It’s 2016. In sales, if you are not THE BEST thing your clients & prospects have ever seen then why do they need you? Truth is, they don’t. There is not a person with any buying power, decision making responsibility or authority that needs another “salesperson” in their life. Yet, some salespeople still think they are in the business of “pitching”.
Pitching went out with Herb Tarlek on WKRP in Cincinnati. Sorry millennials, he’s the stereotypical obnoxious, narcissistic, plaid jacket, or leisure-suit wearing, fast-talking, over-promising & under-delivering, three martini lunch turkey of a salesperson. He’s the guy that makes it hard for the rest of us to make a living in this profession. Ever hear someone say “I hate salespeople!”? It’s Herb’s fault.
Selling (& fashion) has changed a lot since then. For some people.
- Fact is: The majority of the people you call on already know “their problem” before you get there. Stop telling people what’s wrong & what you will do about it (how you will “fix them”). Spend more time building the relationship & helping them see what problems are coming around the corner. Canned pitches don’t help you here.
- Fact is: Most of the people you call on already know about your company before you get there. There’s information available (despite what Larry the Cable Guy says, that interweb ain’t no fad) & these people get it. Stop telling prospects about you & what you can do. If you take nothing else from this blog STOP MAKING IT ABOUT YOU. Make it about them. How will you make their life easier? Canned pitches are all about you.
- Fact is: You have competition. You don’t have to like it but you do have to understand & deal with it. How many times have you gone in & educated your prospect enough to buy from your competitor (with your idea)? There is no worse feeling in sales. Canned pitches do a great job of educating.
- Fact is: Your prospects know they have to do something. They need a solution. They DO NOT WANT to be pitched & “sold a bill of goods”. But they do want to buy. Help them buy from you. Enable them. Walk them through the process & manage expectations the entire way. It’s called professional selling. Canned pitches scream of “selling a bill of goods”.
Need a few more reasons to ditch the canned pitch:
- When you pitch you make it all about the wrong person… you.
- When you pitch you talk. When you talk you run the risk of saying the wrong thing.
- When you pitch you don’t ask questions.
- When you pitch you don’t build credibility.
- When you pitch you don’t position yourself as a partner.
- When you pitch you don’t learn.
- When you pitch you are boring!
- When you pitch you tell the prospect they are just like everybody else & your solution is just like everybody else’s.
Where’s the value there?