How to Ditch the Sales Pitch and Talk to Your Customers

The Public Speaker talks to author Steve Yastrow about how to use improvisational conversations to meet your customers' needs.

Lisa B. Marshall
2-minute read

One of my biggest pet peeves is being “pitched to” by a salesperson. They typically start with why their product is the answer to all of my needs. The problem is, they don’t know what my needs are because they never bothered to find out.

My friend Steve Yastrow is a business advisor and author of the book, Ditch the Pitch: The Art of Improvised Persuasion. Recently, he explained to me why we need to “ditch the pitch” and use improvisation to persuade our customers.

At a recent customer meeting, a CEO started with, “Steve, why don’t you tell us about your company and the services you offer?” Instead, Steve asked, “Can I ask you a favor? Can we start with you telling me about yourselves and what you do? That will help me understand which parts of my story are relevant to you.”

To move our conversations from ordinary to extraordinary, we need to:

  1. Figure out what’s going on. Diagnose the situation before prescribing a remedy. To do this, ask good questions, listen, and observe before you talk.

  2. Create great conversations. Instead of pitching yourself, generate a conversation and bring your customer into it. Discover their needs and come up with solutions together. This will make them feel like they’ve been heard.

  3. Focus the conversation on the customer. About 95% of your conversation should be about them, not about you or your products.

It’s time to ditch the traditional pitch and start using the art of improvisation to meet your customers’ needs. You can learn more by listening to my full interview with Steve on how to Ditch the Pitch.

This is Lisa B. Marshall, helping you maximize sales, manage perceptions, and enhance leadership through keynotes, workshops, books, and online courses. Passionate about communication; your success is my business.

If you want even more success in your life, I invite you to read my lates book, Smart Talk and listen to my other podcast, Smart Talk: Inspiring Conversations with Exceptional People.

About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.