I love watching Shark Tank on television. I enjoy seeing enthusiastic entrepreneurs making their sales pitches. Of course, some of the "Sharks" are a bit rude and certainly full of themselves, however there is much to learn by watching the sales pitches and seeing the look on the faces of the sharks during the process. It got me to thinking how important it is to have a fresh, concise pitch and how enthusiasm makes such a difference. I decided I needed to re-think the effectiveness of my pitch to clients. I found myself being almost bored while presenting it and that certainly cannot be good. If I am not excited about sharing it how can I expect anyone else to be motivated by it either?
In my research to sharpen my pitch I came upon some great tips that might be helpful to others as well.
Think about what emotions you can tap into when giving your pitch. Have you traveled where they want to go and do you have a personal experience to share and further motivate their interest?
Instead of looking at what you have to sell to others, think about how it will impact them and what it will do for them. Put yourself in their place and sell from that platform instead.
Why is buying a vacation from you better than the next travel agent? Better yet, why is buying a cruise from you better than from some random website? What makes your consulting services special and why are you the right travel planner for them? Know why you are special and why what you're selling is different and special.
Credible customer testimonials are invaluable assets to share with potential customers. Be sure they are quality testimonials and reflect the essence of why choosing your service is going to the right decision. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then credible customer testimonials are worth even more.
What kind of concerns, question and or objections might they have? You have to unearth any objections head on and the first step is to identify what they are. Sometimes objections are masked by questions they may ask. Listening carefully to questions and speaking openly and honestly to those concerns shows not only your empathy but also your sincere compassion toward making their travel dreams come true.
Make sure that anywhere you "touch" your customer, whether it's a website, phone call or presentation, that you always allow them the chance to raise questions. Invite questions, as they can be your best entry to securing a strong and honest relationship with your potential customers.
I am not sure how many of you reading this; remember Bob Dickenson, the former President and CEO of Carnival Cruise Line. Bob joined Carnival as executive vice president in 1972. In 1979, he became senior vice president of sales and marketing. He was promoted to president in 1993, with CEO added to his title in 2005. He retired in 2007. I had the pleasure to know Bob quite well and always enjoyed his keynotes and presentations made to travel professionals. He was not easy on the audience… he would always test your attitude and your commitment to sales and marketing. His favorite ending to each presentation was always telling the audience… Ask for the business, or you cannot expect to get it! So, Ask for Their Business…if you do not, someone else might!
The end of your pitch or presentation isn't the time to slow down. Always finish with a call to action and a distinctive next question or way a way to move forward in the selling process. Try to ask for something specific so it is an easy process to take the next step for your potential customer. Make sure your offer is clear, concise, communicates value and reduces anxiety on the part of your prospect.
So, let's go back to Shark Tank for a minute. The best pitches always seem to include so much of what is noted above. I actually watched an episode last night to prove the methods above catch the Shark's interest. The emotional connection is key to many of the pitches and you can see the look on their faces when they are relating to the emotional piece of the pitch. Sharing how valuable the product and or service is to the target audience is mandatory. Additionally, a concise yet clearly driven message in their pitches, allows the time needed for questions and addressing concerns.
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful to reworking your pitch or perhaps these ideas helped to validate that your pitch is perfect!
Joanie Ogg is a 40+-year travel industry executive that has been recognized by all facets of the travel industry. She and her husband, Tom Ogg and son, Andy Ogg own and operate a plethora of websites supporting Travel Professionals with resources and tools to grow their respective businesses. As co-author of a variety of books and publications she has inspired tens of thousands of travel agents attending her presentations and keynotes at trade events, cruise seminars, international trade gatherings and numerous local educational venues throughout the United States. Joanie is a Master Cruise Counselor (MCC) and a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) as well as a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions within the travel industry.