Most sales executives will admit that preparation is 99% of a successful pitch to a new client. Done right, delivering your message (the other 1%) is the easy part.
Before walking into your next pitch meeting, you may consider a checklist of things that can help strengthen your product pitch so your message is aligned with your potential new client’s business needs.
- Know the Client:
Nothing is more important than knowing the customer’s business problems. Doing research to identify specific challenges that the client and industry face will help you align your product as a solution for their business needs.
- Set Objectives:
Before setting the agenda, write down the objectives you want to achieve, including the top messages around business value and benefits you want your client to remember after you leave the meeting.
- Know the Contact's Role and Responsibilities:
Your pitch should speak directly to the pain points and challenges of the person you are meeting with. Whether you are talking to an IT manager or CFO, your lead should focus on their specific day-to-day problems (e.g., technical, financial, operational, etc.), and how your product helps resolve them.
- Choose Your Team Members:
While customer pitch meetings typically involve sales people, provide additional value to your meeting by including technical personnel who can answer more complex questions about your product.
Leading with a strong value proposition is essential to quickly getting the customer’s attention. To effectively communicate your message, your pitch should include bullets and attractive, easy-to-follow visuals or demos that are free of grammatical errors that can impact your company’s level of professionalism.
Printed copies of your presentation should include space for notes and any additional questions the customer may have during the meeting. Refer back to the presentation to answer specific questions or jot down notes so you can follow up with answers after the meeting.
- Additional Questions:
Prepare questions regarding the client’s needs to expose potential gaps that your product can solve for them. This will position you as an expert and can create an opportunity for you to sell additional services to solve problems they never considered.
Going over your pitch, top messages and any potential questions the customer may ask will prepare you for any unplanned discussions and position your team as credible experts in your field.
- Propose Next Steps:
Never end a meeting without going over the next steps. Whether it’s scheduling a second meeting with a senior executive or discussing your product in more detail, follow-up activities are critical to building ongoing business relationships with potential clients and partners.
- Managing the Process:
Coordinating your team’s schedules to make sure each member is adequately prepared for their role in the meeting, appropriately dressed and on time, will create a lasting impression on the customer. Displaying a high level of professionalism should never be underestimated, especially when meeting a client for the first time.
While a meeting checklist is essential for successfully pitching new clients, the one thing you should never lose sight of is the customer. When it comes down to it, preparation and keeping the focus on the customer at all times are essential to delivering a spot-on pitch that demonstrates your knowledge of their business, their challenges and how your product is the right solution for them.
Related Intel Software Partner resources: