Your sales pitch is the last hurdle before you can seal the deal, but even that has a final step: the Q&A.
In every pitch, clients always have questions or concerns. These can be about how your company does business or the package options you have to offer.
Listening to and clarifying their questions will help them understand your position, making them more likely to trust you and close the sale. Experienced sales executives will always plan for these scenarios for 4 main reasons:
1. Clients Always Want Options
People will always look for a better deal to get their money’s worth.
You could be the best supplier of electronic gadgets in the industry, but if you don’t have any favorable options to offer your clients, like a bundle purchase deal with lower price points, or gadgets that they need, chances are they’ll give their money to the competition.
This is why having a fixed set of options rarely works: If you say you can’t give something to a client, you will have a harder time convincing them to invest in you. According to business consultant Larry Myler, giving alternatives is one of the negotiation techniques that salespeople use as a common ground for both their desired outcome and the clients’ desires.
2. Listening Lets You Learn Their Expectations
Our last article talked about knowing your audience’s expectations to help you give a more understandable pitch. While it’s good to know these beforehand, nothing beats getting these firsthand when you need to address their questions on the spot.
This lets you come up with better responses, whether it’s clarifying your previous statements in the pitch, or suggesting alternatives to the options you offered them. Listening also helps you get a better handle on what your clients expect from business partners.
For example, they may have objections to the pricing of your mobile service provider package, but if you let them explain why, you might have the advantage of using that information for either justifying the package or offering them something that fits their budget.
3. You Control the Argument
Learning to say no is another important skill in the Q&A. As the presenter, you need to be clear on what you can and cannot offer to remain in control of the deal. Let’s go back to that example of the mobile service provider: Your package may only be offered at a certain range, but a client might want to lower it further.
If your company knows that the proposed discount is unacceptable due to cost reasons, it might be better for you to refuse and suggest another package. While it’s true that you need to think about your client’s expectations, your company will most likely have their own standards to uphold, making an ultimatum necessary.
By dictating the terms of the offer, you make the deal profitable for both sides. It also boosts their perception of you as a reliable seller.
4. You Project Yourself as a Partner
In every pitch, the objective is all about offering solutions to a problem. This is why every seasoned sales executive takes time to know their clients as much as they can in order to solve their difficulties.
Getting clients to talk about what they need is always a good starting point. Keynote speaker Sherrie Campbell lists presenting yourself as a partner who’s willing to listen among her strategies for mastering sales negotiations. .
If your client can’t agree with your offer, you can always ask why, or replace your offer with a better one. This leaves a better impression than using a “take it, or leave it” approach because you involve clients in coming up with a solution.
The Lesson: Listening Always Helps
Handling the pitch’s Q&A is just as important as giving it. This lets you know your target market and what will convince them to invest in you. Listening to their concerns lets you adjust your offers as needed.
Instead of simply handing out a limited set of options, you give them more possibilities that can sweeten the deal for both sides. At the same time, you have to make it clear that there are things that you can’t compromise on, like a lower price for quality goods.
At your pitch’s last stage, you can impress your clients with your delivery. If you can give them that last nudge to bite into your offer by hearing them out, jumping that final hurdle will be easier for you. Handling this step needs every advantage you can get.
To sharpen your selling edge, take a few minutes to get in touch with a professional pitch deck designer and spice up your pitch deck.
Campbell, Sherrie. “7 Psychological Strategies for Mastering Sales Negotiations.” Entrepreneur. November 6, 2014. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Myler, Larry. “Four Ways To Win Any Negotiation.” Forbes. June 1, 2015. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Featured Image: “Signed Contract” by Mads T.F. on flickr.com