People aren’t afraid of sales calls; they’re afraid of the moment when they have to make their pitch.
Think about it. Other than the pitch – describing your services and quoting your fee – the rest of the sales call is just a conversation. Leading up to the pitch, all you’re doing is asking questions, getting information, and learning about the person you’re talking to and their needs. Easy peasy.
But, oh, that dreaded pitch. That’s when you feel most vulnerable. Your pitch will determine if you get a new client or not. And that’s what you’re afraid of. But what if this part of your sales call doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing? What if you can have some fun with it?…and maybe even make a game out of it!
Let’s start by shifting our language, and therefore our mindset.
The word pitch is a faulty concept.
Think about it in literal terms. In baseball, the pitcher decides what he’s going to throw – a curveball, fastball, knuckleball. So, before the batter has done anything, the pitcher decides what he’s going to pitch.
Hmmm…. Are you starting to see the problem when we relate this back to pitching in sales calls?
Having a pitch prepared without the proper input from your prospect means that you are performing, not having a conversation.
The conversation shouldn’t stop the moment you start to “pitch.”
So, rather than planning out your pitch, shift over to playing the game of Remember and Match. Here’s what it looks like…
The Set Up
Improving your sales calls begins with becoming aware of your routine.
If you’ve been on enough sales calls, it’s likely you have a typical (perhaps routine) way you describe your services. Notice if you use the same adjectives to describe your offer on each call, or utilize the same examples and stories. Pay attention to if you’re highlighting the same features or benefits of your services, as well.
Next, ask yourself if those descriptions and highlights are serving you on every call.
If you’re now realizing that you’ve been in a bit of a routine, then you’ve likely made the mistake of falling in love with how you sell – or perhaps even fallen in “lazy” with how you sell.
Hey, no judgment here! I’ve done this same assessment for myself. I, too, had to do a gut-check and acknowledge that I had gotten a bit lazy with my sales calls at one point. And, it’s not just you and me. I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of sales calls recordings for my clients. And I can’t think of one person who hasn’t fallen into this trap. Just be careful because your routine could be dangerously close to pitching territory.
So, rather than focusing on and worry about a pitch, have more fun on your sales calls by using the Remember and Match framework.
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Remember and Match
The secret to sales success is matching your description with the “trigger points” of your prospect.
By “trigger points” I simply mean the things/aspects/descriptions that get your prospect excited, the things that they can easily connect with and identify with.
Our goal is to have the prospect feel like, “This is made for me.” You can accomplish that by matching key phrases they used during the call to what you have to give. So, all you have to do is remember what they said and match it to your offer.
Way too often, I see consultants and coaches describe what they love about their services, rather than listening to what the prospect wants.
The majority of your job during a sales call is to listen for what’s important to your prospect — what excites them, concerns them, worries them, motivates them, etc. That’s how you make the perfect pitch for THEM. You never know which aspect or angle of your services will be of high interest to each individual prospect. That’s why you have to listen for it.
Look at your services from all different angles and then, in the sales conversation, match the right angle with that prospect.
For example, an element I love for my one-on-one coaching clients is flex sessions. (My clients get to use these in case of emergency or if they feel they need extra help.) It’s a nice security blanket for them because they know I’ll be there for them no matter what.
I love flex sessions for many reasons. However, I have some clients for whom flex sessions just aren’t that big of a deal. Some of my clients never use flex sessions, while others use them all up. Everyone is different. That’s why on sales calls I have to pay attention and determine if flex sessions seem to pique the interest of the prospect or not. If they don’t, then I won’t highlight them as much (even though I think they are great!)
Your job is to triangulate what draws in your prospect.
And the beautiful part is that you don’t have to guess! The majority of your sales call should be listening for their trigger points.
- Are the more interested in speech and efficiency?
- Or are they looking for someone to hold their hand as they figure things out?
- Do they want emotional comfort or straight-forward critiques?
- Are they more excited by quantifiable wins?
- Or are qualitative wins more important?
- Do they want to set-it-and-forget-it?
- Or do they want to be a part of the creative process?
These are just a few examples of how your pitch can change depending on what your prospect gets triggered by. Rather than selling with prepared descriptions and stories, listen to their stories and their descriptions. Remember what they said and match it to your offer.
You can avoid the pitch by with this simple and fun technique of Remember and Match. Just tune in your antenna to make that perfect offer on your next sales call.
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