Pitching can make you irrelevant in today’s marketplace

A couple of years back, we had author Peri Shawn write a piece for us.  Reading back over it again this week, I thought the messages as valuable (perhaps even more so?) now & figured it was ready for another outing.

Technology has changed the way people buy 

Research indicates that prospects can often have as much as 70 per cent of their buying decision made before they speak with a salesperson. Because of this, providing product information in the monologue style of a traditional sales pitch is becoming more and more ineffective. No longer are salespeople the sole providers of product information. In fact, in some cases prospects may know more about your product than you do.

For this reason, more than ever, salespeople need to meet prospects’ where they are and navigate their sales conversations according to prospects’ varying needs. It’s about salespeople joining their prospects where they are on the spectrum of their decisions to buy. No longer is a pitch in the form of a monologue relevant. Today if you go into a traditional pitch mode, you will more likely miss opportunities to sell.

A salesperson’s new role

This new sales environment requires that salespeople discover:

  • Where your prospects are with their buying decisions
  • What information your prospects have reviewed or watched
  • What criteria your prospects are using for their buying decisions

So instead of pitches, today salespeople will find they get better sales results when they focus on having profitable sales conversations. It’s no longer just about providing information. It’s more about supplying the least amount of targeted information for prospects to make the wisest decisions.

How to prepare for this new sales reality

These changes in the salesperson’s world dictate a change in the way they prepare.

What does this mean for you?

First, ensure you have used social and mobile technologies for some of your buying so you better understand what prospects are experiencing when they buy. This will help you truly understand why traditional pitches feel inappropriate and irrelevant to prospects. It will motivate you to sell in a more relevant way that better matches your prospects’ changed needs.

Second, become more aware of how to sell in this sales environment and improve what you say and do; adjust your sales conversations to include questions about:

  • Where your prospects are with their buying decisions
  • The information your prospects have reviewed or watched
  • The criteria your prospects are using for their buying decisions

Your prospects’ answers to these types of sales questions will provide you and them with rich material for your sales conversations.

Third, meticulously prepare what you will say and ask in response to the sales questions you ask. Plan how you will respond by being ready to match what prospects say to the information or client success stories you have in your arsenal.

This new sales environment requires you to be a sales ninja who can move through your sales conversations like a master.  When you do so, your sales conversations become much more adaptable than the traditional sales pitch.

This kind of sales focus will help you be more relevant and sell more effectively in this new sales environment.  You’ll stand out from the competition because you’ll be meeting prospects where they are, rather than delivering irrelevant pitches.

About the author

This guest post is written by Peri Shawn, the award-winning author of Sell More with Sales Coaching (Wiley Publishing). Find out more at www.CoachingandSalesInstitute.com.