You may not have heard of Will Wright, but many of us know the story of his success. Remember yourself being a kid and playing The Sims? Or perhaps your children or grandchildren? That is it. Will Wright is the person that created the Sims world. And he has got a lot to share about how to make a successful sales pitch with everyone who is ready to sell their great product.
1. Pitch Often
Tell other people about your brilliant idea and learn from the questions they ask you. Maybe they want to hear something different? Something that you just skipped in your story? Time to refine your pitch is now! There is no reason to wait until you are actually pitching it to somebody who might turn in to your client. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try a hundred different ways to pitch. The very first time is probably going to be horrible. You are going to fail. Many of us have been down this road before, and that is just fine.
2. Anticipate Questions
“Why do I need that?” A question from a prospect that you have heard many times. If your pitch really conveyed what it needed to convey, you would not be asked that question. So, it is maybe time to refine your pitch. Here is a Japanese gardening rule that works for business leaders, too: “Your garden is not complete until there is nothing more you can remove”. Less is more…
3. Pitch The Feeling
Recall that moment when you first got excited about your brilliant idea. Your product. Your service. What is the key that was and still is motivating you?
In order to pitch effectively, you need to push your feelings into another person’s head. You need to try to communicate what you are really thinking and imagining when talking about your product. The first product you are actually pitching is that thing in their head.
4. Adjust For Your Audience
You have built something great. Now everyone wants to hear something creative and unique about that. Something that is fresh, something that they have never heard before. So you might create a new way to pitch – not a traditional one. Will Wright said – “You need to feel like your pitch is standing on its own legs and its own merits”. That’s about it.
5. Reference The Topic And The Player
The more you can reference your customer in the pitch, the better the pitch went. Tell them what is in here that might be valuable for them. Tell them what they will get from your product. Sell them a hope, sell them a dream. The Will Wright’s rule is: Not “here is the thing I want to sell you”, but “here is the thing you are going to win with”.
6. Recognize When To Stop Pitching
Say, you gave somebody a brief explanation of your product or service and left a lot of blanks on there. The person you were pitching will generally fill those blanks. They will do it in your favour! People tend to imagine blanks filled with things they need the most. Give them some space for creativity and then listen carefully. Otherwise, if you keep pitching like there is no tomorrow and start filling those blanks in a different direction that the person doesn’t like, you might unsell the idea. You sold the idea and then you unsold it.
7. Don’t Be Too Verbose
When presenting an idea or a product, some people tend to add too many details too early. Don’t overload the person you are pitching with tons of information. Remember that Japanese gardening rule. Remove all the words that are unnecessary from your pitch.
And a bonus…
8. Communicate Your Vision As It Evolves
Communicate your product to your team. In case you are refining the whole concept, you need to make sure that they are on top of it. Remember this Agile rule: It is more about the direction you are going, not about the destination.