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Exams and the Sales Pitch – Preparation will be the Key to Success.

Exam season is upon us and certainly looming large in my household with GCSE’s only having just started, with 4 weeks still to go until all the exams are over!  Clearly, we won’t know the outcome of these exams until late August, but there are certainly some key criteria required to at least making a stab at getting good results.  It feels like as a parent, the best form of help and support I can offer, for my angst ridden teens, is to keep a well-stocked fridge and biscuit cupboard and then to make emergency trips to M&S for Percy Pigs when stress levels get very high!

On one of these emergency trips for Percy Pigs I was reflecting on what it takes to be successful in exams and then how these skills are also useful when you are about to make a sales pitch to a client!

5 Top Tips for Sales Pitch & Exam Success:

  • Know Your Facts!

There are a lot of facts to learn when it comes to exams and this is the same when you are in the sales pitch process.  You have to know all there is to know about your product or service and your company.  You need to be the expert in what you can offer and how you can help your client.  However, as I said in last month’s blog, To be or not to be – that is the question, you must also understand as much as you can about your client, any previous history they have with you and to think about their needs and challenges.  This is all before you even get to telling your story!

  • Read the question and plan your answer.

I certainly remember, when I was a teenager taking my exams, that one piece of advice that my mum screamed out as I was leaving the house “Don’t forget to read the question!”  Reading and assessing the situation you are about to place yourself in as a sales person is also key to success.  So before you go to your meeting think about:

  • Who you are pitching to and what is their style of communication, so that when you pitch to them the sales pitch resonates with them.
  • How you can present your sales story with impact – practise your opening and don’t forget to vary your tone, pitch and pace.
  • Think about what you know about them and then what information you are going to present or show to them – you don’t need every single fact to be included in your pitch document.
  • Relevance and Implication.

The key to a successful sales pitch is relevance to the needs of your client and how your product or service can be of benefit to them.  The client doesn’t need a list of facts about your service and your business they need to know how your solution can help them!  As I said to my daughter during her Geography revision it is all very well repeating the facts but what is the implication behind the fact.   So keep asking yourself SO WHAT!

  • “Love a good quote”

As random post it notes appear around the house with “Of Mice and Men” quotes on them, my daughter claims that the examiners “love a good quote!”  This also mirrors what you should be doing in your sales pitch – that is providing your client with relevant case studies and testimonials.   It is imperative that your sales story is personal for your client by using examples that ensure they see the value in what are you are selling and how you have helped other clients that are in the same situation as they are.

  • Calm your Nerves

Nerves can get the better of you when you take exams and definitely when you have to stand up and present to a client.  So when the time comes to perform – take a few deep breaths, know that you have done your best and then just try to enjoy the process!

Taking time to prepare for an important sales pitch is not always easy but working hard and ensuring you think about how you can make it personal for your client will certainly lead to a better chance of success!  Similarly, I hope the hard work and preparation for the exams in our house also lead to the right results in August – with or without those emergency Percy Pig trips.

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