Crafting the perfect sales pitch is a tricky thing. It takes time and thought, and a deep understanding of your ideal client. It also takes finesse. There are times when leading with your sales pitch is the best way to go. There are other times when you want to lead with something a little more subtle to build your relationship with the client. In these instances, leading with value might be your best option.
As with most marketing strategies, there is no clear-cut answer to whether leading with a sales pitch is better than leading with value.
There are situations when leading with a sales pitch is your best choice. There are other situations where leading with value is the better play.
What is your goal?
The first thing you want to look at when creating your sales tactic is: what is your end goal? If your end goal is to boost sales regardless of the timeline, then either strategy can work. If your end goal is to trigger an immediate boost in sales, you will likely want to lead with the sales pitch.
If your end goal is to build up your email list, then leading with value will likely be your best strategy. You want to look at the time frame you’re working on and your marketing campaign’s goal before you choose which strategy to employ.
Other factors to consider
While your end goal is the primary factor to consider, other pieces will help you determine what sales strategy you use.
One of those is the conversion rate. Let’s compare sales to cold clients versus sales to warm clients. When you lead with a sales pitch, you are usually pitching a cold client. This is someone who doesn’t know much, if anything, about your business or you. This is someone who may or may not know anything about your product.
According to an article posted on LinkedIn, the average conversion rate for a cold call is 1% to 2%. That means for every 100 cold calls that you make, you’re likely to get just two even potential sales. Leading with a sales pitch is like a cold call; you will get sales, but you’ll also hear a lot of rejection.
Conversely, the average conversion rate on a warm call is up to 30%. Leading with value is much like a warm call. When you follow up value with a sales pitch, your odds of conversion are much higher.
The conversion speed is where your timeline comes into play. If you’re looking to make sales quickly, then leading with the sales pitch will be your best avenue.
However, if you’re willing to build up a relationship so that your conversion rate is higher down the road, then leading with value is your best choice. Leading with value will get you a higher conversion rate, but it will happen a lot slower than leading with a sales pitch.
Initial Time Spend
When considering your two sales methods, think about how much time you’re willing to spend upfront. The initial time investment required for leading with a sales pitch is much smaller than the initial time investment required for leading with value.
When leading with a sales pitch, all you have to do is perfect that sales pitch and then roll it out repeatedly. It may take just a few hours to create your sales pitch, but now you know what to say.
When you’re leading with value, you will likely spend hours ahead of time creating that value. Whether it’s a white paper, an ebook, or a free learning course, it’s going to require hours and hours of time investment. Yes, you will have that value when you’re done, but the initial outlay of person-hours cannot be overlooked.
Be ready to spend considerable time in the beginning before you can lead with value.
Subsequent Time Spend
On the flip side, once that value is created, you can use it over and over again. You can create a landing page for your ebook, white paper, or learning course and then use that to build relationships with warm clients. There is little work that needs to be done on the back end.
However, when you lead with a sales pitch, you’ll need to continue to make that sales pitch. Each new client receives the same sales pitch. There is nothing that you can carry over from one client to the next.
That means that you may end up spending more time on the backend when you lead with a sales pitch compared to when you lead with value.
Cost to the Client
You also want to look at what you’re selling. What is it going to cost the client in both time and money?
If you’re asking the client to make a quick decision about a $20 product, the odds are that a sales pitch will be effective. It’s a low-price and low-risk purchase, so it’s an easier split-second decision for the client to make.
If you’re trying to get a client to buy something that costs $1,000, leading with a sales pitch will be more challenging. $1,000 is an impactful amount of money. The item they purchase may also require time to train on install.
The client’s cost is essential when determining whether to lead with a sales pitch or to lead with value. Think about how you would react. Would you be willing to give $20 to someone you’ve never met? What about $1,000? What if you’ve received past emails with the company and have already received value from them somehow? Now, would you be willing to spend $20 on one of its products? What about $1,000?
The size of the purchase you ask a client to make will determine if it’s better to lead with a sales pitch or lead with value.
In most instances, sales depend on trust. The more trust that’s required (i.e., the more considerable the outlay of cash), the harder it will be to make the sale.
Value is used to gain trust. Offering someone something of value helps them see that you’re an authority. It helps them trust that what you say is true. When they trust, they’re more likely to hand over their credit card number or a check.
While there is a time and a place to lead with the sales pitch, if you have the time and are willing to work a lot harder upfront, leading with value will better benefit your business in the long run.
Written by Erika Towne