Recently, I needed to sell one of my clients on an idea I had. I knew it was the right idea, one that was totally aligned with the outcome she needed. The only challenge was that my advice conflicted with advice she’d received from a well-recognized consulting firm.
So I opened my conversation with this line: “Let me pitch you this idea.” I literally told her that I was going to try to sell her on my idea. First I told her why I was presenting my idea. I reinforced how my idea was aligned with her goals. Then I shared how I viewed her desired outcome and how my idea would help her achieve that outcome. She wasn’t offended by my pitch. On the contrary, she was happy to hear it and gave me the go-ahead.
Everywhere I look, I see people giving advice, such as “Stop selling.” They recommend that salespeople “start being helpful”—as if every professional salesperson is a self-centered jerk interested only in making a buck. And much of the sage wisdom out there suggests that you never, ever pitch anyone lest you be considered (gasp!) sales-y.
There is a time to listen—and there is a time to deliver your pitch. There is a time to do your research —and there is a time to offer your solution (something you can’t possibly do without opening your mouth and describing it).
Your dream clients want you to listen. They need to know you have their best interests at heart. And, if they’re interested in hitting a financial homerun, they most definitely need you to pitch to them.
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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/.