How to SUCCEED at Your Next Pitch or Sales Meeting
Moving the Needle with Chris Stock
'Moving the Needle’ is a monthly column where sales expert Chris Stock shares tips, tools, and strategies focused on increasing profitability for business professionals.
I want you to be successful. In fact, it’s my job. I teach business owners and entrepreneurs how to reach success, and ultimately that means increasing revenue and making more money. So how do we make more? We sell.
“Why do I need to learn how to sell? My product/business/service is awesome, so it will sell itself.”
After teaching sales training to tens of thousands of people across the world, I’ve heard this more times than I can count. But sadly, this isn’t true! In business we’re always selling. Selling ourselves, our company, our ideas, our products and services. At the end of the day, it’s all sales.
I started my career as a ski instructor in the French Alps, and soon after getting into sales I started to see a similarity between the two. At a certain level, learning sales is like learning big-mountain skiing. Mistakes hurt. Sure we have to make mistakes to learn, but just like we prepare with an instructor before we hit the slopes, we can prepare before a pitch or meeting to set ourselves up for success.
Today I’m going to teach you some tools you can put into action to be successful and sell more effectively. These are the same tools and techniques I’ve garnered after three decades in the sales industry working with clients like Google, BMW, and Sony Pictures. Though simple, they’re proven effective.
SALES TIPS FOR TODAY
1) Start a dialogue, NOT an interview:
Sales works best in conversation, and how we achieve this is simple. Ask questions that require more than yes or no to answer. You want the other person speaking. You want them engaged mentally and emotionally. Save the yes or no for when you’re ready for commitment.
2) Practice active listening:
Asking great questions gives you access to everything you need to know. The key then is to listen. It can be challenging if we feel like we’ve heard this before. We may want to fill in the blanks. Don’t! Here’s an active listening checklist: 1) Be present, 2) Listen to every word, 3) Read body language. Got it? Good! Now practice with everyone. Your mom, the mailman, the bus driver. A good rule of thumb is to treat everyone like they have something to teach you. Listen just to listen. You’ll be amazed what you pick up.
3) When you’re out of questions… ask more:
This is very simple and yet tremendously effective. You’ve asked a number of questions. You think you understand the client’s needs. You’ve gained a lot of information and insight. Good! I always say at this stage, ask one more question. Often, this is where the magic lies.
The beauty with these tips is you don’t have to wait until your next sales or pitch meeting to put them into action. Start practicing today and by the time you’re ready for your next big deal you won’t be afraid to fail (just don’t be afraid to succeed either).
Chris Stock, CEO & founder of DevEvo, is an International Sales Trainer, Coach, Author & Keynote Speaker with over 20 years of sales experience. He has developed the salesforces of global companies such as Google, BMW, Sony pictures and Fujitsu. Hailing from the UK, Chris is currently enjoying the SoCal lifestyle, where actual sun can be found on a beach.