PR Tips | Let’s Not Call It a Sales Pitch

PR Tips | Let’s Not Call It a Sales Pitch

Selling your product is a crucial part of any business — and the process often starts with the “sales pitch.” Although I don’t think of selling that way.

For starters, the very term “sales pitch” carries a stigma. It makes you think of cheesy salespeople desperate to “close the deal.”

Selling is my job, but I try not to pitch. I don’t want to create awkward pressure. Instead, I  remind myself that the sales call isn’t salesy at all — it’s simply a casual conversation introducing my product and my company to someone new . . .  so they know I’m here and understand my product.

Because I have a good product, there’s a high chance that the person I’ve called will eventually need what I’m selling, even if he doesn’t need it right now. (This assumes I’ve done my research and called the right person.) My job is to let him know that my product exists and, if he’s interested, to help him understand its benefits.

I keep the golden rule in mind: I wouldn’t want a pushy salesperson telling me what I do or don’t need, so I avoid being that person.

Here are a few tips I use when I’m making a sales call — or preparing for one:

1. Record yourself. We all hate the sound of our own voice, but it’s amazing what you’ll learn from listening to your delivery.

2. Take the time to prepare. Doing some extra research on a potential client can make a call go much more smoothly, and lower the chances of being caught off-guard.

3. Have an outline handy and try not to stray from it. Tell the potential client what you plan on discussing and don’t waste his time.

4. Become very familiar with your script in order to avoid sounding rehearsed. If it’s second nature to you, it makes for much more casual conversation.

5. If someone has a question you can’t readily answer, just say you’ll get back to him with the right answer later. It’s better to take time to explain things correctly than blabber about something you don’t fully understand.

6. Follow up is crucial. A deal will almost never made on the first call, so don’t be too pushy. Make sure you keep tabs on when to touch base again.

We’ve all sat through annoying sales pitches. The next you’re trapped in one, try to identify what bothers you most about it and then do the opposite!

Laura Scharfeld