Let’s face it — selling is hard work. Convincing a prospective buyer to trust you and consider your offer can be extremely difficult. It’s often a balancing act between informality (useful for rapport and trust-building) and the hard sell (useful for creating urgency and closing the sale). Finding that middle ground between the two is not easy.
Fortunately, we can examine the techniques used by great salespeople to guide our sales efforts. In this post, I’ll share several tried-and-tested sales pitches that create the perfect blend of informality and the hard sell.
The Greatest Email Pitch
To be a successful salesperson in the modern era, you need to be able to create great sales pitches using a variety of different mediums. Email is particularly important as it can be used to reach new prospects at a low cost.
The downside of pitching via email is that the average person receives dozens of emails each day. You need to create an email that cuts through all that noise.
A freelancing blogger named Ryan Robinson recently shared an email pitch that helped him secure a $10,000 a month retainer from a client. It is perhaps one of the best email sales pitches ever written. Here it is in template form:
Hey [First Name],
I’ve been a fan of what you’ve been doing with [Company Name] over the past couple of years.
I’m reaching out because I’m working on a new piece geared towards [topic of the blog post you’re writing] from those who’ve already been through this experience themselves and I’d love to hear your take on it. The post will be published to my blog [optional—that gets x # of readers] and I’d love to get a quick quote from you to include in the piece if you’re up for it.
If you’d be able to answer this question in a few sentences, that would be amazing:
[Relevant question/challenge that will give them an opportunity to showcase their expertise]? How do you advise people on overcoming that challenge?
You might be wondering — where is the pitch? There is no hard sell in this initial contact email. As Ryan says, the goal is to provide value and show your worth. He also shares a couple of other cold email approaches in this blog post, which is absolutely worth reading.
The Greatest Cold Call Script
Many salespeople dread cold calling because of its difficultly and low success rate. However, it doesn’t need to be a painful process if you do some research and use a great script.
Hubspot recently shared one of the greatest cold call scripts we’ve ever seen. It ticks all of the boxes, building rapport, sharing the right information, and creating a sense of urgency without being too pushy.
This initial section of the script only has three steps:
A simple introduction along the lines of This is [name] from [company]
- Establishing rapport
Use any statements that build familiarity and trust, like:
So, [prospect name], I see you went to [university]. How did you like it?
Wow, you’ve been at [company] for [X years]. How did you get started there?
Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?
- Positioning statement
This statement shows the prospect you relate to them somehow. You might be in the same industry and deal with the same challenges they do. This could be as simple as:
I work with sales managers in hospitality with five to eight reps on their team. My customers are typically looking to increase rep productivity. Does that sound like you?
After these three steps have been successfully completed, you can begin talking in depth about your solution, or you can arrange to send them some material. It is easily the best approach to turning a cold call into a prospective sale.
Special mention also to the sales pitch from The Wolf of Wall Street for a fictional pitch that really works the prospect.
The Greatest Sales Presentation
There are many different effective sales presentation strategies available, with each strategy being well-matched to a particular type of prospect. This makes it difficult to definitively say that a certain approach is correct.
However, this sales deck created by Contently is perhaps one of the greatest sales presentations we’ve seen in recent years. Why is so good?
- Lots of imagery
They use plenty of imagery to evoke emotional responses in the audience and to keep the slides easy to follow. They don’t attempt to overwhelm the audience with large amounts of text, but instead present the business primarily through discussion. Without a wall of text on the screen, the prospect can focus all of their attention on the salesperson’s words.
- A human face to the business
You’ll note the use of images of the business’ founders on the third page. This is a calculated decision designed to humanize the business. The salesperson uses this slide to share background information about the founders, their expertise, and their mission.
- Conversational pitch
The presentation is designed in a very simple way because most of the pitch is performed verbally. The salesperson engages with the prospects in a discussion instead of walking them through dozens of slides. It is a more conversational way of pitching.
- It’s short
Prospects don’t have the time to sit through lengthy presentations. This presentation keeps it simple and it works.
The Greatest Elevator Pitch
Every salesperson needs a short elevator pitch which is used to introduce prospects to the business when there is limited time available. The key challenge with writing this kind of pitch is including all of the relevant information and making the offer enticing in a short amount of time.
The best elevator pitch we’ve heard recently came from a sales rep for G2 Crowd, a popular software review site.
G2 Crowd is the UserVoice platform for people to be able to say how they actually think about software and not be told by the analysts or people who don’t use it, or the reference from your best customers. You are actually hearing directly from the user and engaging with people who actually use the product.
A great post from Copper Chronicles perfectly outlines why this elevator pitch is so powerful:
- It’s extremely quick
- It uses customer language (no jargon)
- It shares pain points (companies receiving incorrect analysis of their products from a small sub-group of people)
- It explains the prospect’s end goal (obtaining highly useful feedback about their product directly from customers)