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Do I need to change my sales pitch for different audiences?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013 | By Simon Harris

How much should I be changing my sales pitch based on my audience?


Do young people respond differently from older people, men versus women, etc?


Or should I stay consistent, no matter whom I’m pitching to?


Thanks for this question. I think, to a large degree, by the wording in your question you already know the answer! In short, yes, you should change your presentation depending on the audience.


I have given my current sales presentation over 3,000 times in the last 10 years, the same 51 slides that I get through in less than 40 minutes. I can tell you now that I have never delivered it the same way twice. The reason is simple – read on.


When I meet a prospect, I spend the first 30-40 minutes asking questions about them and their situation. I am effectively drilling for the hot points/issues that cause them pain or concern. I am trying to uncover the not-so-good stuff about where they are right now, as I want to make sure what I have will fit what they need.


All the while I am listening to what they say in response to my questions. This helps me to understand them, their issues and frustrations, their style (DISC – communication style) and what problems these issues are causing them in terms of not resolving them either financially or personally, i.e. health.


When I am ready to present my same 51 slides, I can then spend the time on the areas of concern for that person and can skip over the non-relevant sections. Without questioning up front, I would be destined to repeat the same presentation over and over without ever really hitting the spot.


In relation to the gender/age part of your question, the same applies. I would love to cover more about DISC and VAK (sensory learning style), maybe this is the subject of another question as your sales skills develop.


So I hope this candid response helps answer your question.


P.S: Just a bit of housekeeping. It’s generally considered negative to refer to sales and presenting to prospects as a "sales pitch", as it reminds us that sometimes we get sent curve balls! It’s a sales presentation.