Almost everything your business does online will be a pitch to some degree. Your websites, your social media pages and your newsletters are all forms of sales pitch. That email you sent out to a former customer casually enquiring whether or not they may be interested in another service? Yep, that’s a sales pitch too. Your witty and charming blog posts about the services you offer? Sales pitch!
All of your online communication should be focussed towards building brand awareness and ultimately converting potential interest into sales, whether you want to hook your audience in there and then or go nice and slow to catch that monkey. The best sales pitches won’t look like sales pitches, and neither will they be narcissistic enough to suggest that your mere presence is a dream come true for the customers you wish to attract.
So, what if your sales pitches are not working? If your online communications are falling on deaf ears (or blind eyes), there is a good chance you are making one or more of these common mistakes:
1. It’s all about you
Empathy is the most important asset for any sales person. Knowing what your audience want is vital in producing sales copy, and the last thing any customer will want to read about is you. We have all been stuck at a party talking to the guy who won’t shut up about himself, and we all know that this is both tedious and unattractive. Don’t be the sales version of him; use your online communications to talk about your customers – what they want, what they need – and only bring it back to your company when you are proposing a way to help them.
When it comes to Facebook posts, talk about industry developments or your local community rather than trying to desperately tell people how wonderful your business is – otherwise, you risk being the kid at the back of the class with his hand up, yelling ‘pick me, pick me!’
2. It’s not interesting
If you are having to tell people to share your links or forward your emails, you clearly do not have faith in the quality of your pitch. If your content is interesting and truly appealing, your audience will spread your message for you without question. Judge your content on this basis – if you feel you have to coax people into reading or sharing it, it is not ready to be seen. Take your time to craft a message of real value and you will find your audience does much of the hard work for you.
3. It’s the wrong length
If anyone tells you they know the perfect length for a marketing pitch, they are either lying or deluded. In reality, each pitch will have it’s own natural length, whether this is ten words or one thousand. Quality will always triumph over quantity; if you opt for a pitch that is too short, you may fail to convince, whilst a pitch that is too long will almost certainly be repetitive and commit the cardinal sin of being dull. Once you have finished your copy, go back and ensure that every single word is relevant and that you have conveyed all the salient information you need to without waffling on.
4. You’re targeting the wrong people
It is not just what you say that can cause your sales pitches to fail, but also who you say it to. If you were trying to sell ice, you are not likely to travel to Siberia to peddle your wares, so why do the same online? If you are getting no response from good quality pitches, you may simply be directing them to the wrong people. Make sure you know your audience and find channels through which to target them effectively.
5. There’s too much (or too little) hyperbole
The best sales pitch will evoke emotions amongst readers without stretching credulity. The two extremes offer uninspiring, prosaic facts on one hand or slimy, too-good-to-be-true sales talk on the other. You should be aiming in the middle of these two extremes, striking a tone (and including information) that draws an emotional response without insulting your readers’ intelligence. Surprising your audience and provoking a reaction will help galvanise them into buying your products or using your services, whilst promising them a free car with every biro they buy will ensure they never trust your business again.