Before Frank Underwood even started climbing the ranks in Washington, Netflix knew they had a runaway hit on their hands. With it’s 33 million worldwide subscribers at the time, all Netflix had to do was take a look at the user data to see there was a strong following of director David Fincher (The Social Network), Kevin Spacey films were quite popular, and across the pond, the British version of “House of Cards” was gaining traction. The recipe for the next super series was all laid out, and surprise, surprise, it worked. That’s the kind of plan that only Frank could cook up, or is it?

You can apply Netflix’s formula to your sales pitch. Are you running the same demo every time? Are you showing the same slide deck to every prospect? I sure hope not (unless you’re my competition). Today I want to share how you can use Netflix’s formula to craft the ultimate sales pitch and win more deals. You’ll need to do a bit of work, but who said sales was easy?

Shut up and listen

Your sale will likely include a discovery call. If you don’t have this in your sales process, that’s the first thing you need to work on. You should be using this time to actually learn about your prospect – most reps just qualify in/out. This is when you need to be listening, you’ll have your chance to sell later. You’re trying to find your “Kevin Spacey” and “David Fincher,” that’s it. Try to record the discovery call so you don’t have to worry about taking detailed notes. This allows you to focus on the conversation.

At the end of the discovery call, say “Thank you,” book your next meeting a day later, and get to work. Approach the discovery call as if you were going to work for this person. The goal is to come away with enough information that will allow you to craft the perfect demo, or the customized sales pitch. You want to build a demo so irresistible that they will not be able to say “no.”

Get to the Oval Office

Take the information from your discovery call, and personalize the demo or sales pitch. It’s so easy to use generic data; don’t do it. You want to stand out from the competition. As Tom Tunguz wrote this week, customers see very few differences between you and the competition, it’s your job to prevent this. A custom crafted demo or sales pitch is an excellent way to do this. You have a trove of information from the discovery call, use it. If you’re a storage company, you should be demoing with the prospect’s marketing materials from their website. If you’re a lead generation service, demo with leads that the prospect wants to buy while they’re on the phone. Make it irresistible.

Here’s a quick checklist for building a personalized sales pitch:

  • You repeat the problem that the prospect is having
  • All sample data is customized to the prospects industry
  • You’ve looked for any recent press releases about your prospect’s company on Google News
  • Get right to the solution, small talk is nice, but ending a meeting ahead of schedule is better

Build your House of Cards

It may seem simple and straightforward, but a personalized sales pitch is critical to closing a deal. Today’s sales reps are getting lazy. You can stand out from the competition by showing you understand your prospect and the problem they are having. Open your ears, prove you know how to listen and present a sales pitch that Frank Underwood would be proud of.

What are your tips and tricks for building the perfect sales pitch? What questions are you asking in your discovery call? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Are you a sales rep that knows how to nail a sales pitch?
Come work with me.