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Perfecting the Pitch: How to Sell Better, Faster and Smarter

04/07/2015 08:26 pm ET | Updated Jun 07, 2015

When you pitch a client, it can feel as if this is your only chance to close the deal. Fortunately, even if they say no, you both can revisit the opportunity further down the line. But it may take weeks, months or years before you get a second chance to meet with a sales prospect to discuss ways your product or service can add value to his firm. That amount of time is a luxury most salespeople with aggressive revenue targets cannot afford.

To secure a new account after your first meeting, you will want to ensure your sales pitch is perfect for that specific client. In order to convert more paying customers, follow these three tips to become a better salesperson.

Identify a prospect's expressed and latent needs

An important rule to sales is: Listen to sell more. Pay attention to the value a potential client explicitly wants from your product or service and think carefully about the things she has not asked you for yet. Then, ask for further clarification about her needs to understand:

  • What motivates this person?
  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics is she responsible for?
  • How can your offerings help her maintain her job or, even, get a promotion?

Armed with this information, you may customize your sales pitch accordingly to ensure you highlight all of the customer's needs your product or service can fulfill.

Create a personalized value proposition

Your sales pitch should be liquid in form, constantly adapting to new situations to ensure there is a guaranteed client-vendor fit. When you formulate ideas for ways to apply your offerings to a sales prospect's unique situation, focus primarily on benefits which cater to his expressed needs and briefly mention items that may support his latent needs.

After spending a majority of the time on a sales call or meeting listening to what a prospect considers a winning proposition for his business, you will, within minutes, be able to craft a magnetic value proposition. This draws your audience in and encourages him to inquire more about what you can do to help him solve the immediate and long-term problems his company faces.

Predict measurable impact on the client's business

Once you have captured a potential buyer's attention, be sure to put everything into perspective.

Detail what the customer can stand to gain by purchasing your product or what she has to lose by not signing onto your client roster. Quantify the sorts of cost-savings you might be able to contribute, how much you may be able to increase efficiency and output within her firm, or the number of additional sales the client's business may be able to generate after utilizing your products - and use case studies to support your claims.

It is incredibly powerful to be able to share customer testimonials which say:

  • "After hiring [your firm] to replace an older vendor, our business was able to save 30 percent on our overall manufacturing costs."
  • "Our junior associates have taken [your technology] and are now able to build new software in half the time."
  • "Thanks to [your company's product], we grew sales 150 percent in the past quarter."

Use those success stories to suggest how much you may be able to impact the business' bottom line.

Once you get to this stage of the sales pitch, make your prospect feel that there is opportunity cost in not purchasing your proposed solutions. Knowing more about your potential client's needs and believing in the value your product or service delivers, you can recommend a clear course of action and predict quantifiable results. You are guaranteed to win the project if the buyer agrees that your offerings will help her team boost sales, cut costs or increase productivity.

Mastery of these steps enables salespeople to close bigger deals faster than their peers without expending a lot of effort to ensure both the client and the vendor walk away feeling victorious.

This article originally appeared on the PandaDoc blog and is republished with permission.