New Year’s Resolution for a Great Sales Pitch

If you want to make a single resolution this year to improve your sales presentations, then make it this: Focus your sales presentations solely on your prospects’ needs.

I’ve said those words thousands of times. And every time I say them, I get knowing nods from my clients. Everyone seems to agree that the key to a great sales pitch is to do nothing other than address the business problem that the prospect faces.

In fact, “focusing on the prospect” is so universally accepted that it’s almost a banality.  It’s sort of like saying, “Being nice to people makes other people feel better” or “Feed your dog because otherwise he’ll be hungry.” 

It’s common sense. The problem, as my grandfather used to say, is that common sense isn’t particularly common.

While most people agree that sales presentations should focus on the business need of the prospect, most business presentations fail to address the business problem. Instead, they start by saying, “I know that you have some serious issues in your business. And we will address those. But first, I’d like to start by telling you a little about our company.”


That is not focusing on the business problem of the client.

A good sales presentation follows a simple pattern.

Step 1: Show that you understand the prospect’s problem. By that, I mean you should detail exactly the challenges that your prospect faces as best as you can.

Step 2: Lay out you solution.  Detail exactly how you’re going to help the prospect overcome the challenges that you detailed in step one. Provide examples of how your solutions have helped others with similar problems.

But don’t we have to talk about our company?  Usually not. If you’re invited to come to a presentation, usually they know about your company already. And if they don’t, they will figure it out by listening to your solution to their problem.

But shouldn’t we talk about our experience?  Yes. But only in the context of how it addresses the prospect’s problem.

If you want to win more business this year, make a New Year’s resolution. 

Focus your presentation solely on your prospect’s business problem.

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