Ashley McHugh is a training and development strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy
Special to the State Gazette
If you don't bend, you'll break. We've all heard that saying before, but it's increasingly true for sales teams.
21st century prospects can research services, compare brands, and read reviews online before they ever reach out to you directly--and they almost always do their homework. By the time you're fielding a phone call, your prospect is almost always ready to make a quick purchasing decision. Your prospect knows what they want, and they believe you can deliver the goods.
However, just when the sale seems like a sure thing, it can suddenly go up in smoke.
It can be all too easy to sidetrack that purchasing decision--especially if you aren't using a flexible pitch strategy.
Not every benefit of your product or service matters equally to everyone. If your pitch strategy doesn't change to reflect each customer's individual needs, you could lose a sale without even realizing your mistake.
Instead, develop a flexible sales pitch. Start by making a list of all the benefits of your products and services. If you're having trouble getting started, ask your current customers to name three reasons why they continue to do business with you. Even a quick online survey can generate real insights.
Next, put these benefits into "clusters" by grouping together similar benefits. For example, say your service can be performed quickly, you have multiple locations, and the customer can see results immediately after the service is performed. All those benefits cluster together around "convenience."
Putting similar benefits together in clusters gives you insight into which benefits to emphasize in your sales pitch.
For example, when a prospect asks how many years of experience you have in your field, you know they care about your expertise. Using a flexible pitch strategy, you would know to talk about other similar selling points--like your certifications, or the recognition you've received in the community.
Clusters can prepare you to flex at just the right time, in exactly the right direction--but they don't add any more complexity to your prospect interactions.
That's because clusters also help you identify which selling points aren't as important for a particular prospect. With a flexible pitch strategy, you don't have to read off a laundry list that explains why the prospect should do business with you. Instead, focus on the benefits that matter most to their individual needs--and leave off the benefits that won't resonate as much.
Confucius said it first, but it bears repeating: "The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm."
If you don't bend your sales pitch to show that you can be responsive to the unique needs of each of your prospects, you might just break the deal altogether.
Ashley McHugh can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.