You've finished your discovery process and collaborated with your contacts on what they need. You've also done your best to build consensus. Now, the deal you are working on finds you standing in front of a group of people who expect you to propose a course of action to improve their results.
This group of contacts will assess your proposal as well as yourself and the value you created for them through the sales conversation. This contest is between you and the competitors the prospective client is still considering. You want to get this right, knowing that what comes next is a won deal or a missed opportunity.
You can improve your ability to pitch your contacts by using a template that will position you to win their business and dispatch your competitors. The following template will give you an advantage and differentiate you from your competitors, who will all look alike. But before we introduce the sales pitch template, we need to address what salespeople and their companies get wrong.
The Problems with the Legacy Sales Pitch
The legacy approach begins a first meeting with "Why Us." They start with a conversation about all the things that make the company great. They move on to talk about their clients and their solutions. Then, they repeat that same information, expanding on what they have shared.
One salesperson used 96 slides in a 90-minute sales pitch. Each slide answered the question "Why Us." After the meeting, he asked the contacts if they had questions, only to be told he was out of time. The order and fashion in which you address this question—and the other elements of the sales conversation—requires context.
A Better Sales Pitch Template
A better sales pitch reverses the mistakes the legacy sales pitch makes by reversing the order. Do you remember why your client took your request for a meeting? It was because they were seeking help improving some important outcome.
Section One: Why Change?
The first part of your sales pitch is your recounting of your contact's challenges and what causes them. By starting here, you remind your contacts that you were not only paying attention to what they shared, but also that you understand how to address their problems and deliver the better results they need.
Your contacts want you to help them improve their results, and opening the pitch in this way proves that you are there to do that. This by itself is often enough to differentiate you from your lookalike competitors. Instead of starting with "Why Us," you are prioritizing the client’s needs.
Section Two: The Necessary Changes
With the challenges and problems addressed, you explain what you and your client will need to do to turn things around. This is more than simply selling the client about your product or service, even if you have been taught to describe these things as a "solution." If you have done deep discovery, the changes may include what you will do to ensure the client achieves the better outcomes they seek. One way a salesperson fails their clients is by avoiding telling them what they will have to change to ensure and maximize their results.
In section two of your sales pitch template, you explain what will change and how it will improve your prospective clients’ results. You also relate these changes to the client's challenges or problems, so they understand how things influence one another.
Section Three: The Investment
Even though your client will expect that the investment will be in your written proposal, it’s best to also have a conversation about what it will cost for the client to improve their results. If you have read and studied The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, you will have prepared your contacts for the investment.
If you have triangulated your competitors and explained how your company makes different investments than companies with different models, you have a head start that will help you acquire the investment. You can find this strategy in Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative.
By sharing the investment your client needs to make, you show you are not afraid to disclose the price, differentiating yourself from your peers and making it easier for your clients to believe the number is justified. When salespeople are afraid to talk about their price, they project that they believe the price exceeds the value they create.
Section Four: Why Us?
By saving the "why us" conversation, you put it in the appropriate context. Instead of saying, "Our company is great," you can say, "Here are the people and resources we are going to provide to make certain you achieve the desired results." To talk about your existing clients, you can do so by explaining how they had similar challenges and what you did to help overcome them.
If the better results will need to be dialed in, you want to tell your client what that process will look like and how you and your team will be there to support it. Largely, this is how successful, mature salespeople sell.
By leaving the “Why us” to the end, you have spent the most time on helping your client remember why you are there, what you need to do together, the investment they must make, and how you will support change.
To pitch your client and win, make the conversation about the client, using "why us" to explain how you will invest in ensuring their better results.