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Ditch that Pitch: The Case Against Selling to First-Time Prospects

Ditch that Pitch: The Case Against Selling to First-Time Prospects

You’ve probably come across the ancient sales adage “resist the itch to pitch”, and you’ve most likely felt and gave into this irresistible urge yourself one too many times already. It turns out, there’s sound reason behind the rhyme. Sadly, though, this point gets lost on many sales and marketing folks, inevitably leading to an all-too-familiar outcome: prospects losing interest and going cold.

If someone submits a form on your site, becomes your blog subscriber, downloads your whitepaper, or happens to be a valid entry on a list, do you jump out at that potential prospect with your sales pitch right away?

Of course not. But that’s what most B2B marketers seem to be doing, and here’s why you have to set yourself apart and always start with a thorough understanding of your prospects’ situation before anything else.

#1: Putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes is bad advice

It’s going to take a long and careful process to get leads to that point where they’ll be interested in hearing about your pitch, and the first few steps will involve becoming really familiar with your prospect’s needs and pain points.

Pitching too early means that you probably haven’t done your homework thoroughly enough (and are just relying mostly on guesswork). There’s far too much nuance involved in creating a sales pitch that putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes simply won’t cut it. You have to ask questions first.

Related: The Remedy for Unqualified Leads: Nurture Them Until They’re Ready

#2: You can’t (and shouldn’t) connect the dots with just a single touch point.

It goes without saying that not all leads are created equal. Only some small portion of your new leads (about 15% by some estimates) will actually be ready to face your sales team. Clearly, this means that you’ll be putting off the vast majority of prospects that enter your pipeline by throwing your sales pitch at every new contact you come across with.

It takes two separate points to draw a line and, to paint a fuller picture of your lead, you’re going to need a series of connected touch points, with each one designed to incrementally sharpen your prospect’s profile. This will help you craft a more compelling sales pitch later on and help you decide whether a prospect is qualified enough to hear it.

Check this out:  Multi-Channel Approach & Marketing Automation: Partner for 33% Sales Increase in Sydney IP Services

#3: Taking time to qualify early speeds things up later.

The quality of the leads you work with at the early stages of the sales process is an important factor in determining how long it’s going to take leads to become buyers.

Assess your lead: Is hot, warm or cold? Find out here..

If you’re able to slow things down and thoroughly identify prospects that really have an urgent need, then the time-to-decision is going to be much shorter. Also, by taking this approach, you’re able to reduce the time spent on prospects who’ll never become your customers. This helps you put resources where and when they’re needed the most.

In other words, rushing things and pitching to new prospects right away will actually make the sales process longer than it should be.

Related: CHAMP Methodology: Spot on Sales-Ready Leads with These Questions

#4: Pain doesn’t always equal an urgent need.

Your target buyer’s pain points can be your most important resource–that is, if you can figure them out and have the solution they really need. But sometimes, pain points don’t often make up an urgent need. Urgent needs are what turn your prospects into buyers, so you have to gauge whether the issue your leads face is severe enough to require an urgent solution.

Once again, this means that you have to set your sales pitch aside and focus on knowing what your prospect is really going through. You need to ask probing questions that uncover specific issues in front of your leads and find out whether these make up a real business need or not.

There’s always a right time for delivering your sales pitch, and the early stage of the sales process (when you still have very little idea about your prospect’s situation) is clearly not when this should happen. That’s the time for asking questions, diagnosing pain points, and matching your solution with your prospects’ needs.

Proceed if and only if all these have been checked off. Otherwise, just ditch that pitch.

 

Author Bio:

Ralph is a content writer at Callbox. He closely follows developments in B2B marketing and occasionally looks back on interesting business stories. He enjoys reading, playing the guitar, and spending time with his pet cat.

 

 

Learn more Sales and Telemarketing tips at The Savvy Marketer’s Blog

Love to know how we generate qualified leads?

Get in touch with our Marketing Consultant or Dial +1 888.810.7464  or 310.439.5814

 

 

Ditch that Pitch: The Case Against Selling to First-Time Prospects

Ditch that Pitch: The Case Against Selling to First-Time Prospects

You’ve probably come across the ancient sales adage “resist the itch to pitch”, and you’ve most likely felt and gave into this irresistible urge yourself one too many times already. It turns out, there’s sound reason behind the rhyme. Sadly, though, this point gets lost on many sales and marketing folks, inevitably leading to an all-too-familiar outcome: prospects losing interest and going cold.

If someone submits a form on your site, becomes your blog subscriber, downloads your whitepaper, or happens to be a valid entry on a list, do you jump out at that potential prospect with your sales pitch right away?

Of course not. But that’s what most B2B marketers seem to be doing, and here’s why you have to set yourself apart and always start with a thorough understanding of your prospects’ situation before anything else.

#1: Putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes is bad advice

It’s going to take a long and careful process to get leads to that point where they’ll be interested in hearing about your pitch, and the first few steps will involve becoming really familiar with your prospect’s needs and pain points.

Pitching too early means that you probably haven’t done your homework thoroughly enough (and are just relying mostly on guesswork). There’s far too much nuance involved in creating a sales pitch that putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes simply won’t cut it. You have to ask questions first.

Related: The Remedy for Unqualified Leads: Nurture Them Until They’re Ready

#2: You can’t (and shouldn’t) connect the dots with just a single touch point.

It goes without saying that not all leads are created equal. Only some small portion of your new leads (about 15% by some estimates) will actually be ready to face your sales team. Clearly, this means that you’ll be putting off the vast majority of prospects that enter your pipeline by throwing your sales pitch at every new contact you come across with.

It takes two separate points to draw a line and, to paint a fuller picture of your lead, you’re going to need a series of connected touch points, with each one designed to incrementally sharpen your prospect’s profile. This will help you craft a more compelling sales pitch later on and help you decide whether a prospect is qualified enough to hear it.

Check this out:  Multi-Channel Approach & Marketing Automation: Partner for 33% Sales Increase in Sydney IP Services

#3: Taking time to qualify early speeds things up later.

The quality of the leads you work with at the early stages of the sales process is an important factor in determining how long it’s going to take leads to become buyers.

Assess your lead: Is hot, warm or cold? Find out here..

If you’re able to slow things down and thoroughly identify prospects that really have an urgent need, then the time-to-decision is going to be much shorter. Also, by taking this approach, you’re able to reduce the time spent on prospects who’ll never become your customers. This helps you put resources where and when they’re needed the most.

In other words, rushing things and pitching to new prospects right away will actually make the sales process longer than it should be.

Related: CHAMP Methodology: Spot on Sales-Ready Leads with These Questions

#4: Pain doesn’t always equal an urgent need.

Your target buyer’s pain points can be your most important resource–that is, if you can figure them out and have the solution they really need. But sometimes, pain points don’t often make up an urgent need. Urgent needs are what turn your prospects into buyers, so you have to gauge whether the issue your leads face is severe enough to require an urgent solution.

Once again, this means that you have to set your sales pitch aside and focus on knowing what your prospect is really going through. You need to ask probing questions that uncover specific issues in front of your leads and find out whether these make up a real business need or not.

There’s always a right time for delivering your sales pitch, and the early stage of the sales process (when you still have very little idea about your prospect’s situation) is clearly not when this should happen. That’s the time for asking questions, diagnosing pain points, and matching your solution with your prospects’ needs.

Proceed if and only if all these have been checked off. Otherwise, just ditch that pitch.

 

Author Bio:

Ralph is a content writer at Callbox. He closely follows developments in B2B marketing and occasionally looks back on interesting business stories. He enjoys reading, playing the guitar, and spending time with his pet cat.

 

 

Learn more Sales and Telemarketing tips at The Savvy Marketer’s Blog

Love to know how we generate qualified leads?

Get in touch with our Marketing Consultant or Dial +1 888.810.7464  or 310.439.5814

 

 

What to Tell Clients Who Say “You’re too expensive.”

What to Tell Clients Who Say You're Too Expensive

Credit: flicker

First of all, I can’t and won’t blame you if you just put an end to the whole thing right then and there. It’s the equivalent of being “friendzoned” by your love interest. Hey, don’t pursue it, don’t force the issue. And move on. There’s plenty of fish in the sea. You can even throw in the “it’s your loss, not mine” card.

That would have been my advice 10 years ago, when I haven’t had the benefit of a ton of experience yet – both stressful and rewarding — in marketing, sales, negotiation, compromise, and yes, nurturing relationships. I, too, wish it were as simple as that.

But it’s amazing how much the years teach you. As you log on miles in life and in whatever career you are in, so do you gain wisdom – wisdom necessary to prove your point, to refute a claim, and to respond to statements that the inexperienced of the lot dread. Such as when a client tells you — after you’ve gone through all the barriers and checklists and demos – that “Your product/service is too expensive.”

It will stun and it will sting and sometimes, it will leave you groggy – just like what a punch to the temple does to boxers. But when you’ve had more than your fair share of hits like that, you instinctively roll with the punch — and sometimes, throw a counterpunch or two.. Here’s what I’ve learned from experts, from clients, and from my personal experience.

 


Ignore it.


Yes, exactly what I would have said 10 years ago. But why? Because whether you like it or not, there are really times when you don’t have to defend yourself, or in this case, your price. When you’re in a position where you’re filled to the brim with other clients (who don’t complain), it’s better to use your energy on them than waste it engaging with people like this.

In this case, just thank the client for considering your company and tell them you were glad to have helped them. Never apologize for your price and stay connected with these prospects. We’ll never know when they change their minds and vacate to your company. Don’t stop nurturing and keep them interested always. Send them some digital downloads like your case studies or white papers. That’ll make him/her think twice.

 

Read more tips on How to Hold Prospects Longer on a Phone Discussion

 


Admit it. And sound proud.


Say, “Yes, you’re right. But our company – and most other self-respecting companies, actually – believes that price is a reflection of quality. You get what you pay for.”

Then proceed explaining in detail the kind of software or technology behind the product or service, the amount of work or the extraordinary skills required to come up with your special kind of product, or the amount of time it took to develop the product.

Some clients will be enlightened, some will even be ashamed of themselves, while others will not budge. But you’ve sent the message – you get what you pay for. Here are 3 steps to follow when defending a high price.

 


Respond by saying, “What makes you say that?”


This brilliant counter move should put the assertive-bordering-on-aggressive client on the retreat. Follow up by saying, “Expensive compared to what?”
Make sure your tone is genuine and curious and not aggressive. The last thing you want to do is alienate the client or create an air of animosity. Trying to put things in perspective will give the client an opportunity to justify himself, and you, the opportunity to know whether the client knows what he’s talking about.

Why is this important? Because this is the phase where you decide whether to pursue the client or not, and it depends on the client’s answers.

  • If the client honestly doesn’t know the cost, you have a chance to explain why the price they’re paying you is worth the investment. If it’s $5000, compare it to something of a similar value but with less or without ROI, like buying a big bike or a used car, both of which depreciate over time. Your product, meanwhile, alleviates a pain point, and has a huge potential to have a high ROI.
  • If the client has done his research, asked around, and happened to compare you with a cheaper company, then you have another opportunity to emphasize your value. Explain why your rates are higher – you shouldn’t have trouble doing that. And don’t forget to remind the client why he called you even when he’d been quoted a cheaper rate before.
  • If the client is just using the “you’re too expensive” card as an excuse because he’s not yet ready to buy, perhaps you can offer a limited-time-only promo or something to make him reconsider.

Bottom line is, asking “Expensive compared to what?” will open doors for you and potentially tilt the scales in your favor, and even lead to a sale.

 

Here are some tips on how to bounce back from a lousy sales call? Watch this!

Read more details on Rebound After a Horrible Sales Call [Video]

 

You might also like: CHAMP Methodology: Spot on Sales-Ready Leads with These Questions


Don’t Take it Personally


Every time you’re in a position where clients say your product is too expensive, don’t take it personally. Remember, most buyers have a linear way of seeing and understanding value: it’s a good or great price when perceived value is higher than the amount they pay for it, and it’s too expensive when the amount they have to pay outweighs the perceived value.
If it’s any consolation, think that if you’ve never had clients telling you that you’re too expensive, you’re probably not charging enough.

What did you miss: The 5 to 5 Calling Rule for Inbound Leads (That Generated Over 40% Increase in Sales)

 

 

Get better chances of generating leads, download our FREE Ebook: The Ultimate Lead Generation Kit

The Ultimate Lead Generation Kit [Ebook]