“When you make a sales pitch, you are not there to close a deal; you are there to open a relationship.”
That one sentence captures the essence of a great book on sales: Sales Pitches that Snap, Crackle ‘n Pop by Jack Vincent. Written in a punchy, wry, engaging style, the book contains a wealth of practical insight into how to go about selling your products, your services or your ideas.
Vincent has been in sales and marketing for most of his career. He has sold global sponsorships and TV broadcast rights to major sports events, including the Olympic Games, World Cup Football and ATP Men’s Tennis. Today, he advises clients that range from large companies to start-up entrepreneurs.
Having spent many years in the sales trenches, Vincent knows a thing or two, including how important it is to go into a sales pitch being well prepared and having the proper mindset. As he says, if you go into a sales pitch and at the end of it the client wants to do a deal, you’re lucky; if you go into a sales pitch and expect that at the end of it the client will want to do a deal, you’re foolish.
The “Snap, Crackle ‘n Pop” phrase in the title of the book comes from jingle associated with the Kellog’s cereal Rice Krispies. (As a kid, I could scarf down three bowls of Rice Krispies with milk no problem. I still pick up a box at the supermarket from time to time.) But Vincent didn’t choose the phrase for nostalgic reasons; to the contrary, each part of the phrase is relevant for a successful sales pitch.
- “Snap” is for stimulating interest. You want your prospects to know that you have thought about their interests. You want them leaning forward, eager to hear more.
- “Crackle” is for starting a conversation. You want to move the dynamic from a presentation to a customer-focused conversation. When the prospects start talking about their challenges and asking for advice, you are on the right track.
- “Pop” is for building trust. Yes, people want to do business, but they want to do business with the right people. They want to be able to rely on you as more than just a consultant or service provider. They want to think of you as a partner.
In 47 bite-sized chapters, Vincent draws on a variety of anecdotes and personal experiences to focus the reader on the fundamentals of a good sales pitch. The topics covered include preparation, research, simplifying the pitch, focusing on your one big point, building rapport and making an effective pitch as a team.
One of the key reasons for giving a presentation is to persuade the audience to do something. And frequently, we have to pitch. As Vincent says:
“Life’s a pitch.”
We pitch a lot of things in our business lives. We pitch products. We pitch services. We pitch ideas, solutions, new business opportunities.
We pitch in boardrooms. We pitch in elevators. We pitch in warehouses. We pitch in cafés.
At effective sales organizations, sales pitching happens every day. If they’re not out in the marketplace pitching, they’re preparing a pitch, evaluating a recent pitch, following up on a pitch.
If you want to learn more about the Do’s and Don’ts of effective sales pitches, do yourself a favour and pick up Sales Pitches that Snap, Crackle ‘n Pop, the hard-hitting but easy-to-read book by Jack Vincent.