A compelling pitch is a sales rep’s lifeblood. You may have the greatest product in the world, but if your pitch falls flat you might as well be selling 30-year-old vacuum cleaners.

Pitches fall flat for three main reasons:

  • They’re boring
  • They’re too abstract
  • They’re far too self-involved

Don’t get into the habit of giving awful sales pitches. Practice our 5 steps, and get on the path to a perfect pitch.

Five Steps to Creating a Sales Pitch that Turns Leads into Buyers

1. Don’t Be Boring – This may seem like a no-brainer, but we’ve all been bored to death by a sales rep before. Boring is out there. No one intends to be boring. Boring happens when reps explain every detail of their product with no organization, long sentences, a lack of passion, and with little understanding of the value of their product. Voltaire points out, “The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.” Use sales intelligence to find out what’s relevant to your prospect – and focus only on those topics – so you don’t have to detail every single nuance of your product. Use punchier sentences. Pull from exciting language. Dig deep and find the charm and passion in your personality. Avoid speaking in a monotone. Let you prospects know that you care enough about them to engage and interest them during your pitch.

2. Be Clear – Stay away from industry jargon. It fogs up your message. As the authors of Why Business People Speak Like Idiots put it, “We get bombarded by an endless stream of jargon-filled corporate speak, all of which makes it harder to get heard, harder to be authentic, and definitely harder to have fun.” Don’t mask the value of your product in a sea of complex words; put your product into easy-to-grasp, intently practical terms so your prospects don’t have to slice their way through confusing promises and benefits.

3. Focus Your Pitch on the Listener – This is especially important for in-person pitches. The best way to lose an audience is to ignore it. Unless you’re saying something specifically for the benefit of your audience, you’re focusing your pitch on yourself. Sales Intelligence applications offer in-depth insights into your prospects so you can find out exactly what they care about before you ever speak to them. Before you veer off course and expound on what you think prospects care about, learn their concerns and hopes so you know what prospects care about.

4. Practice Constantly – Pitch development doesn’t come naturally to everyone. The best in the business have had to work at it. When you’re out of practice, your prospects will know immediately. Lock yourself in a conference room and practice your pitch. Knowing how it sounds to your ears before you present it will show you where you need to improve. If you’re a sales manager, ask your reps to practice for you and other reps until you’re confident your reps have mastered their pitches – and can present them confidently.

5. Fail Gracefully – Success for salespeople depends on how often they win, so it’s only naturally that salespeople hate failure. No matter how much you hate failing, never forget that through the greatest successes always stem from failure. In a New York Times article titled “What if the Secret to Success is Failure,” Headmaster of Riverdale Country School – one of New York’s most prestigious private schools – expresses his belief that failure is essential to growth and success: “People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SATs, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed.” Failure in a sales meeting doesn’t mean your product stinks, but rather that you’re missing something. Graceful failure allows you to pick out the weak points in your pitch so you can constantly grow and improve.