How to Come Back from a Failed Sales Pitch

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This April up your Sales & Marketing efforts! Follow along here for winning strategies.

If you have delivered sales pitches then you may be used to hearing a NO, which doesn’t make it any easier.

It’s important that entrepreneurs get into the habit of bouncing back from this sort of setback, says Shirley Anthony who is an author, speaker and owner of marketing consultancy company, Marketing Breakthroughs.

One of the biggest reasons pitches fail, says Anthony, is the wrong pitching strategies.

Many entrepreneurs pitch the process of their product rather than the impact it would have, or as Anthony calls it, “the tangible why”, which is what clients are really interested in, she says.

Say to yourself, maybe I’m not great at this one-on-one selling, so is there maybe a different way of doing this?  Can I speak from a stage? Or maybe can I sell my product online

It is also important to pitch to your strengths, says Anthony.

“Say to yourself, maybe I’m not great at this one-on-one selling, so is there maybe a different way of doing this? Can I speak from a stage? Or maybe can I sell my product online.”

Are you guilty of any pitching mistakes? Anthony gives strategies to help you bounce back and offers advice for nailing your next pitch.

1. Allow yourself to be disappointed

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The fastest way to get over failure is to allow yourself to be disappointed, says Anthony.

“We’re human at the end of the day and none of us like to be rejected, it’s a terrible feeling. And I also think that you are allowed to wallow for a bit. Maybe you can go and hit a big bag at the gym or do a strenuous gym session or close the office for the rest of the afternoon, because tomorrow is another day,” she says.

2. Review what went wrong

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Once you have recovered from the disappointment ask yourself where things could have gone wrong, advises Anthony.

This includes asking questions like “what could I have improved in terms of the sale? How did I come across? Was my offer irresistible enough? Was there a bonus that I could [have offered]?”, says Anthony.

3. Role play for future success 

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It’s a good idea to find someone who you can practice your pitch on and who will give you “honest feedback about how you’re coming across,” Anthony says.

This will help you to improve your pitch and identify possible gaps and challenges by asking questions like “What am I presenting to my ideal clients? Did I do enough listening? Did I try and customise my offer to them? Was I too pushy? Did I build a good relationship?”

4. Research your sales prospect before your next pitch

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Anthony recommends using Linkedin to “study” the client you’re pitching to as most business people are available on the social networking platform.

“Before you go for your next appointment, spend five minutes looking the person up on Linkedin, see where they went to school, what jobs they’ve had, what position they hold in the company, look at the company’s website, what products do they have. [During your pitch] you can drop a couple of points into that conversation because people like the fact that you’ve taken the time to get to know them before you met.”

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Michelle Strydom
Michelle Strydom
I'm a journalist for online publication, SME South Africa. I'm a BA journalism graduate from the University of Johannesburg. My areas of focus when it comes to writing are entrepreneurs, startups, marketing and funding. I also enjoy creative writing and proofreading.

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