7 sales pitch tactics that actually work

From a marketing perspective, the old saying "you can never make a second first impression" means you better have a stellar pitch. And with the increasingly crowded and competitive digital space, making your first introduction stand out to a potential client may seem daunting. To find out how the top young professionals are approaching the matter, iMedia asked seven members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question: In a vast sea of marketing and service provider pitches, what is the most effective tactic that salespeople use to get you to take their calls or set up a meeting?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Having a great product

Carlo Cisco,  SELECT

"In marketing, the best products tend to rise to the top. When I look at calls I've actually taken, it's mostly with companies I've heard of before and so I want to learn more about their solution. Sometimes I'm hesitant even in that situation, but I operate under the assumption that they should know more about their product than I do, so I'm gaining useful information by having the call."

Inviting me to a valuable event

Nanxi Liu, Enplug

"A sales rep from an HR service company reached out to me early on when I first started Enplug. At the time, we didn't need their services yet. He kept in touch with me and would regularly invite me to value-added events where I might meet potential customers. He even introduced me to someone who became one of my investors. A year later, I signed on to use their company to manage our HR."

Providing value upfront

Suzanne Smith, Social Impact Architects

"The best thing that a salesperson can do is provide value to me (e.g. an article, an idea) without any expectation of sales. It gives me a sample of their work and shows commitment to my needs. It is a win-win mindset that always works."

Keeping it short and sweet

Adam Stillman, Ditto Holdings

"When I see a long email, my eyes begin to glaze over like I'm taking the SAT. The shorter the better. I also like when things are spaced out; a paragraph shouldn't be longer than four sentences. A trick that works on me is sending an email one week, then sending a super-short follow-up the next week. The short follow-up email tricks my brain and gets me to read the previous email as well."

Being realistic and honest

Jason Grill, JGrill Media | Sock 101

"The worst thing a marketing or service provider can do is make unrealistic and unreasonable statements about how much they or their product can help your business. If they are straight with me and don't sugarcoat things, that's better. Honesty and a realistic approach goes a long way toward getting someone to take a call or set up a meeting."

Sending a well-crafted, benefits-focused email

Steli Efti, Close.io

"To stand out, send a well-crafted, highly personalized cold email with a specific subject line (questions work well). Be short and succinct. Quickly demonstrate what's in it for me -- just enough to pique my interest. (You should understand enough about my business to tell me the one main benefit I'd get from becoming your customer.) Finish off by asking for a quick call on a specific time and date."

Personalizing the copy

Brewster Stanislaw, Inside Social

"We've trained our brains to tune out marketing copy automatically; the same isn't true for content that specifically relates to our businesses. This isn't about merely using my name or the name of my business in an email -- we all know that's easy. Personalization is about taking the time to truly understand my business and how your solution fits with it and writing copy that reflects that learning."

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