Podcast
2
min read

A Guide To Better Pitches And Sales Calls

Published:
May 16, 2023
Updated:
September 18, 2023
Listen on Apple Podcasts

The Guest

Stephen Steers is President of Steers Consulting Group where he helps SMBs, Startups and teams tell the stories that get their customers excited to buy. Stephen has consulted, advised, and led workshops for more than 700 companies from 28 countries, he’s been a business advisor, sales growth specialist, a stand-up comedian, and he’s here today to tell us how to pitch better and close deals.

The Interview

After surviving a near-fatal accident in a previous role as a field project manager in NYC, Stephen Steers took stock of his life and made a choice to get into sales consulting.

“After that near-death experience, I took stock of my life,” explains Stephen. “And I came to the conclusion that if I was going to die, I wanted to die doing something I wanted to do. After some reflection on the things in my life that had meaning, I settled on blending my love of people and marketing into a career as a sales consultant and I haven’t looked back.”

Selling seems like a skill everyone in marketing and advertising would naturally have, but after leading workshops for over 700 different companies, Stephen has some thoughts as to why there is a disconnect between selling ability and marketing.

“A lot of people are scared of asking for what they want from life,” says Stephen. “That’s why people are half-assing it. In marketing, we expect people to come to us because we have “a thing,” but you have to be able to tell the stories that get people to buy, and those effective stories are not about you, they are about the customers and how you can tell their stories better, not your own. The reason a lot of people suck at selling is that they miss the main point of solving, not selling.”

Stephen also had some interesting thoughts about introverts vs. extroverts and how successful selling is not a natural skill, but a result of having the right approach, planning, and process.

“I work with a lot of entrepreneurs,” begins Stephen. “They know the importance of having the right tools for a job, and sales is the same thing; it’s a process with humans as the elements that need to move through that system. People think charisma is the way to close a deal but that’s not true. You need to have a reliable process, which is covered in my presentation planning cheat sheet (download link below).”

Stephen then goes on to share his “superpower framework” for selling, which outlines 4 major questions that need to be answered in order for the selling to be effective.

  1. What is at stake for the audience if they take no action?
  2. What does your audience want to learn or achieve?
  3. Are you clear on what you want your audience to feel?
  4. Tell people exactly what to do next. 

“65-70% of information is retained when told in story form,” says Stephen. “So it’s important to have impactful stories that help your audience feel something. A massive percentage of decisions are made subconsciously, and then we use the remaining 5% of our cognition to support the decision with logic. Stories that have emotion at the center are super powerful.”

For more tips on how to keep your pitches and sales calls focused on the audience’s problem, details on how meeting structure can be the most powerful way to navigate feedback, and why Stephen prefers Teddy Pendergrass over Luther Vandross, listen to the show at the links provided.   

The Links

Steers Sales Consulting Website
Presentation Planning Cheat Sheet
Stephen on LinkedIn

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