A sales pitch is part of the selling process but not all salespeople know how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. First, everyone is a salesperson. Regardless of what you do, everyone sells to someone.
Brian Harrington started in the infomercial business. He worked for his father who was one of the principal pioneers of the infomercial industry. His experience taught him the craft of selling products on TV.
In those early years, Brian saw how easy it was to sell through television advertising but he eventually saw how investments could be lost as fast as money was made. They made some changes and instead of sticking exclusively with Infomercials, they followed customers to where they were making their purchases. That decision led them to the digital world and social media.
Brian and his team started to sell products through Google and other online opportunities such as Facebook. Since then, they’ve branched out to several other platforms. They sell directly to consumers with a diverse selection of products including health and fitness, beauty, home products, and more but continue to also sell through traditional brick and mortar retail stores.
Brian’s company sells products with a focus on three core worlds:
It’s easy to make mistakes when pitching. especially if you have no idea how to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The first mistake people make is not being prepared. If you show up to a meeting and don’t know enough about their business, competition, industry, to answer a potential investor’s basic questions, you can tank a meeting in the first few minutes. It can make you look incompetent in an area you claim a level of expertise. Investors do not want to get involved with people who seem to lack core knowledge.
Simple changes can make the pitch so much better. Brian says it can be broken down into 3 easy steps: The Tease, The Please, and The Seize.
The Tease: Get the investor’s attention right away. The first impression matters and you have a small window to capture a potential investor’s interest. Cater the pitch to the person you’re pitching to and keep the company’s culture in mind. BE PREPARED. Your goal is to capture their attention and interest in the first 10 seconds.
You also want to be mindful of how your actions and words may be received by your audience. If you’re working with international investors, do the research about how to conduct yourself during the meeting in order not to make a faux pas.
The Please: On the one hand, you want to be sure you’re prepared to answer any questions your potential investor might ask. On the other hand, you also want to withhold enough information so they continue to ask questions and dialogue continues. Take a breath when you’re talking and allow those questions to happen. These unanswered questions will keep them excited and interested in hearing more. There’s a balance between the information you want to offer and the information you want to hold onto until the pitch closes.
The Seize: Once you’ve had a great launch to your pitch and generated excitement, your job is to keep up the energy. You do this by making sure every pitch has a call to action. Think of ways to make your pitch intriguing enough for the investor to enjoy your presentation, see the value in your product, and have the desire to work with you in a new venture. You want them to have confidence in you and the products or services you represent.
It’s important to take the time to do the research in potential investors. Make sure you know they’re looking to invest in your industry or type of product before you ever get in front of them. Find out what kinds of pitches they’re drawn to. For Brian, the best pitches are the ones that come from people who command attention and hold the attention of the room throughout the presentation.
Confidence is key for any salesperson. That confidence, however, has to balance with the facts that are being offered. A good investor is going to research the data you are using to support your claims so stick with the truth. Don’t makeup stories to make yourself look good. It can compromise your integrity and an investor needs to be able to trust you.
You also want to be careful about being annoying. Again, you don’t have a lot of time to make a great first impression. You don’t want to come off as too cocky or flashy. The best course of action is to substantiate your claims and have a real plan you can confidently and competently execute.
The truth is, not all pitches will be successful. There are risks in every opportunity but oftentimes, the rewards are bigger than the risks. You can lower the risks by offering realistic projections that show you’ve systematically mapped out how you’re going to make a profit.
As a salesperson, it’s your job to craft a rock-solid sales pitch to potential investors. The right pitch doesn’t sound too “salesy.” During a pitch, be careful of talking too much. It could seem like you’re trying too hard and can be perceived as a lack of confidence in your presentation.
Turn that around by keeping these key elements in mind when crafting a great sales pitch:
Connect with Brian Harrington by emailing him at email@example.com. For more sales information and questions, you can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns.
This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077.
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The sales landscape has changed as buyers have gained access to more information, and the result for sellers is changing rules for sales tools.
Subhanjan Sarkar runs a company called Pitch Link, which helps companies solve the problem of being able to scale by finding good salespeople.
David Cancel wrote a book called Conversational Marketing in which he suggests that the balance of power has shifted from supply to demand and from company to customer. Thirty years ago, selling centered around the ability to mass-produce products in factories. Walmart’s mantra at the time was “stack them high and sell them low.”
The system used to work with the information estimate tree that existed between suppliers and buyers, because the suppliers and makers always had more information available to them than the buyers did. The buyer never knew, prior to the Internet, that certain items were available from other sources for lower prices.
Over the last 20 years, the buying and selling process has been disrupted. Most of us won’t say it out loud because so much of the information from the previous era becomes irrelevant.
Subhanjan said that people often challenge him on this premise because they can point to places where the old way of doing things still works. Though it may still work, it is less effective. Email open rates, for example, have dropped from 40 percent to 2.8 percent. People aren’t taking calls from people they don’t know.
The fundamental shift is this: traditional sales was based on the principle of interruption but buyers don’t want interruptions. This doesn’t mean that reps shouldn’t do their jobs anymore. It simply means that reps must change the way they do things.
He points out that they are called salespeople for a reason. They aren’t called prospecting people or lead-generation people. But they are expected to fill up a CRM, to write emails, to prospect, and to make phone calls.
In traditional sales, people knew each other because they went to school together. They played football or baseball together and then they graduated and one became the manager of the local factory while the other became a salesman. They built trust over the course of 20 years.
Now people trust brands rather than salespeople. They might eventually trust the salesperson over five to 10 years of working together, but initially, it’s the brand.
As Subhanjan built the company, he understood the story behind the company’s development in great detail. He could explain why the company evolved the way it did because he was in the thick of it. Then, he hired a hot-shot sales guy who understood marketing automation and social selling, but his storytelling wasn’t as authentic.
The company’s story wasn’t being delivered authentically, so the company discovered a need to standardize its narrative. The more tactical problem was that without face-to-face meetings, the sellers couldn’t make pitches. The presentations got postponed.
Small organizations that only have three interested prospects will struggle if they aren’t able to meet with two of them for weeks or even months. That’s catastrophic.
Finally, they discovered that even if they could meet someone within a prospective company, it was often difficult to schedule meetings with the decision-makers.
How do we establish our product or service or value proposition? And how do we do it so that our prospect isn’t rushed?
PitchLink worked to create an experience that was as close to face-to-face as possible without actually being face-to-face. It could never be exactly the same but they worked to create a system that allowed room for narratives and questions. They built a tool that allows users to link up any kind of file format like a playlist.
So imagine how you would pitch to a prospect about your product. Just as you would start by greeting the prospect and thanking him for the time, you can record audio or video of the same personalized introduction. The moment the prospect clicks the link, he immediately sees the personalized greeting.
Your pitch will include the pitch, the scenario, a demo, and a comparison with competitors. All the elements of a typical pitch can be packaged into a single product and sent as a link to your prospects. You can effectively do all the things you would do in person by way of this link.
These packaged presentations free your prospects to consume your information when they have the time and mental capacity to do so. They’ll also be free to engage with specific parts of your presentation multiple times if necessary.
Once they’ve done that, they can decide whether the product is right for them, and then invite others to view it. All invitees see the ame pitch on the same interface and they can ask questions within this interface. All users can see the questions asked and the answers that were given.
Everyone is always on the same page.
Clients are busy and focused on other things. The way we sold in the past won’t always work, so we have to evaluate new options and provide them in a way that’s best for the prospects. #SalesEvolution
The biggest myth perpetuated on us is that great sales guys close deals. Suhanjan believes that sales are closed by the buyer who finally signs the deal. He believes that sellers must respect that shift.
The buyer is in control of the process, so we must rethink the way we talk about value transaction. Sales has evolved so much that perhaps we can’t even talk about sales anymore.
You can connect with Subhanjan Sarkar on LinkedIn and at PitchLink, where you can also sign up for a free trial. Listeners of The Sales Evangelist podcast will get 120 days free instead of the 90 days that everyone else gets.
If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there. I’m fairly easy to connect with. Just comment on something about my podcast. Send me an email.
You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.
If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.
This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.
I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.
I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.
Sellers who want to succeed must ask themselves a vitally important question: Are you ready and prepared to have a value-rich conversation?
I recently took a camping trip with my buddies to St. Louis, and though many of us were excited about the trip and we were ready to go, we realized that being prepared was something completely different.
Being ready for it suggests that you believe in your ability to get it done. Being prepared means having the proper equipment and gear to succeed.
My friend Doug shared recently that many different sellers pitch his company. Though many of them are ready, most are not prepared. Sellers often feel excited about the sales pitch and the possibility that it could lead to great opportunities for their company.
If, however, they arrive unprepared, they’ll be unable to identify the problem their prospects are facing. They won’t have any idea about how to solve the problem for the client.
Imagine if my buddies and I were unprepared for our camping trip. If we don’t have enough food and water to sustain our group, and if we don’t have a way to communicate with the folks who are scheduled to pick us up, we could quickly find ourselves in the midst of a disaster.
Imagine I sell office furniture and I’m excited to pitch our new sofas and standing desks to my prospects. I must be ready and prepared to address the person’s business, how it operates, how it makes money, and the changes that exist within the industry.
If my client is facing higher prices because of the trade war with China, I have to understand that business problem and then offer ways to solve it. It’s the same as going camping without enough drinking water. You’re going to land yourself in a tough situation, and ultimately, you’ll sound like every other sales rep.
The same friend shared with me that he was working with a prospect when he discovered that he didn’t understand enough about the prospect’s industry.
He started by researching the people who were going to attend his upcoming meeting. He researched each person on LinkedIn so he was prepared to have good conversations.
Next, he Googled the company’s history so the prospect wouldn’t have to educate him on it. And when the prospect asked him what he knew about the company, he was able to share the history.
He was also able to observe that many of the company’s employees changed position from one department or role to another. That helped him have more meaningful conversations about the changes the company was facing.
His preparation set him apart from his competitors, many of whom show up expecting the prospect to provide this information for them.
These buyers come to the table with more understanding. They want to have meaningful conversations with companies that can solve their problems and offer great deals.
If you find yourself being dismissed often, it’s likely that you didn’t provide a value-rich conversation. If your prospects frequently offer to “follow up with you,” you didn’t provide compelling reasons for the prospect to engage with your company.
Go a step further and research your main competition. Who is your prospect working with now? Who have they done business with in the past?
Uncover the difficulties that your competition has solving problems for your client. Then leverage that information to show how you can be the ideal solution.
Sometimes companies are in contracts with vendors but if you can create reasonable doubt, you can help the prospect realize that the current partner isn’t the greatest fit.
If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.
You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.
You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.
If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.
This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.
I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.
Video is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, including those of us at the Sales Evangelist. We’re launching a YouTube channel called TSE TV and using Instagram as well. On today’s episode, we’ll talk with Deepak Shukla about the 2-minute video pitch that helps generate warm sales calls.
Deepak is the founder of the SEO agency Pearl Lemon, helping businesses generate more of an internet presence or improve their ranking on Google.
There are three primary reasons that video is at the forefront right now.
Cold calls, direct message on LinkedIn, and cold email all work to varying degrees.
There are things you can communicate in video that you could never communicate in an email or a call. Your energy and the way you present yourself on screen offer a different way of communicating.
Video grabs people’s attention, and it’s unique. It engages multiple senses at the same time, offering more sensory engagement than other forms of communication.
Deepak created a two-minute video that helped generate warm leads, which he defines as a prospect who loves his videos.
Warm leads are those who are interested in him because they liked his pitch but they aren’t sure about the business. Warm leads could also be those who are interested in him and his pitch and who will eventually become clients.
He uses video as a second stage, in combination with a direct response first. Once he has some kind of response he’ll engage with a video pitch.
Personalized video doesn’t scale, so consider using it as a second step. Sending a personalized video to every single prospect isn’t really practical. It’s too exhausting.
Once you have some level of initial response, video functions better.
It drives positive follow-up, allowing us to get past text-only emails. We can use videos to create warm contacts before the markets become saturated in a few years.
Videos allow clients to process information more quickly and it’s far more entertaining.
Deepak’s team has largely moved away from text, relying instead on “voice notes” and using WhatsApp to communicate. The team has increased its throughput by using video and voice notes rather than text to communicate.
For relationship building, it allows international communication anywhere Internet access exists.
We aren’t taking advantage of all the tools that are available to us because we’re entrenched in the traditional models.
When you’re ready to try your hand at video, check out Loom, an easy and free video recorder that allows you to capture audio and video from your computer camera and then share it, all from your Chrome browser.
We all have to do things that scare us in order to progress. Try new things with someone that you trust; with someone that you can afford to mess up with. Once you get beyond the hurdles and glitches, you can expand to other people.
Video has helped Deepak generate significant volumes of business.
“2-Minute Video Pitch” episode resources
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