If you’re looking to get more signups for your product or service, spinning a good sale is critical to your success.

But how do you convince customers – who are bombarded with marketing messages daily – that your offering will benefit them?

Here at Crowdfund Campus, we have created two independent simulations – one focusing on sales, one on investment –within our Sandpit platform, enabling students to practice their pitches and get into the mindset of both customers and creators. Both exercises are designed to bring together all the components of business planning to help the budding entrepreneurs of tomorrow understand how to generate ideas that appeal to the public – and how to position them so they are also attractive to investors.

Over the next couple of months, we are going to share with you some of the secrets of pitching success – both in our simulated space, and in the real world. Up first: how to create a sales pitch that earns the interest (and investment) of customers.

Sales Pitch Success Tip #1: Grab the Attention of Your Audience

Most people judge others and their ideas quickly (really quickly), so it is important to open your pitch with a crystal clear proposition that’s summarised in just a few sentences – and directly addresses your audience. This will help potential customers understand what you are offering, and encourage them to keep reading on. Remember, whilst you might love the details of your product or service, your customers aren’t interested in it per se; rather, they want to know what it will do for them. How will it solve their problems? How will it help them achieve their goals? How will it save them money, or time? The first rule of selling to consumers is to show them what they are going to get, so translate your product’s features into your customer’s benefits and prove why they should purchase it.

Sales Pitch Success Tip #2: Promote Confidence

Once you have established interest, you need to go on to establish confidence. As such, your narrative should demonstrate why you believe in your product or service – without hyperbole or faux-friendliness. Present the problems that you are trying to solve, and explain why your product will challenge the status quo. Use statistics where possible, rather than relying on opinion only. A good tip is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and answer the key questions they might have – before they actually get chance to ask them! (This might include questions about you – e.g. Why is this idea important to you? What is your role? – as well as questions about the product – e.g. What is its purpose and objective? Why is it unique?)

Sales Pitch Success Tip #3: A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

Don’t underestimate the power of appropriate photos. Whilst a well-written sales pitch is vital, imagery can enhance and add depth to your words, making the whole package more powerful. Choose images which reveal, communicate, and reinforce the key features of your service or product, and the people behind it. Pictures also help to structure your pitch, and prevent the audience getting bogged down in all the written detail. Remember, online readers are naturally impatient, so well-organised text – with a good dose of imagery and white space – is the best way to keep their attention.

Sales Pitch Success Tip #4: Show and Tell

Most crowdfunding platforms – including our own Sandpit and Crowdfund Campus sites – let you upload a video to support your written and visual materials. With research showing that this is one of the first things people look at, the importance of your showreel cannot be overstated. Keep the video short (around three minutes is plenty) and tell your story in a clear and passionate, but professional, way. Use everyday language to communicate your core ideas and, like your written material, make sure you focus on the value to the customer (technical or historical details, whilst interesting to you, tend to be superfluous to a consumer). Ensure you keep it consistent, too, so that the message and branding of the video supports and enhances the rest of your sales pitch.

Your sales pitch is your first point of contact with potential customers, so make sure you leave a fantastic first impression. Don’t dash it off and hope for the best. Plan it. Refine it. Then use a platform like the Sandpit to test, tweak and modify it until you’re sure you can’t do any better. Your sales pitch can make you – or break you. Good luck!

Check back next month for tips on how to pitch to investors.