No matter what industry you’re in, ultimately, you’re selling to humans, and that means psychological principles should drive your sales strategy. Using research-backed theories can help you master your sales pitch, whether you’re selling to visitors on your website, customers in your store or clients at an office. Use these tips to create a sales pitch for your team that causes customers to realize it just makes perfect sense to purchase from your business.

Research Your Customers’ Needs — Including Ones They Haven’t Considered

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that basic needs must be met before people are motivated to obtain other desires. Food, water and shelter come first, followed by safety and security, then psychological needs like a feeling of belonging and love, and ultimately, self-actualization. Using the hierarchy pyramid, identify where your service or product fits in to people’s needs. As you craft your sales pitch, focus on how you fill the void.

Strive to think beyond the obvious. A study of 400 people, by corporate sales training service Corporate Visions, found that pitches that address “unconsidered needs” first are more effective than pitches addressing customers’ stated needs, stated needs with value-added services, and stated needs followed by unconsidered needs. By leading your pitch with a need that is unconsidered, your business can bring more uniqueness and better quality compared to competitors who address the obvious.

Appealing to Emotions Will Help You Master Your Sales Pitch

All the statistics you gather and research you do to prove that your product or service is worthwhile can help you solidify your reputation in your space. However, ultimately, it’s emotional triggers that compel customers to buy. The facts you present help them feel more confident in their decision, but might not be the reason they buy. Research reported by Harvard Business Review shows 95 percent of purchase decisions happen unconsciously, based on emotional responses that are backed up by logical reason. You have to hook customer attention before they’ll consider purchasing.

Once you’ve nailed down customer needs, devise ways to address those needs by targeting emotions. How do customers feel when this need is not fulfilled? How will they feel when you fulfill this need? How can you make the way you position your product or service more relatable and personable to your target customers?

Inbound marketing software HubSpot suggests creating a pitch that targets buying decisions made because of feelings of greed, envy, altruism, fear, pride or shame. Some of these triggers have negative connotations, but you can balance them out by using emotion-fueled copy and images that focus on qualities like warmth, humor, love and generosity. Humanizing your brand can trigger a response in customers that makes them trust in your business and want to purchase from you.

Use a Call to Action to Move Customers Along the Customer Journey

Taking the time to research and create a compelling pitch loses effectiveness when you don’t give customers direction on action to take next. The power of calls to action (CTA)  are evident in these web stats reported by inbound marketing services firm protocol 80:

  • Emails with a CTA increase clicks by 371 percent and sales by 1,617 percent
  • CTAs within videos can improve clicks by 380 percent
  • CTAs on a Facebook page can increase click-through rates by 285 percent

Calls to action work because they fit in with the psychological principle of the perceptual set theory. Humans expect a CTA and are mentally prepared to act on it when they’re being pitched something. Acting on CTAs also fulfills humans’ curiosity, affinity for anticipation and love for rewards. If the potential customer has made it far enough along in your sales pitch where they’re now invested in your product, not providing a CTA can be downright frustrating if they crave taking action. In other words, don’t be afraid to ask for the order.

Plus, many of your competitors might not be using a CTA. The National Association of Sales Professionals reports 85 percent of interactions between sales reps and prospects lack them. Asking for the order is an easy way to gain an edge.

Lead with the Relationship, Not the Sale

The best sales pitches don’t seem like sales pitches at all. The salesperson simply cares about the well-being of the person they’re selling to, and wants to help them with their product or service. Knowing where customers might need help comes through relationship building. The customer is not just a number—they’re someone you and your business care about.

From before you even start your pitch, you can work on making every move one that strengthens your relationship with whom you’re selling to. You can master your sales pitch by focusing on the results of a survey customers have filled out, which identifies their needs. Throughout the buying journey, continue to ask for feedback so you can provide more tailored solutions. Glean data from email marketing behavior, social media interactions, website visits and more to constantly learn about your customers. Then, create marketing materials that align with evolving consumer behaviors. Encourage customers to get to know your business, by opening your brand up to questions and comments on social channels and blogs, and participate in discussions.

Trust is a leading factor in customers’ purchase decisions. Forbes reports when customers trust a brand, 83 percent will recommend it to others, and 82 percent will be loyal shoppers of that business. The top way to build trust and credibility with customers is to only sell solutions that are in your target customers’ best interests. To learn what those are, you’ll have to invest time and resources into building meaningful relationships. In other words, if they trust you, and trust that you have their best interests at heart, they will trust your brand.

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