Have you ever met someone at a party who proceeds to divulge personal details that begin to make you uncomfortable? People who give out “too much information” tend to alienate their listeners.
The same thing can happen when you give your sales pitch.
In the online gaming world, shooting in the general direction of the targets hoping to hit something without targeting is known as “spray and pray.” Similarly, a “spray and pray” sales pitch shoots out as much information as possible in the hopes that that something is bound to hit a nerve with a customer.
It might, but it probably won’t. Your target isn’t going stand still while you bombard it with stuff it isn’t interested in. This approach shows the customer you are lazy. By relying on spray and pray presentations, you haven’t taken the time to learn about your customer. Moreover, you haven’t respected the customer’s time and intelligence.
So, how do you calibrate your sales pitch to avoid information overload?
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Don’t Waste Your Marketing Efforts
Providing more information than the customer needs wastes time and is self-defeating. Moreover, it decreases the likelihood of making the sale.
Why? Because when you are asked to interpret more information than you are able to process, you don’t make sensible decisions. You may even delay making a decision altogether. Both of these effects reduce your chances of closing a deal.
Online Marketing Muscle further expands on this tactic, noting that the odds of hitting your target dramatically increase when you take the time to carefully point at it. This involves three steps:
- Ready: Set your sights on what the customer needs.
- Aim: Determine how your product or service best satisfies those needs.
- Fire: Deliver a sales message that hits precisely on how your product or service aligns with customer needs. No more, no less.
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Do Target Practice Before Your Sales Pitch
Expert target shooters hit the bulls-eye because they’ve put in the practice time. To improve your sales marksmanship, you must:
Study the Individual Customer
Meet with decision-makers and decision-influencers before your formal presentation to identify what their problems and needs are. Ask probing questions, take notes and listen. Now is not the time to pitch your products or services.
Your initial contact helps you build a relationship with the customer. Instead of going in cold to make a presentation, the customer already knows you and has some level of comfort, making him or her more receptive to what you have to say. The Complex Sale notes that many evaluations are effectively over before the formal sales pitch takes place. Why? Because the customer tends to prefer working with people he or she has established relationships with. Luckily, if you don’t have a pre-existing relationship, the impression made during this needs-assessment phase can be just as important.
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Determine How Your Service Can Help the Customer
Listen to your customer's needs and ask yourself if your product or service is the solution. The goal is to not waste yours or the customer's time. After building a rapport with your customer, you can come back when your service is more practical.
Focus on What the Customer is Asking
Don’t make things any more complicated than they need to be. That may mean controlling your inner geek (unless, of course, you’re talking to a room of fellow geeks). Divulge any added capabilities or features after the customer commits to purchase. Resist the temptation to upsell. You can’t add value to a sale you haven’t made.
Replace “spray and pray” selling with relationship building, and providing a motivation to buy. Rather than you chasing customers, eventually, they will run after you because they feel you are interested in them and can help them solve their top-of-mind problems.