The Psychology of Sales – Pitches that Rock!

How often have you seen an ad on television or in print and felt that the product  was exactly right for you?

What about services that are offered? Do you sometimes feel like they really know how you feel and think when listening to their sales pitch?

What is THE quality that will make your pitch attractive to your client?

Let’s look at a car advertisement.  A car has four wheels, an engine and a very long list of features and options. But what is highlighted in the ads that you see in print, online or on the television? If it is a 4WD you normally see a vista of the amazing outdoors with cars driving up mountains, across streams and deserts. If it is a smart expensive sports car it normally has elegantly dressed models in front of chic offices.

Here is an excellent example in a Toyota advertisement.

What is the psychology behind this ad? Firstly they have a very healthy advertising budget (keep that in mind next time you buy a new car), they have carefully researched their target market and thirdly they have presented the benefits of the product not the features. Benefits are all about the buyer whereas features are all about the product. Like it or not most potential buyers/clients only think about themselves in that 30 seconds or so you have to gain their attention and it is benefits that sell products or services not features. This add says nothing about the features of the car but all about what the potential purchasers want to do with that car when they get one. Be honest doesn’t it make you want to go to the car dealer and buy one?

Listen to the words of the song “Long shadows, clear blue sky, the early morning breeze, wide plains, road trains, a bright new day ahead of me…” is saying “Buy one of these and you too can spend the rest of your life having fun in the outback” and nothing about the superior suspension, road clearance, colours it comes in or the size of the wheels. 

It presents benefits that the potential purchaser will find attractive not the features and talks directly to the purchaser’s emotions. Benefits tap into the emotional heart and gut of the potential client not the analytical head which is where features are stored. Features are statements that a client can say “So what” to and don’t provide a pervasive reason to say YES to the product or service.

How can this be related to our pitches as VAs?

I am sure you all have a very impressive list of features your service offers. Here are some of the common phrases:

  • Experienced in Word, Excel, Photoshop
  • Many years as a [insert occupation]
  • Attention to detail
  • Fast turnaround service etc etc etc

All of these statements are ones that your potential client can say “Ho hum, so do all the others” about. It is a list of features. Let’s think about how we might present these as benefits to the client rather than features.

  • You don’t have to worry as I am proficient in the software you use in your business as I am up to date in [insert software names]
  • I know exactly what issues you face as a [insert occupation] from many years experience in the field.
  • Never worry again about checking the work provided as my attention to detail is top class
  • Do you have tight deadlines to meet? Our service has fast turnaround times.

Each time we have a client that is mentally thinking “Yes that is one of my concerns. Wow this business will fix that for me. What is their phone number?” This is all happening at a deeper psychological level of course, but none the less this is how to differentiate you from the hundreds of others out there competing for the same clients or customers unwilling to pay for a service you offer.

So whenever you are thinking about writing a pitch for a new client just stand on your head, turn yourself inside out and think of the benefits of the product or service in the eyes of the client and not the features we tend to think of so easily.

My thanks to Rosie from Virtually Yours who inspired the topic of this blog please check out her website by clicking here.

Would you like a complementary, zero obligation marketing audit?