What is one of the most costly mistakes any salesperson can make? Failing to listen to the needs, concerns of potential customers. Many hastily jump right into the sales pitch. Is that the best way, though? No.

Before anything else, you should listen closely to each individual. That way, you can customize your pitch to appeal to them personally and offer the best solution for their specific needs. If you do this, you’ll set yourself up to make more sales.

However, to be effective, you must understand what steps to take and when. Consider below four steps to delivering a successful pitch, along with some practical questions you can use to guide the conversation.

Step 1: Learn about your prospects needs

Especially at trade fairs and similar events, people are looking for solutions. They have needs that must be met, desires they’d like fulfilled and pains they’d like eliminated. It’s up to you to find out which category each individual falls into.

You could ask questions like:

  • “What problem do you think we might be able to help you with?”
  • “Would you mind telling me more about your current situation?”
  • “How do you handle this problem currently?”
  • “What are the main frustrations you are facing?”
  • “How do you think the problem could be solved?”
  • “What are your expectations for a solution?”

Never make assumptions. Instead, ask questions to get them talking. The best way to find out their needs is by letting them tell you.

Step 2: Ease into your personalised pitch

Once you understand your prospect’s concerns and needs, you’re in the best position to offer the right solution. Without being pushy or forceful, explain your product or solution. Explain how it can solve the individual’s problem or eliminate a pain point for him.

During this stage you should continue asking questions, making sure that your pitch is in line with what he’s expressing. Try to use his words, showing that you’ve been listening and that your solution matches his problem exactly.

To guide the conversation into this second phase, you can say something like:

  • “I’m convinced that our product or solution could be a real added value to you and your company. Would you like to see a short demonstration so that you can evaluate what it could bring to your business?”
  • “Based on what you’ve told me, I believe that product X can drastically improve the situation and take away the hassle. Can I show you how?”

During this step, you should take the time to thoroughly explain what you’re offering. However, you also don’t want to overwhelm the prospect, presenting too much information at once. Balance is key. Focus your pitch mainly on the benefits and solutions that are relevant to the individual.

Step 3: Get a “Yes”

Close out step two with a question that your prospect can only answer with a “yes.” For example, you could ask:

  • “Don’t you think that product or service X is a practical solution to your problems?”
  • “Don’t you think that this product could really help you to speed up the end-to-end process?

After you’ve clearly explained the benefits of what you’re offering, the prospect should have no choice but to say “yes.” That confirmation is the signal that it’s time to move to the next phase.

Step 4: Go for the deal

Of course, you can’t expect that people will sign an order instantly. Your best bet, then, is to arrange a follow-up meeting and exchange contact information. You should also provide all important documentation.

If you’re at the physical business location of your prospect, closing a deal may be more likely. And while you should be prepared in case a prospect is ready to move forward, you shouldn’t expect this.

In reality, the vast majority of B2B deals aren’t closed after the first meeting. After all, most individuals like to have time to consider what you discussed with them. In the meantime, your job is simply to make sure that they’re as comfortable as possible with you and what you offer.

Consider some examples of how you can approach this.

  • “What’s the best way to get things rolling for you? If you’d like, I can prepare a detailed order and send it to you by email. Then, I can give you a call to go through it to ensure that we meet your expectations.”
  • “How would you like to move forward? I can prepare a detailed order for you and, if it fits your agenda, I can come by in the beginning of next week to go over it with you.”

The most important thing is to schedule a date for a call or meeting. This will keep things moving forward, which is good for your business and appreciated by customers.

The best method for a successful pitch

With only four steps, this is a super simple way to make your sales pitches more effective. This process will allow you to understand and offer what is best for each individual or company. It’s a win-win for both you