How to make an awesome sales pitch

My good friend Jamie Smart delivered the best sales pitch I’ve ever seen this weekend. It was, quite frankly, awesome – and I’ve seen a lot of them.

It was within a weekend workshop on “Getting Clients Congruently”, which was also excellent*. But it was the sales pitch itself that had the greatest impact for me.

Like many of us, Jamie has wrestled with the issue of “selling” in a way he’s comfortable with. For at least the last couple of years, he’s been totally sure that he’s selling great products and services. And yet the “pitch” often didn’t quite ring true… until this weekend.

He was almost glowing with a passion for his products and with the sheer joy of delivering a piece that he knew, even at the time, was superb.

So, what was going on? It’s impossible to unpack everything he did – especially as he himself unpacked key aspects he was aware of as he went along, for the information of the delegates. But here are a few things that stood out for me.

  • He listened and “gave” first.  In my friend Linda Schneider‘s terms, he waited until the sand had dropped to the bottom of the hourglass, and then at an appropriate moment started making his offer. There’s much more to say about how this was done in a one-to-many sales context – of which more in another post.
  • He used his prospects’ own language and jargon. For example, the workshop was called “Getting clients congruently”: absolutely typical language for a newly-qualified NLP-trained coach struggling to make a living by doing what they love (and very different from the words used by more successful coaches, even in casual conversation)
  • He used compelling metaphors to explain complex subjects, and to make his offer attractive to his prospects’ “elephants”. For example, he pointed out that travel agents show pictures of destinations, not aeroplanes, to sell holidays: much easier to grasp and apply than the marketing truism “sell benefits, not features”. Then he painted a compelling picture of the “destination” involved in his inner circle programmes…
  • He used well-known “weapons of influence” such as those in Cialdini’s book “Influence“, and used them honestly. These “tricks” may be well known and obvious to many people, but the even so, they work!
  • He spoke from the heart. I’ve known Jamie for a number of years and I flatter myself that I know when things are a bit “off” for him. This was “perfect pitch”.
  • It delivered real value for me. Now I know that selling doesn’t have to be scary or unpleasant or even boring. It can be brilliant fun!

2 Comments

  • John P Morgan

    02/03/2011

    Wow, cool Judy! Wish I’d been there!

  • Ian Carter

    12/12/2013

    I’ve been a fan of Jamie Smart for a couple of years now. He’s one of the modern-day “greats”, alongside Igor Ledochowski, Nathan Thomas, and the wonderful James Tripp.

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