You’ve made a plethora of phone calls, begged, borrowed and stole your way in front that target client you’ve been chasing for months. Finally, they invite you to come in and give you an hour to see what all the fuss is about. But just when you think you’ve scaled the Sales Mountain, that’s when the work really starts.
Perhaps the biggest mistake your star sales rep can make is not being prepared for the big presentation. That isn’t to say that they haven’t done their homework. They know what the key decision maker had for breakfast yesterday and what hot buttons they need to press in that critical hour. They’ve studied the client inside and out and this is great, but the preparation I’m talking about is pitch rehearsal. You can have all the right weapons in your sales arsenal, but if you can’t articulate pitch material when the pressure is on, no one will receive your message and that target client you’ve been chasing will be lost forever.
So how can you ensure that the sales message you’re trying to deliver gets delivered both clearly and effectively? That’s simple…
When preparing for your big sales pitch, it literally pays to practice, practice and practice some more. Experience says you need to rehearse your delivery a minimum of 10 times before the big day, and if you’re pitching new material, I’d recommend upping that number to 20 or so.
At STS Technical Services, we have a core group of slides that I’ve used 50 times or more, yet every time I deliver them to a new prospect, I refine my pitch ever so slightly. I practice each presentation a dozen or so times in my head, over and over again, until I’m so confident in the material I’m about to deliver that no interruption or curveball question can throw me off track.
When you’re done practicing in your head, practice as a team. This is especially important if there are multiple presenters. Dress rehearsals and practice run-throughs, while painful and awkward, help with the flow and interaction of team-oriented presentations.
If the first team rehearsal one doesn’t go well (and it never does), imagine how it would have gone in front of the client? By the fifth practice run, you and your team will start hitting its groove. Everyone’s confidence will improve and your group’s public speaking skills will soon start to shine.
STS Technical Services is always looking for rock star sales people to join our world-class team. Think you have what it takes? Give me a call today (262-439-7473). I’d really enjoy “hearing your pitch,” just make sure you practice first!