Business accelerators: Perfect your sales pitch, part 1

March 8, 2018

Why should customers buy from you? What makes your business different from everyone else? Whether you’re just starting out or upping your game you need to be able to articulate what sets your business apart. This is known in marketing as your value proposition, or in sales as the unique selling proposition—the one unique quality about your business that makes it more attractive to customers than your competition. Your value proposition becomes a fundamental part of your elevator speech, your marketing, and your approach to selling and interacting with customers. If you are pitching your business to investors or banks it’s one of the things you need to have very clear in your business plan because it defines who you are as a business and how you will compete in the marketplace.

Perfecting your sales pitch can also help you clarify what your business is all about—who you are and who you are not. It will help you identify exactly who your market is and what their unique needs are. Knowing this will help you identify products, services you should consider as well as which promotions are likely to work best.

The best sales pitches accomplish four things. They:

  • Explain what you do or what you sell.
  • Resonate with customers.
  • Set you apart from the competition.
  • Bring you one step closer to your goal.

If you’re an existing business, check out the “Reviews” function of Clover Online listings, which makes it easy to keep up with what customers posting on over 20 review sites. Looking at reviews gives you insight into why your business resonates with customers and why they bought from you in the past. It can also give you an objective perspective of how your customers view your business in the marketplace. You can also poll customers directly using Clover’s Feedback app before they post reviews publicly.

If you’re starting from scratch, try this process to come up with sales pitch ideas.

  1. List out the most important things you want prospective customers to know about you. Are you completely committed to environmentally friendly products? Do you support the local economy? Do you do things the old-fashioned way? Do you have a money-back guarantee, or a unique process for customizing your products? List out as many ideas as you can—you will narrow them down over time.
  2. Identify your niche market. Who is most likely to be interested in the items you listed above? What language do they use to describe their needs or concerns? Where do they communicate—on social media or at live events? How will you reach this market? The more you think about who your market is, the better your pitch will resonate with them.
  3. List your main competitors and for each one list out why your target market will buy from you instead.
  4. Test, test, test. The next time you have a conversation with a customer, test out your value proposition and really listen to their responses. Do they seem interested? Does it compel them to buy? Do they sign up for your email list or loyalty points? Test it out on social media—what gets the most likes and shares? Look at reviews of your business—what positive things do customers note? What messaging did they not understand? By testing you’ll be able to distill what messaging resonates with your most loyal, buying customers.
  5. Customize this pitch for every occasion. Now that you’ve identified what makes you unique and who your target market is, it’s time to practice a few scenarios where you’ll need to use your sales pitch. Come up with sales pitch ideas that you might use in the following situations:
  • Imagine yourself at a party meeting someone new. How would you explain your business in 2-3 sentences? Try to come up with one or two open-ended questions you can ask that will intrigue them into considering you for future business.
  • Picture trying to sell your best-selling product to a new customer in your store. How would you describe it in a way that will make the person want to buy from you instead of a competitor? What expert tips or extra service can you offer that will make them want to buy from you again? How does knowing your pitch change the way you sell?
  • Now try picturing yourself selling a new product to a new customer. Explain why this new product fits in with your business and what makes you unique.
  • Imagine yourself on Shark Tank. You’re in a room of investors and you want to intrigue them into helping you take your business to the next level. What’s your pitch? Come up with a few sound bites that really articulate your value proposition.
  • You’re coming up with new marketing materials and need a tagline—one sentence that sums up who you are and what you represent. What would it be?

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just like fashion—what’s relevant and compelling to customers today may not work tomorrow. Try new things and always be perfecting your sales pitch.

[image: Colors #2 by Carmelo Speltino on flickr]

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