Want to Improve Your Sales Pitch? Here Are Some Tips.

How 4 NYC tech companies use the power of emotion to close more deals.
April 12, 2021

Whether we know it or not, every good sales pitch contains a bit of ancient philosophy.

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, polymath and tutor of Alexander the Great, was also an expert in the art of persuasion. In his treatise, Rhetoric, he explains that successful persuasion is broken down into three interconnected categories: ethos, logos and pathos. Ethos involves the necessary credibility the speaker must establish, logos signifies the logic and data of the argument itself, and pathos denotes the emotional context that pulls the listener in and motivates them to act. Yet when it comes to the perfect sales pitch, sometimes pathos wears the crown.

Making an emotional connection can be the difference maker in closing the deal. According to Fast Company, 50 percent of buying decisions are based on emotion, and Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman indicates that 95 percent of purchasing decisions come from the subconscious, which is frequently fueled by emotion. The takeaway: while each of Aristotle’s three pillars is important, establishing pathos with the customer can help seal the deal at a critical time.

We sat down with four New York tech companies to discuss how they best make their sales pitches and connect with customers on that crucial emotional level. We learned that empathy, adaptation, research and personal connection are all major factors in crafting the ideal sales pitch that closes the deal.

 

Jordan Altit
Senior Sales Consultant

Jordyn Altit is a senior sales consultant at Torch Technology, a platform for digitizing dental supply ordering. She learned early on that establishing an emotional connection by identifying the customer’s pain points and becoming the problem-solver can lead to an effective pitch and a big sale. Furthermore, having passion for the product is also important, as the client can tell that the emotion and enthusiasm on display is real.

 

Whats the key to a successful sales pitch, and why?

The key to a successful pitch is to really understand and listen to your potential new customer. Every prospect has a specific pain point that is important to them and if you simply listen to your prospects, they will listen to you. Be the prospect’s problem-solver!

 

Whats one change youve made thats really elevated your sales pitch? What impact has that change had on your sales success?

When I first started in sales, I thought that the relationship started and ended with me selling a product to the prospect. One change that I made that really elevated my pitch was trying to find a personal connection with the prospect. No one likes to be sold to, but they would rather be sold to by someone who they share a common interest with versus someone who is solely focused on selling the product.

 

My conversations are genuine and my passion for Torch are heard through every call.

 

Whats the most valuable piece of advice you could share with someone whos looking to take their sales pitch to the next level?

The most valuable piece of advice I would share is find a product you believe in. My sales success has come from trusting the product so much that I believe I am doing every dental practice a favor by informing them about Torch. Torch is such an amazing product. I truly believe that every dental office can benefit from the platform, so my conversations are genuine and my passion for Torch is heard through every call.

 

 

Hanyul Lee
Sales Director

Hanyul Lee is the sales director of Celonis, a platform for an execution management system (EMS). He believes that empathy for the client is the driving force in a successful sales pitch, and by combining empathy with active listening and due diligence, the customer will feel both important and heard. 

 

Whats the key to a successful sales pitch, and why?

Empathy. The capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference. 

Do your due diligence, and come with a position or hypothesis on the problems they are facing, and how the thing you are selling them can help solve that problem. But once you have the opportunity to sit across the table from them, put that aside and engage in active listening. Then, take what you heard, marry it with what you prepared, and provide a point of view. What you have done is shared with the person that they are important enough for you to spend time preparing for the conversation, and that their words are important enough for you to stop and listen.

 

Whats one change youve made thats really elevated your sales pitch? What impact has that change had on your sales success?

About six years ago, I was introduced to a new sales framework that I follow in most of my meetings now.

Hanyul Lee's Sales Framework

  1. You have a problem
  2. The world around you is changing
  3. What happens if you don't change
  4. There is a better way

This simple framework has had high impact by providing me a mechanism to show that level of empathy I talked about in the first question. Instead of focusing on what we bring, we start out by wrapping our narrative around what is important to the potential customer.

 

Whats the most valuable piece of advice you could share with someone whos looking to take their sales pitch to the next level?

Be other-centered. Try to understand what is important to the decision-maker on the other side of the table, and anchor your message around that. Don’t force the other party into your world — try to initially reside in theirs.

 

Michael Rosenberg
Sales Manager

At SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company, Sales Manager Michael Rosenberg focuses on the needs of his audience rather than a preconditioned pitch. By doing research beforehand and connecting on a personal and professional level, Rosenberg’s combination of knowledge and authenticity frequently leads to a successful deal.

 

Whats the key to a successful sales pitch, and why?

I like to focus on what the audience needs and to make sure I am not just another salesperson pushing a product or service. In my experience, there is not just one key that makes a sales pitch successful, but many keys, like playing a piano. I try to strike the right chords at the right time by serving as an industry consultant.

 

Whats one change youve made thats really elevated your sales pitch? What impact has that change had on your sales success?

My pitch is constantly evolving, depending on the audience and their needs, however recently, I began to educate my existing and prospective clients about consumer retirement plans and how most consumers don’t understand their financial options post-retirement. Since SmartAsset’s mission is to help consumers make smart financial decisions (including planning for retirement), it’s important to view our product and service offerings through the lens of the consumer. Sharing insight into a product’s benefits and tools and painting a compelling picture for why our product will help is a great opportunity for sales success. This new approach has shortened the sales cycle from pitch to close and has personally helped me close more business on a consistent basis.

 

The best pitches are typically the ones where I connect with a financial advisor on multiple levels — personally and professionally — and also share a few laughs.

 

Whats the most valuable piece of advice you could share with someone whos looking to take their sales pitch to the next level?

Be authentic and lean into your personality. There are so many different ways to leverage and adapt your sales pitch to be successful, and different styles can work for different people. If you are knowledgeable in all aspects of your product and can adapt your sales approach depending on your audience, then don't be afraid to be yourself. The best pitches are typically the ones where I connect with a financial advisor on multiple levels — personally and professionally — and also share a few laughs.

 

Holly Glowaty
EVP of Merchants

At Prizeout, a platform for innovative branded currency, EVP of Merchants Holly Glowaty combines research, communication and personal connection to close her deals. By finding out how a customer measures success and then having a conversation on a person-to-person level, a sales pitch has a much higher chance to prosper.

 

Whats the key to a successful sales pitch, and why?

Do your research. If you come to a sales pitch after having done your research on the company, you will feel confident and you will come armed with the right kind of information. If you have come to just talk at a prospect, without understanding how your product or service will help them reach their goals, you won’t get anywhere. In a nutshell, get to know the company goals, and ask your contact how they measure success (i.e. Are they measured by money they save? Number of new users?). If you can’t help them measure success, why should they work with you?

 

Whats one change youve made thats really elevated your sales pitch? What impact has that change had on your sales success?

I stopped using a deck. I send it afterwards, or I send a 60-second or less video ahead of time, so that everyone has a general understanding of the product. I want to spend my first call understanding the potential client and tailoring whatever materials I send over afterwards to their needs. If need be, I do a demo, but most of the time it is a conversation.

 

Stop making it about you. Make it about the client.

 

Whats the most valuable piece of advice you could share with someone whos looking to take their sales pitch to the next level?

Stop making it about you. Make it about the client. Come prepared with an agenda so that you control the discussion, but make sure you know who you are pitching and ask questions that are thoughtful. A conversation between two humans is much more effective and impactful than running through a deck.

 

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