Anyone in sales will tell you that the job requires a lot of skills. You have to be empathetic and capable of building relationships with prospects and clients. You also need to be a strong communicator, listener, and presenter.
But first and foremost – you need to be confident.
Confidence helps in every aspect of the job, especially when it comes to delivering a sales pitch.
What Is a Sales Pitch?
Also known as an elevator pitch, a sales pitch is the idea of conveying a message in a short amount of time. As if you’re riding in an elevator with a prospect, for example.
You couldn’t define an hour long slideshow presentation as a sales pitch. Time is of the essence when it comes to sales, so it’s necessary to be concise while being informative.
Sales Pitch Ideas
The best place to start in crafting your sales pitch is identifying exactly what it is that you want to include. Even though you should never come across as scripted, pitching shouldn’t be freestyled. Otherwise, you risk appearing as if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind:
Tell an Engaging Story.
Storytelling has been a tool for passing on information since communities began. That hasn’t changed. Shape what you have to share in engaging ways so that you can capture the attention of your audience. Make sure to keep it short though. Boring your customers shouldn’t be part of the strategy.
Personalize Your Messaging.
A callback to being empathetic and personal, you should make your pitch relevant to whoever is listening in. Giving a generic script to a customer will work against you if they feel like just another sale. Make it feel like a personalized conversation catered directly toward their interests.
Stick to Less Than Three Points.
Again, keeping it short is critical. If someone is interested in buying a product or service from you, they typically want you to get to the point and tell them why they should purchase from you.
Pick three main ideas that they’ll be able to remember when they get to their decision stage. A lot of extraneous details will likely be forgotten or dismissed seconds after the interaction is over. Save your breath by giving them the meat of their meal effectively.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
As natural as you want your sales pitch to feel, there’s no denying that practicing beforehand has benefits. Actually, having run through the pitch a few times will give you more confidence in your presentation, which will translate into a more organic speech.
Emphasize Your Value Proposition.
Don’t forget the whole point of your sales pitch: you're showing what value you can provide for your prospect. Let them know the benefits of working with you while keeping the pitch as concise as possible.
How to Write a Sales Pitch
While you’ll want to keep these ideas in mind when you’re crafting your sales pitches, you’ll also need to decide what type of sales pitch you’ll deliver. These are a few styles that you can build off of:
The Pixar Sales Pitch
At its core, no matter who the hero is, every Pixar film follows the same basic storyline: “Once upon a time _____. Every day, _____. One day _____. Because of that, _____. Because of that, _____. Until finally, _____.”
You don’t have to follow the template word for word, but organizing your pitch in this manner will make it feel inherently like a story. It’ll have the desired effect of keeping your prospect’s attention while simultaneously building them into the narrative of working with your brand.
The Subject Line Sales Pitch
There’s an understanding that a strong email subject line follows one of three different principles: specificity, utility, and curiosity. You can craft your pitches the same way, having a pitch for each principle. This way, you have an effective pitch to penetrate wherever a customer may be in their buyer’s journey.
The One Word Sales Pitch
Everyone remembers a great tagline or catchphrase. If you can boil your ideas sales pitch down to one word that your audience will associate with you, you’ll leave a lasting impression on them. And when it comes to sales, you want to be remembered for the long game.
The Rhyming Sales Pitch
It may feel silly at first, but studies have shown that rhyming sentences are perceived as more factual than non-rhyming ones. Building in a fun cadence to your speech makes you appear more dynamic and confident. That confidence translates into expertise and then onto buy-in.
The Twitter Sales Pitch
Challenge yourself by keeping your pitch within the same constraints of a tweet. It’s a great practice of clarity and creativity, and it forces you to prioritize those three main points we discussed earlier. Not only will it be brief enough to keep your audience’s attention, but it’ll also be easier for you to remember.
The Question Pitch
A much more inclusive method, rephrasing your sales statement as a question invites your customer to be a part of the unfolding of the pitch. It encourages them to engage with you and truly consider your offer. Be careful though. If your customer doesn’t understand or believe in the value of what you’re offering, they can become skeptical and lose interest.
“Short” may not be enough to structure a sales pitch with, so here are some elements that you should include:
- Character: Who are your customers and what is it that they do?
- Problem: What problems may they be facing right now? What are their pain points?
- Plan: What can your product or service do to help alleviate those pain points?
- Success: What value will your customer receive by buying from you? How will they succeed from the purchase?
Here’s a general framework that you can expand on as well:
- Problem: Open with a statement or question about the problem you are looking to solve for them and offer some statistics or research on the issue.
- Value statement: Share the benefits of your services, avoiding jargon and flash. Be as straightforward about selling yourself as possible.
- Uniqueness: Explain what you do and how you do it differently from others.
- Evidence: Share references, positive experiences, and any relevant awards that imply industry validation.
- Customer successes: Provide testimonials from pleased customers, highlighting exceptionally personalized experiences and stories.
- Questions: Create a window for a natural conversation to follow by ending with an open-ended question.
Best Sales Pitch Examples
Now that you get the gist of how to build one, here are a few sales pitch examples to help provide a bit of inspiration. These have stood out amongst others as innovative and effective.
The Carrot Slicer
There’s only so much you can say with words about a product, and when the well runs dry, you can move on to the next best thing — showing the product in action.
Titled as “Best Salesman in the World”, Joe Ades barely discusses the peeler he’s using. He relies on the fact that you can see the results and will recognize the tool’s value for yourself.
Vidyard tackles the obstacle of effectively addressing their market from the start by speaking directly to the B2B companies that can benefit from their services. Also, word choice is everything. They aren’t trying to just sell you a product. They’re looking to “change the way organizations communicate”.
It’s short, sweet, and to the point. A true elevator pitch.
Mark Cuban’s Mavs Tickets Pitch
When the Mavs were the worst team in the league, Mark Cuban was selling tickets successfully. It’s all about addressing your audience’s perspective.
He pulled on emotional cues by pitching the experience of seeing the game with your family as a memorable one, regardless of who won or lost.
G2 Crowd used an interesting tactic of playing on their customers’ annoyances.
It may initially sound like a counterproductive move, but when you frame your competitors as the source of those grievances and explain how your company can resolve those issues, it’s actually ingenious.
Don Draper: Slide Projector
Don Draper used the power of storytelling to pitch a slide projector wheel.
Not an easy feat, considering how unengaging the product seems, but he successfully conveyed how the machine works and what sort of emotional value it could provide as a sort of “time machine.”
Of course, a business office has no contextual need for nostalgia, but the pitch relayed that it had that potential to it.
charity: water’s Educational Video
Remember when we mentioned specificity as a pitching idea? Charity: water's video on donating wisely hits the nail on the head.
They give you clear facts about what global issues they are working to relieve and how your donation money will be used. That level of directness makes them appear confident while also bestowing confidence in anyone who may be wary of donating inappropriately.
This example backs the idea that confidence is key. Even though these men brought along a slideshow to aid in their pitch to the Dragons on the show, it’s not the slides that engage the Dragons.
It’s how dynamic, cool, and well-versed the contestants are. They know their product well enough to not have to read off the information, line by line. They throw out the idea that a presentation has to be boring.
Big Willie G
Big Willie G’s Startupfest pitch garnered attention purely from just how engaging he was.
Not every client is going to want that level of enthusiasm, but the ones who are down would be thrilled to have someone fun to engage with. Willie G showed that you can and should read your audience and bring the energy that you see they’re comfortable with.
Wolf of Wall Street: Sell Me This Pen
No matter what you think of the film, Wolf of Wall Street had plenty of valid ideas on sales and what works and what doesn’t.
The “Sell me this pen” moment brings to light the idea that you can’t sell any product without having a need recognized first. Identify your customer’s pain points and then hone in with a sense of urgency. Mind you, we said urgency and not pressure. There is a difference.
Another example on storytelling, Amy Cuddy takes a different spin on the technique. Whereas Don Draper focuses on spinning his words and painting a picture, Amy uses body language to sell her story.
Prepare Your Pitch Now
After brushing up on sales pitch ideas and seeing some incredible examples, you should be ready to nail your next one. Go ahead and get your face in the mirror to practice and refine what you’ve got. We won’t judge.