This article is a guest article – and not core project management. Please, let us know if you think these articles belong here or not to include again. Thank you – Mounir Ajam
The product pitch is often the hardest part of the creative process in product development. Whether you’re trying to convince investors to invest, buyers to buy, or are trying to harness funds to develop your product, you have to determine the best way to convince them to give money to you. And some are very, very reluctant to part with their cash. The common image of the pitch might be a fast-talking salesman wowing the prospective client or the public with a barrage of information and some flashy slogans.
So, how does one make a great product pitch? It boils down to knowing your audience. Learn about who you’re talking to, so you can talk to them more effectively; if you know where they’re coming from, it’s a whole lot easier to know what they’re looking for.
The Old Hook
The hook is an old sales method, but it still has relevance. It’s that memorable thing about your product that reels in the attention of your audience and keeps them there, so you can fully see what you have to offer. If you can hold their attention and build intrigue, you’re already halfway there.
Just like fishing, a sales hook works a lot better when you have the right bait. That’s why research is so important. It may seem like your pitch is all about you, your company, and your product, but in reality, it’s all about your prospective client. They’re there because they believe you have something they want. Your hook is how you start to show them how much of a benefit your product can be — but first you have to know what they need before you can offer it.
Show Them the Money
Of course, you want them to pay you for your product, but if you can show what you have to offer will save them money in the long run — you’ve just increased your chance of a sale in a major way. When you tell an investor that your product will reduce costs, she’ll be all ears.
Keep It Simple
A sales pitch is not a speech. In fact, it should be more like a conversation, with the pitchees doing at least as much talking as the pitcher. When you start, get right to the point and throw out a few bullet points to get the conversation started. No buzzwords, no sales speech, just the facts. Once you make a sale, you’re done. There’s no need to explain how great a future they’ll have and you’ll have, because you’ve already sold them. One of the worst things you can do is wear out your welcome.
The essence of selling anything is being personable enough so people feel happy about buying from you. Sometimes, your attitude and belief in yourself is the dividing line between a prospect buying from you or buying from one of your competitors. Not only do you have to convince them your product is useful, you also have to convince them that buying from you (and only you) is the best possible choice.
Remember the points above, however. The cheerful monologue of sales banter just doesn’t fly anymore. Sincerity is an absolute necessity. Your belief in your product (or lack thereof) will show through. Feeling good about what you have to offer will make it so much easier to communicate that good feeling to others, which means it will be much easier to make a sale.
Ask for an Order
This may sound self-evident, but a great many salespersons end their pitch without ever asking for someone to actually buy their product! This can be a fatal mistake. Once you’ve said what you’ve had to say and answered the questions, it’s time to make the call to action. Everyone in the room should know this is their chance to take you up on your fabulous offer.
It’s normal to feel a little uneasy to just come out and ask people to invest or buy, especially on the first meeting, but isn’t that what you set out to do in the first place? Sometimes, your prospects will need just a little gentle reminder, while you’re still there, and they’re still thinking about your product. All the good things said about you will be fresh in their minds. Really, there’s no better time to make a sales pitch than right there.
Walk the Walk
The secret to a good pitch is the follow-through. It’s likely you’ve made a number of promises, so be sure you and your product can fulfill them to the letter. If you’ve kept it simple and concise, there should be no doubt what you’re offering, so your buyers will know what they’re getting before they give you the first penny.
Laura O’Donnell writes smart content on behalf of the product development experts at Pivot International. As an avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves meeting new people, traveling, and bringing her Pinterest dreams to life. Find her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/laurajodonnell