Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ditch the pitch

My weekly blog post on s+b explores improvisation as a sales tool, as described in a new book by Steve Yastrow:

Improvisational Selling

I like sales pitches about as much as vampires like garlic. Steve Yastrow clearly feels the same way. In his new book, Ditch the Pitch: The Art of Improvised Persuasion (SelectBooks, 2014), the sales and
marketing consultant lists some reasons why sales pitches are so often ineffective: They’re all about the seller, they’re monologues, they don’t connect the buyer’s offering to customer’s needs, and so on.

This won’t come as news to most professional salespeople, especially those who sell large-scale, B2B solutions. They already know that delivering a pitch in a warm conference room, with low lighting and a few hundred PowerPoint slides, is more a cure for chronic insomnia than a prescription for sales success. The problem is knowing what to do instead.

Yastrow thinks that salespeople should learn to improvise. In Ditch the Pitch, he applies the principles of improvisational acting to sales conversations. This is a terrific idea: Like improvisation, selling requires being in the moment, listening to what’s being said by the other players, and responding in a collaborative manner to move the process forward.

Although improvisational skills can be a valuable addition to a sales professional’s toolbox, Ditch the Pitch should have come with a few the rest here

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