Sales Pitch Tip from A Shoe Salesman

A good friend of mine was once one of the leading shoe sellers for Parisian. And he told me a secret that could help you win your next sales pitch.

“Whenever I’d get a customer,” he said, “I would never just let him try on just one pair. I would measure his feet and then bring out several pairs. I wanted to spend a lot of time with him as he tried on lots of shoes. He’d try on shoes and we’d  chat, discussing the kinds of shoes he liked. Eventually, after spending 30 minutes with me, we had a relationship. And he would always buy something. He had to because we had become friends.”

The point is this.  If you want to win a sales pitch, you need to find a way to draw out the sale like a shoe salesman. To do that, you need to touch the prospect multiple times prior to the pitch.  Like the shoe salesman, the more time you spend with the prospect prior to the pitch, the more you build a relationship. The better the relationship, the better chance you have to win the pitch.

If someone asks you to give them a presentation, don’t just say, “Sure, when do you want me to show up?”

You need to ask for the chance to talk to them in advance. You need to find a way to build the relationship prior to the pitch.  Say something like, “I’m excited about the chance to present to you. But I want to give you the best presentation possible.  Can we set up a time to meet prior to the presentation to chat with you about your company? I want to understand your key issues.”

Even if he says “no”, you’ve started to build a relationship.

Remember the shoe salesman. He wants to spend as much time as possible with the customer because that builds a relationship. To do that, he draws out the sale.

Do the same thing with your prospect and you’ll win a lot of pitches.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email