To mis-quote Tony Blair: Preparation, preparation, preparation. Sales pitches should have been worked on extensively before they’re wheeled out to prospective customers. Make sure you know your figures. Write down all the major points that explain what you do and what sets you apart from the competition. Then pick out the best three or four, which could vary depending on you are going to be pitching to. Construct your sales story around these points, then practice telling it – if possible to people who know a bit about the sector. honest feedback will help you improve this story. And trust your own instincts. Pitch to yourself. What questions would you ask?
Also do your homework on who you’re pitching to. If you understand their business and their needs, and how what you’re offering is suitable for them, it will make your job easier and impress the client.
As an entrepreneur, you’re likely to be filled with huge enthusiasm for the product or service you’re offering. This is a great advantage and will come across well in your pitch. But be careful - there will be a temptation to keep talking, but this would be a big mistake. Try and base your pitch on listening instead. Ask questions and tailor your pitch to the answers you receive. The intelligence you will glean could also be vital on a more long-term basis.
Also throughout your pitch remember to speak clearly and slowly, maintain eye contact (though not too much – don’t stare unnervingly), and smile. Your mood will affect the mood of the buyer, so be happy and relaxed. Be receptive to changes on their part too – make sure you know if they’re losing interest, becoming irritated or showing signs of interest, and adjust your pitch or style accordingly. Keep it short and sweet too. There’s no ideal length but don’t push your customer’s patience.