I was working with a client to help him develop a client presentation. His pitch was “We do this,” “Our services provide,” etc. What was missing was what was in it for the client. What are their needs, and how was he going to meet them? So, I asked him how this pitch had worked so far, and he admitted not so great.
Then I asked him, “You’ve been on the buying side; what were your needs?”
“I wanted a reliable provider who would deliver a consistent product on time at a price quoted. No last-minute changes, delays, or excuses. And if there were a problem, would answer my calls and make it right.”
He quickly realized that his pitch wouldn’t have sold him either. So it was time to change his approach.
Too often, our pitches are simply about what we offer. But, at the same time, it is about understanding the client’s needs and conveying how you can help. Simply pitching a service without first identifying a need is like putting a “Square peg in a round hole.” You might be able to make it fit, but you have to force it. That’s not how you win new customers.
Instead, ask a few questions –
“What’s your biggest challenge?”
“What’s working and what’s not?”
“How can I help you?”
Once you understand what the client needs, then you offer a solution. It doesn’t feel like a pitch anymore; now you are helping them out. And your prospect will see you as a partner, not a salesperson.
No one wants to hear you talk about yourself or your company. Your clients are focused on themselves, their needs, and finding someone to offer the best solution. Your job is to figure out how to meet their needs.
Thoughtful, provocative, and probing questioning demonstrates that you want to address the client’s needs, not simply pitch a service to make a sale.