Buying a car is easy. You go to the Honda dealership. You say, “I’d like to test drive the new Civic.”
The salesman says, “Sure. Let me get you the keys.”
You give it a spin and you get a feel for it. You know pretty quickly whether the car is right for you.
Hiring a service provider for your business is much more difficult. You can’t take an architect for a test drive. You can’t ride around in a lawyer. You can’t hop inside your accountant and give him a spin.
That’s why your sales pitch should do everything possible to give your prospect the closest thing possible to a test drive. Everything in your pitch should be aimed at giving your prospect a sense of what the experience of working with you will be like.
There are five keys.
Key 1. Focus your message on a solution to the prospect’s key business problem. The prospect is not hiring a law firm. It’s buying a solution to a troublesome legal problem. Your main job in a pitch is not to show your credentials. Your main job is to give the prospect a sense of your proposed solution to their business problem.
Key 2. Keep your message simple. From the prospect’s perspective, one of the main experiences of working with you will be meetings, conference calls and other forms of spoken interaction. Your prospect wants to know if you are able to speak to her in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If your presentation is simple and user-friendly, that says a lot about what it will be like to work with you. It says that you’ll be user-friendly. And that’s good.
Key 3. Be passionate. If you’re hired, the prospect is going to have to spend a lot of time with you. If they see that you’re passionate, then they’re going to sense that spending time with you will be a pleasure. What if you’re not passionate about your work? Consider a new line of work.
Key 4. Be interactive. Make sure that the prospect has plenty of time to ask questions and discuss your ideas. Q&A is a test drive of the intellect. The more interactive the presentation, the more the prospect gets a feel for what a meeting with you would be like. That’s a good thing.
Key 5. Rehearse. Good preparation is obvious to the prospect. If you show up well prepared, it gives your prospect a feel for how well you’ll be prepared for them on a daily basis.
Follow these five keys and you’ll give your prospect a sense of what it will be like to work with you. It’s the closest you can come to giving your prospect a test drive.