I’m excited to bring you more of this five-part mini-series on “How To Sell.” My goal is to present practical, common-sense aspects of how to make sales. Please be sure you listen to and/or read “Part 1” before continuing in this article to “Part 2.”
Part 1 Review: It’s not what you SELL. It’s what you TEACH. Part 1 contains valuable information on the proper fundamental thought process for successful sales reps and sales managers. Don’t craft your whole campaign around what you are selling, the “value proposition.” Although that IS part of the same puzzle, it’s a different perspective. Ask yourself these questions:
- “Why do I believe in this product or service?”
- “What information does the prospect need to understand to make the same decision that I’ve made – to support this product or service?”
PART 2 – The “Expert” Opening Pitch
Read the previous blog post. It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Teach – How to Sell Part 1: http://bit.ly/2zGOeoG
So, now you’ve established the proper fundamental perspective in Part 1. You may be thinking, “That sounds good from a theoretical perspective, but now I’ve got to talk to somebody. What do I say?” Understanding the “expert” opening pitch will allow you to seamlessly transition right into the sales process. The opening pitch should communicate the fact that you are an expert at what you do, and you respect the prospect as an expert at what he/she does. The goal of the opening pitch should be to share information with prospects rather than to sell them.
The top priority element in learning the “expert” pitch is to become an expert! You would think that statement goes without saying, but it really doesn’t. I know many sales people (and all other areas of life, as well) who are talking but have no idea what they’re talking about! Personally, I am working on a new campaign in my area of expertise, merchant services. Last night I spent from probably 11:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. reading online to learn more about interchange, the latest laws passed, cash discounting and surcharging, the rules, laws, and regulations, and the cases that have failed. I’m spending my time trying to understand all that. Becoming an expert at something is not necessarily difficult, but it is time consuming. To find information is easy in our google age; we have the information lottery! Explore google.com or udemy.com or YouTube.com to learn about any topic. Be willing to invest a month of your life into learning a valuable skill.
In all my previous instructions on this topic I have not introduced this pitch because my experience shows me that most sales professionals are NOT experts! Rather, my earlier publications have been very generalized. If you want an awesome and effective opening pitch such as the one I use and will introduce here, learn what you are talking about. By sharing your passion and research, your prospects will agree your research is correct and will want to know what you have to say. People want to know.
Be willing to convey your expertise to merchants. The sales process I’m describing in this mini-series will easily prick the interest of merchants if your approach is that you want to share information – teach them something. The “expert” opening pitch is all about communicating your passion for sharing information which will help the merchant with whom you’re talking. Here is an example of a KILLER opening pitch:
“Hi! My name is James Shepherd. I stopped by today because I’ve been doing a ton of research on ______. I’m very passionate about this topic. Since I see many business owners (or consumers, or whoever your prospects are) are experiencing this problem because of _______, I’ve really been researching it. I believe I’ve discovered a creative solution. I’d like to take maybe two or three minutes of your time to explain and get your feedback.”
If you design an opening pitch which conveys the message that you are passionate about the topic and have done much research, that will grab a prospect’s attention no matter how competitive your market is. You could say, “If you have time now, great. If not, I’ll come back later. Right now, I’m not trying to sell you anything but just want to get this information to you. Then you can make a decision based on the information I’m providing. I promise it will be worth your time.”
When you know what you’re talking about and come across that way to prospects, people will want to know what you have to say. That is the “expert” pitch.
In Part 3, we’ll go a step further and learn how to continue moving the sales process forward.
My name is James Shepherd. Thanks for reading!
It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Teach – How to Sell Part 1: http://bit.ly/2zGOeoG
Overcoming Objections by Ignoring Them – How to Sell – Part 3: http://bit.ly/2gYlU5K