From the outset there are so many things to get your head around in a new business, from branding to stock control.
But a key skill you need to become brilliant at, and quickly, is pitching for business.
If you can fast-track your ability to bring new customers in the door and keep them as loyal clients you’ll be creating very strong foundations for your start-up business.
So what do you need to do to fast-track your pitching skills?
Here are my seven secrets to pitching to new clients:
Business is all about the relationships you create and maintain.
Always remember it’s about the people doing business with people and learn to care about your potential client from the outset and make people feel good.
Famed US salesman Zig Ziglar said: “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Listen when your client talks (never talk over the top of them), clarify where necessary so you really understand what they are asking you for, and present a solution that meets their needs.
So make sure you get your head right. If you go into a sales meeting wanting to ‘make money’ you’ll be barefoot on that pavement in no time!
It’s not about the money. It’s about finding solutions to people’s problems.
If you get this right in your head you’ll be selling ice to Eskimos in no time.
We all know the value of a positive first impression and never is this more important than when you meet potential clients for the first time.
Latest research by personal branding consultant Sally Hogshead suggests it takes only nine seconds to form a first impression and then a further 25 seconds to confirm that initial impression.
So it’s critical to do some serious thinking about how you are perceived by potential clients from your website, to your phone manner, to your collateral and brochures, to your personal presentation and your personality.
Once you’ve assessed your current impact it’s time to rethink any image issues that don’t make you an instant winner.
Confidence is very enticing to others. Make sure you know your product or services inside out and spend some time getting to know your client prior to arriving at the meeting.
Prepare your pitch in advance and practice, practice, practice. There’s nothing like knowing your stuff to make you feel confident and in control.
And while you’re at it, research your competitors too. The more you know about how you’re different to other providers, the more you’ll be able to improve on your comparative weaknesses and the more eloquent you’ll be when questioned by your potential client.
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