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056 How to build a persuasive sales pitch

How to build a persuasive sales pitch

Hello and welcome to another insightful episode of the Art of Business English. Today, you are in for a treat. I am going to give you 5 steps to building a persuasive sales pitch and how you can confidently pitch your product or service in your next sales presentation or meeting.

If you are one of those people who finds it hard to pitch a client, then this episode is for you. The best thing about these 5 steps is that you can use them online as well when you are writing your sales copy for your online products or services. 

Let’s take a look at what we are going to cover today. Basically, I am going to give you a quick overview of the 5-step process to create a compelling sales argument. I will try and provide you with some examples so that you can apply them to your specific sales document or presentation. The episode will look at:

  1. Your introduction
  2. Developing your story
  3. Providing content
  4. Transitioning to the pitch
  5. The sales pitch. 

OK, let’s kick things off with your introduction. 

Crafting your introduction

Right, the first thing that you need to do is answer the following question. “What is in it for me?”. However, wait a minute. Andrew that is easy, I want to sell me. Well, yes, but we need to change our perspective completely, do a 180. You need to be asking yourself this question from the perspective of your audience or potential customer. Let me make one thing crystal clear. Nobody and I mean nobody is going to give you more of their precious time unless they can see straight away that there is some benefit for them. 

So, the introduction needs to capture the person’s attention and communicate straightaway to them that there is some benefit. If you don’t establish this in the beginning the person will switch off and you won’t make the sale. 

If you are doing this in person, then you can use some of the techniques we teach on the Powerful Presentations programme. Let me give you a quick example. 

“Today I am going to show you how to develop a compelling sales argument that will capture more clients and lead to more sales.” 

Straightaway I have your attention, especially if you are my target audience, business owners. Any business owner would love to learn strategies for have more convincing sales arguments, capture more clients and generate more sales. 

So, I have your attention, right? 

Now, what if we are not presenting in person, well, in this scenario, if we are writing sales copy for, let’s say, a website we could need to provide a very strong headline. To do this we can use one of the following techniques: 

Shock: Did you know that eating fish could actually be killing you?

Surprising fact: Did you know the average woman spends 17 years of her life on a diet?

Controversial opinion: Public discourse is dead!

A problem: Imagine you lost your job tomorrow. How would you pay the bills?  

We could modify these presentation hooks if we were writing headlines for online sales copy. 

For example. “Eating fish is killing you.” 

So, the point here, is to create a strong reason for the person to continue listening. Remember, the introduction must be aligned with your target audience and what they are looking for. Obviously, we want o to use our hook to capture the attention of people who are only interested in our product.

Developing your story


Let’s move on to the next part of the episode where we look at developing our story. The purpose of a story is not to tell people how great you are, this is not how you build credibility. The purpose of a story is to RELATE to your audience. You need to show them that you are an average person who shares the same pains and doubts as them.


The story is where you establish trust with your audience. This is achieved by getting on the same level as the person you are trying to pitch to. You need to get them to see that you are just like them. Remember, you need to be humble, if you try and show them how wonderful you are with all of your fancy degrees and 20 years of business experience, then you are alienating yourself from them. Nobody wants to be made to feel inferior. You need to position yourself as a down to earth person who they can relate to.


Once someone trusts you, they are willing to listen to you and believe what you say. I am not saying that you are going to lie to someone about your products or services, this is the absolute wrong thing to do. Never make claims about a product or service that you cannot fulfil.


Remember, we are the humble guy who shares the same pains as our customer, if we want to talk about how amazing we are then don’t, this is actually what we need to be applying to our product or service.


So, let’s take a look at how we can develop the content or our sales argument.


Providing content


The first rule of content is to provide AMAZING value. Nowadays most people have seen most sales arguments. You need to be sharing something of genuine value. Again, don’t make false claims, you just need to know more than the person you are pitching to. They need to see that what you can offer them can solve their problem. So, again, this is linked directly with our introduction. What is in it for them. The thing that is in it for them must provide real value.


When you are providing value, what you are actually doing is building your credibility. People are not impressed by your experience or your degrees, they are only interested in the what. What is the what? The what is the thing that you are going to teach them or provide them that is going to provide them with success or solve their problem.


The key to this part of the process is to provide evidence and examples that shows your potential client that you can do what it is that you say you can do, or your product can provide the solution that you are claiming it can make.


It is important that we show people what we can do but never HOW we can do it. If people want to know how to solve their problem or get the success, they desire then they need to purchase your solution. Your product or service is the HOW.


To be able to develop this part of your sales pitch effectively you need to be able to create a “light bulb” moment in the mind of your potential client. They need to be provided with valuable content that makes them think, wow, I didn’t know that. This means your content must be unique or not widely known. The more “light bulb” moments the more convincing your argument.


So, by now you have the person sold already. Wait, what? But Andrew, I haven’t even pitched them the offer or the price yet. I know, it seems strange, but once you have built trust with your story and then shown all the value with your content most people will be ready to buy or not buy from you.


Transitioning to the pitch


Right, now we are moving on to stage four of this process, which is the transition. Here we need to make this stage short and sweet, if we lose confidence here or we drag this stage out, we are going to ruin our chances and lose all of the momentum that we have created.


Many people feel bad asking someone to buy their products. You should feel super proud of what you offer, and you should be confident about the value you bring and how you can help your audience. If you don’t feel great about what you are selling, then you shouldn’t be selling it.


The transition and pitch part of your presentation should be done with passion and with a smile, not with a softly spoken voice. Make your transition about getting your audience to give you permission to move forward.


For example.


Marketing consultant
Would you like me to show you how we can help you build a more effective marketing strategy?
Financial planner
With your permission I would love to share with you a financial retirement plan we have that will set you up for life.
Insurance broker
Would it be OK with you if I showed you some of our life insurance policies?
Real estate agent
Has what I have showed you already about investing in property and how easy it is been valuable? Well, can I show you some of the properties we have for your starting range?


The secret to this stage is to ensure that we make the purchase seem like the idea of the client. That is why we ask them for their permission to move forward with the pitch. Remember, we have made the sale in the content stage of our argument, so you shouldn’t be scared to ask for permission, furthermore you shouldn’t do it in a weak voice. You need to ask with confidence, this step is only a formality to make the idea THEIR idea.


Making the pitch


OK, the final stage of this process is that actual pitch. By now the person has subconsciously decided if they will make the purchase or not. Generally, if we are this far along and the person has agreed and stayed with you until this part of the process, they are interested in purchasing your product or service. If they are not, then either they are not your target audience, or they do not see the value in what you are offering them. If a person doesn’t feel they are getting an amazing deal, then they won’t fight for it. If they feel the value to them far exceeds the price, then they will do anything to get the deal. Therefore, you must provide a valuable service or product.


Personally, I think this is the best thing about this process, you can’t sell some rubbish to people. You need to be a serious professional and really have your customer’s interest at the centre of everything you do. If you are not making a product or service that transforms people and solves their real-world problems, then you should reconsider your business.


So now we make our pitch. Again, we need to be full of energy and not apologetic, if we are not confident and excited about our product or service then you will lose the sale at this last stage.


Confidence in Business Meetings

Do you get embarrassed when you need to attend a meeting in English? Maybe you feel frustrated when you can't express yourself clearly. Do you want to be invisible in a meeting, hoping that you won't need to answer any questions?

If you would like to learn how to confidently participate in meetings that lead to successful outcomes and more business for you and your company, then I've got the answer.

Final thoughts

Well, there you have it my friends a quick run through of a 5-step sales argument process that you can use both online and offline in your next sales presentation, meeting or sales page. 

As always please send me your comments and feedback on this episode and let me know if there is anything that I can clarify for you. Christmas is just around the corner so please if you do have any Christmas wishes for your business English then let me know. 

Finally, I have put together an incredibly useful eBook called 500 business collocations. My team and I have spent the best part of a month coming up with a list of 500 useful collocations that you can use in business. I have put together a special offer for my AOBE listeners, so please head to www.theartofbusinessenglish.com/500 to get access to our eBook at a special price. If you are an AOBE premium member then you also get access to this eBook for free, so if you haven’t joined the community now is a great time to do so. You can sign up and get one month free at www.theartofbusinessenglish.com/levels

That’s all from me for another week, until next week take care and by for now.

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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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