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Why Sales Pitches Don’t Work Like Before

How many email messages are in your inbox right now? 100? 1,000? 10,000? And how many other commercials and ads have you seen today on television, newspapers, billboards, or social media? How many ads have you heard on the radio or podcasts?

Research tells us that many people receive more than 3,000 sales pitches every single day. The number of marketing messages has been growing for many years, so this is not a new phenomenon. But as a result of this trend, we now find ourselves in a situation where target audiences are so inundated that it is nearly impossible for your message to break through.

Compounding the problem is the fact that so many of these sales pitches really suck.

In decades past, running an advertising campaign was an expensive proposition, so organizations spent time and money carefully crafting them. They weren’t all great, but they also weren’t all terrible.

These days, even B2B pitches for products or services that cost millions of dollars can be gimmicky, irritating, and uninformative. Many of the most annoying practices from B2C marketing have invaded the B2B space with results that are sometimes positive in the short term but almost always negative in the long run.

The net effect of these two trends—the deluge of messages and the decrease in the quality of those messages—is that prospects are more likely than ever to tune out what you have to say. Messages that might have worked well five years ago just don’t cut it anymore.

But every challenge also presents an opportunity, and that is certainly true in this case.

Now is the perfect time to re-craft your sales message. In a world where most sales pitches are pretty awful, you can stand out by having a pitch that is really great.

And by “great,” I don’t mean especially clever or funny. I mean a pitch that is really effective because it highlights the customer’s need and points out how your product or service meets that need better than any other option.

One way to get starting on improving your message is by creating a “stadium pitch” or “template sales pitch.” This is a document or possibly a set of presentation slides that captures all your key messages in one place. Your salespeople can then tailor that template pitch to meet the needs of their individual sales prospects, and your marketing people might also use it to help with the creation of marketing materials.

This approach is effective for a couple of reasons.

First, it can fly under the radar. If you announced that you planned to change all the strategic sales messages for your organization, you would need to get buy-in from a lot of different people in a lot of different departments—maybe even all the way up to the president or CEO. But if you are just working on a template, that seems like ordinary day-to-day work, and it is much easier to complete the project in a timely manner without going through unnecessary layers of approval.

Second, it takes advantage of people’s natural laziness. Salespeople don’t want to write new email messages or phone scripts or PowerPoint decks every time they need them. If you can provide a template, chances are pretty good that people will use it.

The trick, of course, is in making sure that your new sales pitch is really good enough to cut through all the noise in the market. For some tips, check out the webinar on Building a Better Sales Pitch. It walks you through the process and tells you the seven key ingredients your pitch should include.

Another helpful resource is the webinar on Creating Content That Actually Works. It includes ten proven strategies that you can use for making your sales and marketing messages more effective.

Most sales pitches aren’t as effective as they used to be. But if you take the time to craft a really compelling message, your organization’s pitch can be more effective than ever.

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