pitch is a critical component that every one of our sales executives needs to have down cold. No waffling, no second guesses, every member of our team must understand our strategic sales pitch, after all, business is all about sales and service.
Why is the pitch so important? The pitch for our companies must be something that every one of our employees has down without hesitation. There is no reason why any of our employees should not have the entire sales pitch memorized or at least have it printed on a card that they can use to reference when playing the field. The pitch needs to be something that is quick and to the point and hit on the following important areas:
- The value that our firm brings to the marketplace
- The ability to hit on the core business pains of the market
- Client story of what our firm has done in the market
The most important thing to remember about our pitches is that there are no points for second place in business. This is why it is so important that everyone on our team knows our Unique Selling Proposition and our Corporate Value Statement. We must make our pitches effective and we have to remember that we must throw more strikes than balls when playing the field. Not to say that we must never throw a strategic ball to see if someone will swing for it, however, the end goal is to get as many pitches across the strike zone as possible.
In business, we are playing a game, and a game that we must win with leading client service and satisfaction, the right solution for the right price and a team of committed professionals who want to win in the end. Remember, there are no points for second place.
One of most important areas that I have found to be effective in delivering our sales pitches to new prospects is the ability to tell a story. Prospects and clients love to be part of a story. People can relate to storytelling. This is one of the most important areas as sales professionals, business owners and account executives can work on to take our businesses to the next level. Invest in the ability for all of our teams to be able to tell a story.
When all of our teams have the ability to tell a story, hit on the value that our companies bring to the marketplace and then be able to wrap it all up by asking to go to the next step...what is the next step? What does that next step look like? Well that depends on where the clients or prospects want to go next. I have had experience where we jumped right into a sale or just a request for more information. It really depends on where or what the client wants to do next.
When we have an effective pitch we are creating an emotional bond between our company and the clients or prospects that many other small businesses struggle to even scratch the service, let alone develop a deep relationship that no matter what happens in the business, the relationship remains tight.