Tips on Improving the Quality of Your Written Sales Pitch

help with written sales pitch

When did you last look at the email pitch written by your sales team? If the level of new sales isn’t what you’re expecting, it may be related to the quality of these emails being sent to prospective clients.

Here are tips for enhancing the message that compels prospects to take action:

First, recognise the difference between a verbal and written sales pitch. Your sales team may be outstanding in the realm of a verbal pitch, utilising all the “soft” talents of the tone of voice, appearance, body language, etc. None of that applies to the written sales pitch, so it’s important to be clear on the differences and focus solely on the choice of words and appropriate style (formal, informal).

Do the homework. Prospects are a lot smarter now than “back in the day.” They can tell by the opening line of the sales pitch whether your salesperson knows something about their company or is just winging it. With all the available resources at hand these days, there’s no excuse for not researching the prospect’s current executive team, annual sales figures, social media profiles, company website, corporate initiatives, and so on.

Whether or not any of this information makes its way into the written pitch (and, in most cases, it probably shouldn’t), this knowledge will affect the quality of the email pitch.

Get to the point. One common mistake with writing a sales pitch is thinking some sort of preface or introduction is necessary. Not at all! Busy prospects need to feel you’re getting to the point or they’ll simply click out of the message. Be concise. Let the recipient know only what’s absolutely necessary to know before moving forward.

“The only purpose of a prospecting email is to elicit a response,” notes sales strategist Marc Wayshak. Any “excess information in your email that does not support this intention is actually hurting you.”

Engage the prospect. Pay attention to the flow of the sales pitch. Avoid hopping around from one topic to another, or one tone to another. The trick to engaging a prospect is by moving them from one sentence to the next. And the best way to achieve this is by emphasising—always emphasising—what’s in it for them.

Stress value and benefits, not features. Your product or service likely comes with an impressive range of features, but unless you clearly demonstrate how those features offer value to the customer, you’re wasting your time (and theirs). Examples of value to communicate in an email include:

  • Brief description of how your product can boost sales
  • Offering to send an informative white paper or case study
  • Invitation to a value-added webinar

Another approach involves specifically identifying a problem or challenge your prospect faces. By naming this problem (which implicitly recognises how well you understand their business and industry), you can then “tease” them with a concise description of your proposed solution and then invite them to learn more.

Make your call-to-action specific and compelling. By “learning more,” we mean ending your pitch with a single call-to-action that’s clear and to the point. What would you like the prospect to do after reading your email—opt-in to your newsletter, watch a product-focused video, set up an appointment? Specify your desired goal, while reminding them of the value they’ll receive by taking this action.

Spend time on the email subject line. Sometimes, the best email subject line comes after you’ve crafted a concise, informative and compelling email message. Here’s the place to get creative (while remaining concise), something along the lines of “Game-Changing Idea for Your B2B Business” or “The Hidden Value You Could Be Adding to Your Business Right Now.” Any generic approach will likely end up in the prospect’s spam folder.

There is a definite art and style to winning email sales pitches. Now might be a great time for a thorough reexamination of how your sales pitch is being crafted and take these steps to dramatically improve its quality.


4 Ways to Turbocharge Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Rocket Sketch Against Black

It’s a safe bet that most of your customers are active on social media. Therefore, it stands to reason that your marketing efforts should include reaching out to existing and prospective customers on various social media platforms. But this form of marketing differs from more traditional approaches and if you’re not careful, you risk alienating potential customers who thrive on social media because they don’t want to be subjected to a hard sell.

So how can you leverage the increasingly powerful resource of social media and boost your company’s marketing efforts? Here are four effective strategies to implement:

1. Know where your target audience “lives” on social media. It may be initially tempting to build your company’s presence across the vast spectrum of social media platforms. But the ROI on this approach is minimal since not everyone wants or needs your product or service. Instead, do the necessary research to determine where your target audience hangs out—be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. By concentrating your efforts on one or two channels, you greatly increase the potential for gaining the right kind of followers, in the numbers you’re looking for.

2. Offer content your customers want and need. Social media marketing is a natural extension of your content marketing efforts. By generating informative and useful content, you establish a bond with your customers, which can translate into increased sales and loyalty over the long run. And the best place to promote your content offerings is on your social media platforms.

Just make sure that the content you offer isn’t overtly self-promotional. Focus on producing blog posts, articles, white papers and videos that “provide some key insight in your industry or tell [the audience] something they didn’t know before.”

Then tweet or post a link to this value-rich content and invite your followers to comment on the material and offer insights of their own. Over time, this builds a community of like-minded people that’s a fertile breeding ground for new sales leads.

3. Include a call-to-action (CTA) wherever possible. Yes, we said don’t be self-promotional, but on the other hand, neglecting to include a “next step” for interested consumers amounts to a wasted opportunity. On every social media platform you occupy, there’s a place for your business profile. Always craft a profile that’s enticing to prospective customers, but one that also includes links to your website’s homepage and/or other pages with sales offers and giveaways.

The same principle applies to the content you promote on social media. These articles, blog posts and white papers should include a link towards the end that takes users directly where you want them to go. Links going to your home page from a social media post “are wasted clicks,” notes online marketing expert Jonathan Long. “Nobody has time to try to find offers. Send them directly to your offers, and this will greatly increase your conversion rates.”

4. Listen to what customers are saying. Social media marketing isn’t just about strategies to push content on your followers. Social media is first and foremost about community, and your marketing efforts will be doubly effective if you pay close attention to the topics and concerns expressed by others on your chosen platforms. As time passes, users will respond to your content, but they’ll also have things to say about your products or services (good, bad and ugly), and they expect you to be listening.

Whenever possible, respond to comments and reactions to the content you provide. Always be respectful and, at all costs, avoid getting into ugly online squabbles. These achieve nothing except to tarnish your reputation. Instead, thank commenters for offering feedback and—if those comments focus on product shortcomings or issues—promise to do all you can to make future improvements.

Social media marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness, as long as your strategies accommodate the “rules” of this new frontier.

Want more advice on social media marketing? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!!


9 Experts Reveal What Brand Means to Them


TAB surveyed a number of our longstanding TAB members who were coming up to their retirement. They were asked a series of questions that focused on if they had the time over again, “what would they have done differently?” The answer was somewhat surprising. The theme which emerged was that they would spend more effort on creating a strong brand.  I like to think of your brand as being the “Totality of emotions that you stakeholders have towards you”. That might not be that useful in working how do you shape those emotions, so we asked some experts.

On a theoretical level, business owners know branding is critical to standing out in a competitive market, but on a practical level, do they know what branding really means?

Defining branding is so complex because it encompasses all the little pieces that make your small business what it is. Branding is your company’s web design, but it’s also the way you greet customers as they walk in your front door. It’s what your employees wear, and what your building looks like (or if you even have a building at all). Your “brand” encompasses everything that makes up you, your brand’s image, and your employees.

To get a bigger picture of what branding is and why it’s so important, we asked 9 experts what “brand” means to them. Here’s what they said:

“Small business branding should focus on quality.”
Ian Wright,

Larger companies can focus their brands around lower prices or have the fastest service, etc. – but I think for small companies the focus should be on delivering something better than what larger players can provide. For a coffee shop, that could mean making a better cup of coffee than Starbucks, or for a clothing store, it could be about finding high quality, unique clothes not stocked in major stores.

No matter, what you do, you must show that you’re better than a big brand with millions of dollars in brand spend behind it. If you don’t  you will most likely fail. The good news is that focusing on quality is easy. The bad news is that it takes a lot of time and effort, day in, day out to make sure you’re always delivering a superior product or service.

“When someone can recognise a logo, then the brand is born.”
Chelsey Moter, seoWorks

Branding starts with the logo. I’ve come across so many clients that think they are a designer – they put some clip art together in Microsoft Word and call it a logo. It should be more than just an illustration or some text. It needs to be visually appealing to your audience – not just you.

We live in an era where branding is crucial, and we base our opinions off of what we see. Our attention span keeps getting shorter, and users are only getting smarter. Therefore, if the business’s brand is not visually appealing then users might think whatever they’re selling/promoting isn’t going to be either.

“A brand is a promise.”
Bryan Clayton, GreenPal

Whether you are a national company with a large brand presence or a local plumber, your brand is a promise to your customers that they can have confidence in making a purchasing decision with you.

When you establish your local brand and make your brand promise to your customer, they can hire you with less anxiety than they could with a random business off a Google search or even Craigslist.

Much like our relationships with our friends and family, a successful brand requires consistent deposits into your brand promise. Steady and consistent deposits of quality service or quality product for your customers is what builds up equity in your brand. Your brand promise will compound over months and years, offering a differentiator between you and your local competitors.

“The building block of what your company stands for.”
Connie Chi, Vitality Branding

A business’s brand is its core values. Once you determine this purpose, every decision you make, from hiring to advertising and social media posts, should come back to this core value, which in turn becomes your brand. Branding a business has to be a coherent and consistent message.

“Branding is who you are.”
Jeremy Levi,

The experience customers have with your business – whether positive or negative – is your brand. As a small business, you are initially met with skepticism from many customers. If your brand isn’t airtight, it can be devastating for a small business in terms of lost sales.

When you build your business, you are in essence building your brand. In today’s saturated market, the chances of you selling something unique are slim, and your reputation is what sets you apart.

“A two-way relationship with your target audience.”
Luca Alessandrini, 
Online Optimism

Consumers in the digital age are continuously bombarded with content, which makes them more skeptical of marketing. This is especially true for millennials who have a strong sense for identifying a genuine brand from a brand crafted to sell. To me, branding is the holistic way in which a business develops a two-way relationship with their target audience. This ranges from visual content to internal business strategy. For a small business, it’s extremely important to build trust in the competitive digital landscape we live in.

“A brand is defined by its audience.”
Linda Pophal, Strategic Communications

One key point about branding that many businesses – large and small – tend to overlook, or fail to fully understand, is that a brand is not defined by the company, it’s defined by the audience. Companies can, and should, seek to understand how their brand is being defined by its audiences and can, and should, take steps to attempt to influence those brand perceptions. Just because you want your business to be viewed a certain way, doesn’t mean that you are, or will be

“Experience and expertise.”
Marisa Boevers, ThoughtForm Design

Whether you’re B2B or B2C, you have to think about your customer’s experience from the first touchpoint to the last touchpoint. It could be the quality of coffee in your office, how easy your proposals are to read, or just how easy your product is to open – as a small business, a unique and thoughtful experience is a great differentiator that can be hard to scale for big businesses.

Your brand is also what you know. What you do, say, and demonstrate better than anyone else. Whether it’s a dry cleaner that gets out tough stains or a boutique consultancy that specialises in the industry, customers want the best. Markets are becoming more fractured, and developing niche expertise is a great way to develop a deep brand that stands up against any competition.

“Good branding creates an emotion in your audience.”
Kristin Hardwick, Kristin Hardwick Photography

Branding means having an instantly recognisable voice, in both text and visuals, that your audience sees as your company. From a visual standpoint, brands can choose to be well-styled or more candid. They can choose to be light, airy, and breezy, or dark, dramatic, and intense. If all buying decisions are tied to human emotions, creating your brand to elicit strong emotions (good or bad) from your audience is a smart move.

If you haven’t thought about your business’s brand beyond copy and web design, it may be time to take a closer look at your business’s personality and how your customers perceive it. Across the board, all nine experts agree that your brand is built on the connections you make with your customers.

If your sales are lagging, there’s a good chance your branding may be falling flat. The Alternative Board (TAB) can help you build out your brand to boost sales and your bottom line by putting you in touch with other business owners who have been there and done that. Learn more about TAB’s executive peer advisory service by contacting a local board.


Using Twitter to Promote Your Business

Behind the hype surrounding Twitter is a tool that offers “word-of-mouth” marketing potential, but on the internet. You can use Twitter to promote your business and build customer loyalty by allowing customers to become connected to you and your brand. While it won’t close a sale on its own, it will improve chances that your followers will purchase from you. Here are some tips to make your “tweets” (Twitter posts) more effective.

    • Include a link to your website or to the URL you are referencing.


    • When you discover something related to your industry, go ahead and tweet about it.


    • Ask questions and work to start conversations with your followers. This is a great way to get direct feedback on your buyers’ views and interests.


  • Don’t constantly push your brand. Let prospects learn about you and build a personal bond. Remember, each tweet is limited to 140 characters. Be concise and keep it personal.