“Sales Suggestion: Unless you’re talking baseball, leave
the word “pitch” totally out of your vocabulary.”
I’d also add removing it from your consciousness.
Why does that one little word bother me (and many other sales professionals) so much?
Well, because words are important. I remember first learning from the great sales trainer Tom Hopkins, in his book, How to Master The Art of Selling that some words instill a prospect with confidence and other words cause fear and concern. “Pitch” would be in the second category.
Think about it. What is the most noted use of the word, “pitch” (singers and roofers please forgive me)? That’s right; an action taken by a pitcher in baseball And, what is the pitcher’s job? To strike the batter out.
In other words, a pitch is something you do to someone and not with good intent.
In sales, you’re doing something for someone (or, even with someone) with the best intent; adding value to their lives.
“Okay, but, does it really hurt to use that word when you’re not in front of a prospect or customer?”
I believe it does, for two reasons:
First, if you’re using it, that is how you’re thinking of the sales process, whether you realize it consciously or not.
Secondly, if you’re using it when you’re not in front of someone you shouldn’t use it in front of, you’ll probably one day mistakenly use it in front of someone you shouldn’t use it in front of.
Habits are key.
So, what would be a good replacement word for “pitch?”
How about “presentation.”
Do you agree? Disagree? Am I being too word-focused? I’d love to know your thoughts.