I had a great chat in the holiday period with a friend who works in corporate IT sales, and is very good at it. We discussed what made a successful sales pitch, and I wish I’d had my notebook with me (although he might have found that a bit weird). This was the gist of what he said though.
Customers, he said, are always thinking as much about whether your products will make them look good, as much as they are about whether the products are the best ones for the job. Of course, choosing one of these things can mean they get the other, but you rarely know what the customer is thinking. In your sales pitch, you’re presenting not against your competitors, but against all sorts of prejudices and experiences in the customer’s mind.
Because of these unknowns, the most successful sales approach is to ignore the product and focus on why customers should trust you. If you can get them on board with that notion, they’ll believe you’ll make them look good and will be more likely to accept the purchasing case for the product itself.
Which got me thinking: how many of us provide truly great supporting evidence on our websites and in other sales literature for why prospects should trust us? And if we do, is it front and centre, or hidden away on a little-seen ‘About Us’ page?