Sales is the lifeblood of any business. Business owners, as the primary drivers of their businesses, need to ensure they continually brush up on their sales skills.
Here are motivational quotes from sales coaches and experts on sales strategies that can help improve your sales presentation skills to ultimately win your next pitch.
Before the sales pitch
Do your research
“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.” – Shirley Anthony, an author, speaker and owner of marketing consultancy company, Marketing Breakthroughs. Learn more on how you can use research to your benefit
Pitch to the relevant person
“Find out who ‘the man’ is or ‘the woman’ (within the retailer), who has the authority to buy – or to decline to buy – the product you wish to sell. This can be established by calling the retailer in question and requesting to speak to the relevant buyer or category manager, based on the nature of your product.” – Anton Ressel, founder and director of ARC Consulting. Find out how you can pitch your product to retailers
Believe in yourself
“Before you can sell to the client you must first sell to yourself and believe that your product or service is the best.” – Themba Nkuna, founder of How to Sell Academy, a private company that offers Sales Mastery and Competitive Intelligence strategies. Learn how you can become a sales superstar
Get feedback on your pitch presentation
“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.” – Shirley Anthony, an author, speaker and owner of marketing consultancy company, Marketing Breakthroughs. Learn how to overcome a failed sales pitch
Track your leads
“[Set] up a tracking system where you can actually measure and quantify your return on investment.” – Matt Fisher, incubator manager for New Ventures Studio, an accelerator focusing on young entrepreneurs in Cape Town.
Become the main salesperson in your company
“Business owners most often outsource this function [sales] within the business when they should, in fact, be the primary ‘rainmaker’ – the person who secures many clients and brings in profitable sales. If the business owner has passion, perseverance and persistence, success is assured.” – Mike Anderson, founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber.
Don’t hide behind a computer screen
“Young entrepreneurs often underestimate the power of meeting people face to face, especially when trying to land BIG deals.” – Marnus Broodryk, founder and CEO of accounting firm, The Beancounter.
During the presentation
Follow a sales process you believe in
“There are many great sales processes, at SalesGuru we believe in a sales framework, rather than a strict sales process. Salespeople still need to be able to deviate based on the buyers lead.” – Mark Keating, CEO and founder of SalesGuru, a sales training and development company. Find out the presentation skills you’ll need to close a deal
Start with a good introduction
“Give a clear and professional introduction that sets the objective from both parties – this creates an open discussion and removes sales pressure.” – Mark Keating, sales expert and CEO of Sales Guru, a sales training and development company.
“Be comfortable in announcing your successes. If you show excitement about what you do, your prospect will in most cases, become equally excited.” – Mike Anderson, founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber.
Don’t close once or leave your close to the end
“Complete mini closes throughout [your] pitch. This can be done by asking questions like: ‘Does this make sense? What do you think so far? Is that important to you?’” – Mark Keating, CEO and founder of SalesGuru, a sales training and development company. More steps you need to take to close the deal
Understand that a sense of urgency is important
“Establishing urgency can help in getting prospects to move forward faster, and ultimately help the salesperson to close the sale.” – Mark Keating, CEO and founder of SalesGuru, a sales training and development company. More mistakes you should avoid during a sales presentation
Be wary how you present your pricing
“Some prospects may, right up front, ask you how much you charge. Defer the question by telling your would-be client that you’d like to ask them a couple of questions first in order to understand their business.” – Shirley Anthony, an author, speaker and owner of Marketing Breakthroughs, a marketing consultancy. How to confidently present your pricing in 5 steps
Stay away from jargon
“Customers may not know or understand technical terms. They often just want a basic problem solved, and they don’t care how you do it.” – Marnus Broodryk, founder and CEO of accounting firm, The Beancounter. How to put yourself in a customer’s shoes
Understand that it’s not about you or your team
“As business people, we often become so immersed in our own product or service that we no longer consider that what we find special is not the same thing our customers are buying. We don’t think like our customers. Or we forget how to.” – Marnus Broodryk, founder and CEO of accounting firm, The Beancounter. Tips to better understand your customer’s buying motives
Speak less, listen more
“Listen, be genuine and understand the client’s needs and get to know their pain. You need to recognise that before you can sell something, you need to know what the prospective client wants to buy.” – Mike Anderson, founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber. More sales advice if you’ve just started a business
“Keep following up and never take no for an answer. You will be respected as a true professional by your prospect.” – Mike Anderson, founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber.
After the presentation
Consider the long term
“Often times transactions with an individual can be one-off, but with a business they can be long-term repeat business. The way to tap into that opportunity is to design your offering in a way that comes across as a partnership, not a one-off deal for winning a single transaction with them.” – Zipho Sikhakhane, founder of EMZ Advisory & Investments, a training, advisory and investment firm. Winning strategies to accelerate your B2B business
Build and nurture relationships
“Sometimes in the rush to close off a deal there is a tendency of skipping the opportunity to get to know the client better. What I mean is actually going beyond the key client contact and actually meeting the decision-makers and the management team of that organisation.” Zipho Sikhakhane, founder of EMZ Advisory & Investments, a training, advisory and investment firm. Learn how to make the most of every lead
Make sure the legal work is taken care of
“It is important to make sure that the right contract is in place and that critical documents such as outlining the scope of work that is being paid for or signing confidentiality agreements is critical.” – Zipho Sikhakhane, founder of EMZ Advisory & Investments, a training, advisory and investment firm. Learn what legalities you should keep in mind after closing the deal
Keep the conversation lines open
“Getting feedback from your customers will make you aware of opportunities which you can capitalise on and that’s how you get more sales.” – Shirley Anthony, an author, speaker and owner of Marketing Breakthroughs, a marketing consultancy. Learn how to initiate the right sales conversations