Monday, August 26, 2013

Is Your Elevator Pitch Any Good?

Do you have the Perfect Elevator Pitch?

Can you tell what you do in a concise compelling way? Most people can't. If you can say what you do in 25 words try again. So here is how to make your Elevator Pitch efficient and effective.

The classic elevator pitch. It's a major challenge that every sales person, marketer, and entrepreneur must do. The concept is really quite simple: all you need to do is communicate what you do in the time it takes to ride an elevator from ground level until the door opens and you have to leave. Now we are not talking Willis Tower here. We are talking about your normal building that gives you 55 seconds or less. You only have about 55 seconds to get in and get out and leave a powerful message with enough of a hook to get someone to continue the conversation after exiting, ask for your business card or have a catch praise they will not forget. At Larson & Associates I have 2, “We make good businesses great and great businesses even better!” AND “We bother people at lunch not at dinner.”

Everyone needs a simple and concise way to explain what they do. It is one of the keys to successfully prospecting, networking, events, chance meetings and parties for getting new business. Unfortunately most people explain themselves comes off self indulgent and boring resulting in wasted conversations and fruitless encounters or what they say is so dumb and cute no one is really going to take it serious.

Here is the typical wrong way:

Hi, my name is Joe Smith and I am the CEO of ABC Widgets. We help companies grow and we give great customer service. Do you have any widget needs?

The people on the receiving end may or may not think they need blue #2 widgets. Most of the time they are only thinking about what they are going to say to you.  In this pitch there is nothing to compelling in this pitch to further a conversation. The only hope you have to continue the conversation is the hope they have for you want to buy what they are offering.

A powerful elevator pitch, needs to communicate a compelling value proposition that attracts customers to buy that in a nut shell fills a need gives them a fast reason they will love to buy or a fear if they don’t buy they will have great pain in their lives.  If your working a room this will help you efficiently weed through a large group of people, stopping only for meaningful conversations with real potential customers. Here is a step-by-step process on how it's done:

Step 1--Connect with Empathy: Create a specific pain statement or a major pleasure statement for the prospect you want to have a conversation with. Remember you only want to talk to people who are willing to pay for the problems you solve not everyone in the room. Don’t waste your time:

Say you want to work with companies with revenue over $5,000,000 who need a just-in-time manufacturer of blue widgets #2, and they are only a $1,000,000 dollar company; let the thing alone the right?

If the person does not meet your target move on. I once knew a guy that would only sell typesetting to ad agencies on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. If your ad agency was on Wabash or Wacker Drive, forget it he would not call on you. He would not call on you if you were an agency that his best friend worked at. You did not meet his target. If the person you’re talking too doesn’t fit or know someone who does, they can answer no and you can move on, and the good news is you have only spent less than 20 seconds.  But if their company is suffering from the issue you targeted or what you offer is such a good feel they can’t help themselves and they fit your target, you'll be actually see their faces drop as they identify with the pain of get a big smile when they have the need too’s or the pleasure your service will bring them.  Now you immediately look smart and empathetic as they affirm that the picture you painted is terrible and frustrating or will bring them the ultimate joy of their lives. You have gained their attention.

Step 2--Offer an Objective Solution: Now you got your prospect not only listening but they just got vulnerable. They are thinking you might be pretty smart and insightful. Don't prove them wrong by trying to close. Continue showing them how smart you are by offering up an objective solution to their issues. You might try something like “Wouldn't it be great if ...”?

For example: Wouldn't it be great if there were a company that could design and produce blue widgets #2 and deliver “just-in-time” that makes brings down your warehouse costs and storage needs and lets you be more efficient and lets your salespeople close more deals?

If people don't respond positively to this statement then they weren't really connecting in Step 1 and you can move on having only wasted 45 seconds total now. Those who you have connected with should be now hanging on every word and nodding their heads, thankful that someone finally gets their frustration or understands what brings them great joy.

Step 3--Provide Differentiation: You are 90% there. The best way to close is by not closing but by by explaining why only you are the best choice to provide the very solution they need. You have to be ready with a couple of points that will truly differentiate you from your competition. Note that "Experience" or "Great Customer Service" doesn’t cut it. Everyone has great experience and fantastic customer service. Using the kinds of things everyone else says won't make you stand out since all of your competitors claim the exact same even if it's not true. To have a true differentiator you need something your competitor can't do or won't do without great effort or expense.

Here's the finish: My company uses proven project management and internal design with the tightest turn times in the industry with online or phone ordering systems designed to match your internal requirements to deliver blue #2 widget to your specifications on your dock when you need them every time!   If you would like Ill email you a link to our company web site.

If they say no, you only wasted 1 minute 17 seconds. If they say yes, you have succeeded in starting not just a conversation but a targeted prospect that has a high degree of success to be doing business with.

Now just in case you missed it, the last line is incredibly important because it gives you permission to get and use their email and continue the relationship. Even if you aren't a writer, have content like white papers, videos or blog posts ready to email and support your pitch as promised. As Hank Trisler says: “People buy on emotion and justify with facts.”

Larson Notes & Satire:  Easy and hard to get what you need to say into tight compact words. Work on it, test it, and practice it. And as you practice it, you will get better till it becomes natural.

And if you want your business to be more and have more, call us for an appointment.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

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