Your success or failure in closing a deal with a new client hinges on whether your sales pitch is a homerun or a flop. There are a number of common mistakes that agency folks just like you make everyday and should be avoided at all costs when pitching new business deals.
1. Beginning with an Apology
“I’m sorry I’m late.”
“Apologies that this presentation is a bit lengthy,”
“I’m sorry I didn’t have time to update some of the slides.”
Opening with an apology of any kind sets a negative tone for the rest of your presentation before you’ve even finished the opening slide. Not only that, you have also undermined your expertise and planted seeds of doubt with your audience.
2. Avoiding Eye Contact
Not making eye contact with your audience or reading directly off of your presentation will not only bore the audience, but also make you look unprepared. The audience wants to see that you have the confidence and knowledge to speak directly to their concerns and needs without constant reassurance from the slides in your sales deck. If you avoid making eye contact with your audience — intentionally or unintentionally — they may think you are being standoffish or that you don’t have the confidence in yourself or your product to effectively close the deal.
3. Dancing Around Tough Questions
If you can’t provide honest and accurate answers about your product, you probably don’t have sufficient information to be making the pitch on your own. Furthermore, how can you expect anyone else to trust you enough to buy what you’re selling if you don’t seem to believe in it? Believing in your product or service is integral to a successful pitch and new client acquisition.
4. Lack of Transparency on Cost & Pricing
This is one of those “tough questions” referenced above. Potential clients will grow suspicious if you dance around the question of cost or pricing. Although it is important to lead with the value of your solution, especially when it comes to that client’s specific needs, you should always be straightforward on the price tag.
Be honest and up front about how much your services are, and back it up with all of the reasons why you and your agency can offer the best solution for their company. Doing so will show them that you aren’t hiding anything when it comes to their investment.
5. Making Excuses
Your clients or potential clients aren’t concerned with why you look disheveled or why you can’t properly organize your thoughts. They also aren’t sitting in your presentation eager to hear all about you, they are there to hear what you can do for them. Keep to the matter at hand, make your case and confidently answer any questions that your clients have for you.
The next time you pitch a prospective client, keep these tips in mind. Also, don’t be afraid to get advice from other sales professionals who have built a successful new business machine. Do these things and you will be in a much better position to increase new business and drive revenue growth for your agency!