Two Unintuitive Tips for Pitching Your Services

Last week, I shared my story about helping Josh improve the Pitch Deck for his new startup. This week, I wanted to share two specific pitch tips that I think are missed by 90% of service providers when they try to sell their services. These tips are important to learn, but unintuitive to most subject matter experts selling their services.

At the end of this post, I’ll also share with you a video link for my uncensored critique of Josh’s pitch deck, as well as a preview of our new Sales Jumpstart Course.

It’s something I’m calling Sales Sharktank, and I think you’ll enjoy the whole experience.

But before we get to the video, I wanted to share two big tips that came through in my critique of Josh’s pitch deck. Let’s get right to the tips.

Unintuitive Tip #1: Don’t show the details of your methodology

When you become a subject matter expert, especially in the beginning, there’s always a bit of a question in your head about whether you truly deserve to be considered an expert.

So we are tempted to validate our expertise to anyone who will listen, and over-explain our solutions. To the point where it sounds both desperate AND it gives away our intellectual capital.

That’s exactly what I did during my first pitch decks. I gave away the solution that I was trying to sell – a solution worth thousands of dollars – for FREE to anyone who would listen. All because I was insecure about my level of expertise and wanted to be taken seriously. I thought that if I didn’t reveal my secrets, they would think I was a fraud.

Everyone goes through this phase when getting their business off of the ground, and it looked like Josh was falling into the same trap. He was giving away his research methodology – aka his work product – right in plain sight in his pitch deck. If the client wanted to deconstruct how his product worked, it was all right there for them to take.

So I worked with Josh to implement a fix. Instead of sharing the details of his methodology (features), focus on how that methodology delivers results (benefits).

It worked wonders, and he closed the deal on his next pitch.

Lesson learned: Trust your expertise, and focus on the results you deliver. And never give away your trade secrets to win a deal.

Unintuitive Tip #2: Never put your prices in a sales deck

Let’s walk through a scenario. You give two sales presentations in the same day, and they were polar opposites. One of them went well. The prospective client was loving your banter, and they seemed genuinely interested in acquiring your help. You scheduled 60 minutes, but the call went for almost two hours. They saw your pricing, and grinned when asking for a proposal. They knew they were getting a steal. 

The second pitch was like walking into a brick wall. No smiles, no banter with the prospect. You finished 30 minutes early, and they had no questions about your service. Next steps? Probably not. 

You know that your chance of closing the second deal is nil, but you put your pricing out there anyway. Same deck, same price, two different reactions.

The happy prospect thinks they are getting a bargain for your services, and they can’t wait to sign. The other prospect? They think you are a scam-artist.

You should have never revealed the price, because the only direction it can go now is down.

Lesson learned: When you are providing services, your prices are rarely “fixed.” There are too many factors that go into pricing your services. Each time you deliver a service, the estimate will vary. So building fixed-pricing into your deck is doing everyone a disservice. It’s assuming each client has the same needs, and it doesn’t give you any room to navigate the price you can charge each client. More on this in the Sales Sharktank video.

Want to see the whole critique of Josh’s sales deck? Enter the Sales Sharktank and get a preview of Sales Jumpstart.

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