Ditch the Pitch!

When I scroll through my email, I read in the opening, Hi Karen,

"We are"….

"Are you interested in?…

"I'm reaching out because"

These types of emails will never get opened. Why?

They are not about you the reader; they are very seller focused. Immediately trying to pitch something, without any background knowledge about me, the potential buyer.

The preview field on your mobile phone allows you to do just that, preview the message. See if there is useful information worth opening.

As salespeople, we have to earn the right to pitch.

There are a few requirements we need to gain first to see if it makes sense to pitch our solution. Show them how we help. In the beginning, we were not sure if we can help.We need to understand how they are getting the job done today.It might be manual, inefficient, costly, or timely but they are doing it. Starting in the current state, point A, invite your prospect to share their process. Most people start pitching right away, point B.

You have nothing to anchor your solution to, what are you comparing your way to? Always start with A.

We now need more details, invite them to open up. To do this, we cannot make this an interrogation- we are curious using a conversational tone. Not thinking about how we are going to spend our commission when we close this- they feel that.Be present, stay in the moment getting more details to understand the impact of the way they are getting the job done. If they share, it is slow, costly, manual…" Interesting, so what does that mean for accuracy, completion rates, and team collaboration? Whatever the nature of the situation is. Go beneath the surface, and elicit some emotion.

PAUSE- Don't answer this for them, let them think. If they feel comfortable enough and not backed into a corner with an imminent pitch, they will respond. "Now, what would you say that is costing you with lower accuracy? Completion time and so on?"The more we can quantify the problem there is a greater chance our prospects will want to solve it. They can see what it is costing them, monthly, quarterly, and annually. It is hard to ignore solid figures.

3 Benefits come from quantifying the cost of the problem:

1) When you present your solution (when the time is right) and you show what the potential upside is from using your solution, you remove the price objection. It is simple math. This is also a way to disqualify, if it is not big enough, happening frequently enough, perhaps it is not yet worth your services. The juice has to be worth the squeeze.

2) It also gets you in front of the status quo. How can they afford to allow this challenge to continue racking up money once they know what it is costing them? We create a sense of urgency and prioritize our solution over other areas of focus. The cost of inactivity is almost impossible. The great question here is, "what happens if you do nothing", what's the risk? Allow them to share what that is.

3) Leading with transparency allows your prospects to predict what the outcome will be both financially and by partnering with you. Discussing the cost of the problem early on and your solution disarms them and lets them see the big picture from the get-go. Our brains like to predict, that if they can't see this, it is hard for them to disarm and engage in conversation. They are always wondering, what is this going to cost me? Put the money discussion on the table. Once they've shared what their problem is costing them, and agreed to a solution to their problem, there's a price to achieve it.

The importance of gathering the cost, impact, and risk of doing nothing is critical. When your conversation slows down, emails are not being returned as quickly as before, you have leverage. You are not a sales rep "touching base or checking in".

You are confused.

"Hi John, I'm a little confused, last time we met you mentioned your system accuracy issue was costing you $75k/ quarter on re-work. This was impacting the number of new projects you could take on and your team morale was down. We discussed implementing x to address your concern and increase your profitability targets by X, has something changed? Is this no longer a priority?"

The difference here is you are leading with the problem, not your product. The minute you lead with your product, you are a salesperson selling them, commoditizing yourself.Anchor it to a problem, they see you as a partner trying to help them solve it. Granted it is with your product, Lead To Your Product, Not with It. How will you change your emails starting today? Focus on your prospect, and show them your awareness of their industry. Start with the current state. How are they getting the job done today?

Watch your open and response rates increase.

About Karen Kelly

For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.

Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools  that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.

Ready to get started?

We encourage you to take the first step towards change.
There are so many areas of business out of our control, yet we continue to invest in them and hope for a different outcome. What about your people? You have control over them and their development pathway. The ability to build a positive learning culture, improve their level of confidence and increase bottom line revenue.
Invest in them. Hone their sales skills to  attract your most ideal clients, gain the required commitments through  discovery, engage authentically  and create an enjoyable repeatable experience for your clients.
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