11 Pieces of Advice for Improving Your Sales Pitch

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Pitching your service or product to a potential client or customer is terrifying -- and vital. Here are 11 tips for selling better from women founders who are getting it right.

By the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) Q. What is one piece of advice any entrepreneur can use to improve their sales pitch?

kelsey Meyer

A. Sell the Benefits, Not the Features

We realized early on that people don't want to buy what you do. They want to buy what will help them. If you can explain how your product or service benefits the customer instead of simply numbering off benefits, you'll have a much more compelling pitch. - Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

Shradha AgarwalA. Have a Conversation

A sales pitch should be a two-way dialogue to build a partnership around a sales solution to a client problem. Women sometimes focus too much on their pitch and perfecting the delivery, but don't leave enough room to listen, adapt and have a conversation. It's important to establish a relationship with a client and not focus solely on the sales transaction. - Shradha Agarwal, ContextMedia

Vanessa Van EdwardsA. Use Power Body Language

Most people only focus on what they say in their pitch, but I like to focus on how you say it. One of the most powerful sales body language tools you can use is power posing. The more space you take up, the more confident you appear and feel. When pitching, expand your body, use the arm rests, relax your shoulders back and keep your head up. Women can use this to increase their credibility. - Vanessa Van Edwards, Science of People

Nathalie Lussier

A. Listen to What the Client Is Asking

Many times we are so focused on selling what we know will be helpful to potential clients instead of listening to what it is they really want. Once you hear them say it, you can see if what you're selling is a good match or not. If it is, you can repeat their words back to them and explain how your product or service will help them get there. - Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media Inc.

Alexandra Levit 2A. Customize Your Pitch

One sales pitch does not fit all. Be prepared to refine your pitch for each type of customer you approach. This may mean doing research on a particular industry and its pain points, but the more knowledgeable you appear, the more likely the prospective client will be to trust that you can help. - Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

Amanda Barbara

A. Keep It Short, Sweet and Simple

Keep it short and sweet, and use universal language. The worst sales pitch has words the everyday person wouldn’t understand. Remember your pitch needs to be simple, clear and concise. - Amanda Barbara, Pubslush

Erica BellA. Test Different Pitch Methods

Your sales pitch is all about getting someone to that "aha" moment, and the key is figuring out what is going to get them there quickly and without confusion. Does this mean distinguishing yourself from competitors, pitching yourself, pitching your ideas or driving home your value prop? Test to find what combination works best for you and your company. -Erica Bell, Hukkster

Jenny Blake

A. Show, Don't Sell

If you can listen deeply, ask powerful questions and deliver value before any contracts are signed, your potential clients will have a perception of you that is much more powerful than a sales pitch. - Jenny Blake, Jenny Blake

Natalie McNeilA. Tell Your Story

Most markets are pretty saturated, and you're competing against a lot of other businesses to land new clients. So, what do you really have that no one else does? Your story. Share more about you, the "why" behind creating this product or service and the values you stand by as you build your business. - Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

Kim KaupeA. Ditch the 'Ums' and 'Uhs'

During a sales pitch, you must multi-task -- listen, explain and capture the audience all at once. While trying to get from one point to another, fight the urge to fill the silence with "um" or "uh." Never be afraid of a slight pause to give everyone a minute to absorb the information. Speaking without a filler will also help your message come across in a concise and confident way. - Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

Elizabeth SaundersA. Leave Them Hungry for More

A sales pitch is about whetting people's appetites for what you have to offer and not stuffing them with information. Be comfortable with letting your potential client talk a lot more than you do. Keep it sweet and to the point, and then shut up and let them decide. When you come from a place of confidence in your value and offer, you don't need to go on and on trying to prove something. - Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®