Have you ever gone into a sales meeting overwhelmed by what to say, how to say it, or even what messaging to present! You are not alone. Many entrepreneurs are not natural born sales people. Yet, going in unprepared is the worst possible thing you can do. It is a recipe for a sure “NO” from a buyer.

Businesses are unique entities. Each store, each region, each buyer, and each channel has its own nuances and the key to delivering a killer sales pitch that will land you the account starts with understanding what those nuances are.

Here are four simple steps to help you deliver a killer sales pitch:

1. BE PREPARED – GO IN ARMED WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS

Doing your homework before going into a sales meeting is crucial, so here are a few ideas to help you prepare.

PRE-WORK: Go in and visit the business before the meeting. Analyze what the retailer’s current product offering is. What do they have on the shelf right now? How do they like to merchandise?

COMPARISON: Know how you compare with the products in the store. Go in with a full understanding of how you can

SAMPLES: Bring finished samples. This seems elementary, but it is really important that the buyer can experience your product on a sensory level.

DISTRIBUTION: Be prepared with a distribution model of how you can physically get your product to their stores.

PROMOTIONS: Have an understanding of what promotional calendar will best be suited for the account and the marketing opportunities available.

PRICING: Work out costs for the account in advance so that you’ll be able to speak confidently about your pricing strategy.

2. BE AUTHENTIC & MAKE IT YOUR GOAL TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP

Be personable, tell your story, and show your enthusiasm for your product. Approach each buyer with a fresh and positive outlook and make it your goal to build a meaningful relationship. Even if the buyer is not warm and responsive, be respectful and be open because everyone appreciates authenticity and it will make a difference in the long run. To help establish rapport, get the buyer talking. If possible, find something personal to connect on. Finding a way to converse about something other than the business transaction will help to build a genuine relationship. Also, ask the buyer questions on topics that you are familiar with in your category (i.e. how is this category doing in general, what are you looking for in terms of new items, etc).

3. DEMONSTRATE HOW YOU WILL SUPPORT YOUR BRAND’S GROWTH

Show the buyer that you want to work with them to grow your brand – whether that is creating a product/flavor they are requesting or in the way you are doing business with them by delivering on what you promise (i.e. specific numbers). Be honest when answering questions and don’t promise something you can’t deliver. Explain why something may not work (i.e. an unappealing flavor) and walk them through the reasons why OR conversely tell them that you will go explore how you might be able to make their request work if you think you can deliver.

4. MAKE THEM LOVE YOU BY UNDERSTANDING THEIR NEEDS & SOLVING THEIR PROBLEMS

Be a problem solver. Ask yourself how you can best go to this retailer and help them solve their problems. To understand the retailer’s needs means that you have to do some research. Ask around the industry, talk to your brokers and sales teams, read up on articles about the customer, visit their website and spend time exploring what is important to them. If a buyer engages you about your product offering, use it as an opportunity to engage with them about what other needs they have. What are the other things that they have coming down the pipeline that you can address? Ask. This way you can really be that problem solver that they need you to be. Believe, and they will love you for it!

Walking into a sales meeting is easier if you are prepared and approach the buyer as if you are going in to meet with a new friend. You want to share the things that are important about you and your brand and you want to understand what is important to the buyer you are meeting. How can you support this person and make their life easier? Going in with the friend approach will help make you feel more comfortable and it will lay the foundation for a lasting business relationship that you can take to the bank.

To learn how to create your own custom killer sales pitch, sign up at www.JenniferLove.com to be notified of the next release of the ‘Million Dollar Sales Pitch’ online training program.