5 Tips to Perfect Your Pitch
As the baseball season heats up, it’s the perfect time to think about your own pitch. We’ve all heard the phrase “Practice makes perfect” and the more accurate follow-up, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” There is no short of expert knowledge on the power of practice, yet it feels as if sometimes we just don’t have time for it. Consider this: Professional athletes have practiced the fundamentals for thousands upon thousands of hours. Attorneys rehearse their opening and closing statements. Surgeons practice in controlled environments to hone their technical skills. And insurance agents and brokers also need to practice to elevate themselves to Trusted Advisor status.
Take a moment to think about where you might need a little practice.
- Do you have your unique value proposition down cold?
- Do your voicemail messages entice prospects to return your calls quickly?
- Do conversations with prospects about the services you provide flow smoothly and result in new business?
- Do you know how to deal with objections?
If you answered no to any of these questions, consider the following tips on practicing to improve your pitch.
Role play with fellow staff members. Ask them to provide honest and constructive feedback about how you come across. Encourage teammates to toss objections at you and craft appropriate, compelling responses. Consider providing your staff with a scorecard including all the components of your script so they can keep track of how well you do.
2. Watch Yourself
Listen to yourself leaving voicemail messages and video tape yourself role playing. Put that smart phone to good use; it’s unbelievable what you can learn from watching/listening to yourself on tape – from verbal interrupters (um, uh, etc.) and physically distracting ticks to annoying and repetitive catch phrases (“at the end of the day”) and speaking too quickly, too softly, or too loudly.
3. Always Review
Hit # after leaving a voicemail message; many voicemail systems will then give you the opportunity to play the message you’ve left. Listen with a critical ear. Would you be compelled to return the call and learn more? If not, your prospect won’t be either. If the prospect’s voicemail system gives you the opportunity to re-record your message, take the extra minute and get it right!
Join Toastmasters or take a public speaking course to build confidence as you improve prepared and impromptu speaking, learn to better articulate your thoughts, and eliminate those verbal and physical interrupters that distract from your message.
Take advantage of materials and coaching provided by pros such as Steve Kloyda, The Prospecting Expert. Every professional athlete has a coach (or several coaches) to help him/her perfect every aspect of the game.
Practice doesn’t mean you’ll have a perfect game, but it does significantly increase the likelihood of throwing strikes! Put practice time on your calendar. Involve your associates and staff. Evaluate yourself honestly. Seek support from organizations and individuals. Practice, practice, practice and your knowledge and confidence will soar.