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Just the Facts, Jack!

When you give a sales pitch to potential clients, are you sticking to just the facts?

Customers want to give their business to someone they can trust. You need to display credibility and reliability: this lets a customer know that they need your product/service and that you’re the right person/business to give it to them! Don’t go overboard with your pitch. If you stick to a few key points, clients will feel confident they can trust you to handle them in a professional way that fills their needs.

You should know:

  • About their industry. Stay current on the state of their industry and ongoing trends. For example: You’re a sign company and your potential client is a local baseball team. You should have some knowledge about the amount of spectator traffic they get in-season, what kind of all-weather material the sign should be made of, etc.
  • How they stack up to their competition. Let’s stick with the sign company/baseball team example: you should know what kinds of signs other baseball teams are using, where the signs are placed in their stadium, and how big the signs are.

Be sure to tie in:

  • Any problems the client may have with your solution. You, the sign store representative, should be aware that the baseball team’s financial manager is concerned about the cost and the longevity of the sign. If you acknowledge that you are aware of the client’s concerns, it’s a perfect introduction to how you’d address those issues.
  • Your success stats. Let the client know that you’re an experienced professional by sharing solid numbers. How many other sports teams has your sign store made signs for? How many of those signs are still in great condition? How many teams have been repeat customers?

Always remember to:

  • Offer the facts. Even if it becomes obvious that the person you’re talking to isn’t the primary decision maker, they deserve to know all the information. Maybe the baseball team’s financial manager doesn’t get to make the final decision on the sign – maybe it’s the owner who calls the shots. But in giving the financial manager all the facts, you make a great impression (plus, word will get back to the owner that you seem like a reliable business to use).
  • Know what you can do to sweeten the deal. Before you launch your pitch or start the meeting, plan some value-added extras you can use as incentives. Don’t pull your big guns out at the beginning! But have a few planned bonuses in your back pocket to win the client in the end. Maybe your sign company can add in a bonus sign for the refreshments kiosk if the team orders their stadium sign from you!

Even if you’re not a sign company or a baseball team, these principles work for everyone. You might be a shoe salesman, a realtor, a spa owner trying to get a bridal party, or a graphic design firm (hey!)… being up-front and honest with potential customers will always make a great impression.

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