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Whether you speak to your prospects on a call or meet them during a physical event - the first thing they hear from you is usually a pitch. But hearing a tight product pitch at the start will drive them away from your booth. As Will Aitken says, “Pitches have gotten a bit of a bad reputation.” Your pitch has to sound less technical and more relatable.

As a part of session 12 of our Outbound for Dummies series, Will Aitken, Chief Vice Directing President at, breaks down the fundamental elements of a pitch and the do’s and don’ts to follow.

Before we look at the session learnings, let’s see why sales pitches are necessary and why you can’t just wing them. 

Why are Sales Pitches Important?

1. You can assess it: Cold calling needs a lot of experimentation. Some pitches might work for a target market, and some might miss the mark. To understand what works, you can follow a loose script and note down parts that aren’t working. Your tweaks will click for a line of prospects, and soon, you can have your winning template.

2. You can change it: Based on the prospect you’re speaking to and how they reply to your questions - you can mould your strong pitch in a few seconds without missing the value proposition.

3. You can build trust: Great pitches help get your prospect’s attention. Including good scoops of research, their pain points, and tailored messaging to the pitch adds more credibility to your name.

4. You can welcome more opportunities: A sales pitch helps you secure more meetings or future conversations. And if you have a pitch that has worked in the past, you increase the chances of moving your prospect down the funnel using a similar approach.

5. You can overcome objections: Your sales pitch can help you avoid any common objections you or your team might have heard while sending your outreach. By making this change, you can put the prospect at ease right from the start.

Now, over to Will! 

Role of an SDR in the Pitching Process

An SDR's job does not include doing complete discovery, says Will.

They usually end up going too deep into the discovery role. An SDR should be able to get someone interested/curious enough - that’s all.

The mistake starts when SDRs start selling their product right from the get-go.

Their sole focus should only be to get someone interested in the product/service. The first call/email should only give a tiny whiff about you and your product. 

The Key Elements of a Pitch

There are 4 parts of a good pitch. Here’s what they are:

1. Be relevant - it’s not about you, it’s about your prospects 
2. Talk about their problem(s)
3. Cover a little bit about how you can help 
4. Give a CTA to continue the conversation

A pitch should have very little to do about you and the company. You have to listen and talk more about the customer.

Your statements and conversation should make the customer go, “Yes, this is for me!”

Outbound is basically talking to totally uninterested people. People who aren’t aware of your product. So we can’t start telling them something about the product when they don’t think they need it.

And so, your pitch should talk about what is wrong with the way they’re doing something today - A.K.A the problem.

Make sure you don’t miss your CTA in the end. It can be a question to have a future meeting or something that will continue the conversation. 

How to Do the Background Work?

It depends on where you’re speaking to the prospect.

If you meet someone at an event or a coffee shop, you must ask more questions instead of going straight for the pitch. As, you will have little or no information about them. Unlike on a cold call or an email, where you have the time to do all your research.

Ask 1-2 questions to begin the conversation. That way, you know what to say and where you need to make amends to your pitch. For e.g., You can ask them what teams they work with to judge if your product would make sense for them or their team.

And if we’re talking about cold emails/calls - you need to build targeted lists. To make sure you know something about them while talking to them.

If you build a prospect list where all of them have a similar trait, you can approach them by highlighting that shared problem or trait.


Pitching to Gatekeepers

You can tell the gatekeeper everything about your product and try to use all the required buzzwords, but that won’t do anything for you.

Why? Because their job is to get rid of you.

What you can do: Ask them if their CFO/CEO (or the prospect in question) is facing the problem your team is working toward and get more information.

Hot tip: If you’re talking to someone lower in the organization, you must adopt a more tactical approach. With a C-level executive, you must be more strategic. 

How to Ask the Prospect About Their Process

This is where probing questions help.

When you go around telling people they’re doing something wrong, you welcome heavy resistance. Instead, you can ask them tactical questions. (Which are not broad)

You can start with a good opener, covering the problem. E.g., “Hey, noticed you recently had an acquisition. I’ve noticed when someone acquires a new tool, they face a few problems…{list the problems}. We help with that by doing {x}. How are you getting your sellers comfortable talking about the new acquisition?”

Once you’ve established the problem in the opener, you can ask more probing questions. Talk about the issues and see if they can relate. If yes, ask them additional questions and learn more about that pain point.

As soon as they admit they see this as a problem, book a meeting. Ask them if they’re willing to have an informed conversation about it. That’s it.

As an SDR, you will barely have time to conduct a full discovery or talk at length. You shouldn’t go any deeper than the problem identification. If you do, you’ll lose their interest.

Hot tip: When asked, “At what point should you connect your product to the problem?” Will said - You can do this once you cover the problem. Don’t get too much into the how until you get their interest. Your plan should be to get a meeting booked where they get to learn the how.

Listen to minute 17 of the session to hear Will give a great example of why you shouldn’t go too deep into the how. 

What Not to Say During Your Pitch? 

Some don’ts that you need to be mindful of during your next call.

1. Never directly start by talking about the product. It has to be all about your prospect.

2. Don’t be too vague or broad. It’ll get hard to comprehend, and prospects will fail to understand why you’re calling and how you can help them. Be specific wherever possible.

3. If your pitch is too technical, you’re pushing everyone away. Make it very easy to understand. It has to pass the ‘toddler test,’ as in, anyone should be able to understand what you’re saying, especially a toddler.  

Hot tip: In every past pitch, see if it is more about you or your product. The ratio should be a 2/3rd (about prospects) to a 1/3rd mix (you/product). 

Scripting Vs Going With the Flow

We asked Will if he prefers to stick to a script or follow none during a call.

He says you must practice your script to such an extent that it soon stops sounding like a script. And going with the flow without practice is risky.

You must practice till it's etched in your mind. At the same time, never read from a script because it will become evident that you’re reading, and it will dissuade the prospect immediately.

Listen to the entire session recording below whenever you want to. The last few minutes of the session have Will covering a pitch that recently impressed him. :) 

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