I came across yet another ‘How to Sell’ post in the Twittersphere last week. You know the type:

  • ‘The best sales pitch that I have ever seen’
  • ‘How I nailed a $1m deal in 10 minutes’
  • ‘How I had them at Hello!’

These posts proliferate like rabbits online and, while there are genuine experts out there, too often either the post or the poster lack clear pedigree.

We’ll offer a view about ‘The Perfect Sales Pitch’: There isn’t one. We’ve hosted, attended, slept through and bought after thousands of sales meetings over the years. As you’d expect, there were a lot more bad than good. And were the good ones perfect? Far from it.

There are a few reasons for that but the most important one is very simple: they don’t have to be. The salesperson’s goal to navigate the shortest route to a monetising event – a deal. There are so many variables in negotiating that journey (never mind negotiating the deal) that the focus throughout needs to be on what you need to do to get to the next step – quickly. That involves thought: not necessarily about the perfect deck but more about who your prospect is, what their problem is, what they need to move forward, how they work, what kind of people are they.

The P-word that matters here is not Pitch, it is People. The best sales people look beyond their own perfect deck to consider the people who will actually place the order: how do I make it easy for them to be motivated to give me the business. How you sell is much less important than how they buy. Sure there are lousy – & I mean lousy – sales pitches. But there is no perfect one. Take the other perspective. Show why your solution will generate a return for your prospect. You may not be all the way there – but you’ll get to the next step.

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