Let’s say after a quick meeting with your client, you’re hurrying down the elevator for the next appointment. But the elevator stops midway and in steps the CEO of a company, you so wanted to work at…
The door closes and you know you’ve only got about 30 seconds to grab her interest and impress her. What’s your line?
Now that was a hypothetical situation, which you may never encounter in your life, but the essence here is about the ‘Elevator Pitch’ – A quick and snappy statement which helps to pitch yourself or your company to a prospect, client, HR Manager or an Investor, who you meet for a brief moment in the pursuit to spark interest and open doors for further engagement.
Though the ‘elevator situation’ is a rare occurrence, we do time and again encounter a similar window of opportunity in meetings, dinners and networking events, when someone will ask the inevitable question, “So what do you do?”
Your answer to this question will put you in either of the following 4 personality boxes (Courtesy: www.jillkonrath.com):
1. The Minimiser
These people position themselves via their titles or their products/services with a very concise and brief response and they don’t like ‘bragging’.
For example: I’m a Social Media Manager, or I sell software.
Minimisers suffer the ‘disconnect’ by not saying enough. Boxing yourself within a title or a product can easily get you stereotyped, and people are not interested to learn more, because they assume to already know what you do.
2. The Rambler
Ramblers are the ones who drive everyone nuts as they babble on-and-on, oblivious to their ‘not so positive’ effect to the listeners. Either they are too obsessed with their product/services, or they talk about everything under the sun in the hope that something will eventually catch your fancy, which only gives a sense of desperation.
3. The Impresser
An Impresser puts all the effort in putting himself as a ‘cut above the rest’. Basically blowing his own trumpet to impress you. He occasionally name-drops and uses high sounding words with industry jargons and acronyms to display his intellect and ‘repertoire’.
This is also a huge ‘put-off’ to the prospects or listeners, as people do feel intimated with big words and don’t like the smell of ‘intellectual superiority’ or ‘elitism’.
4. The Attractor
The Attractor’s elevator pitch gets right to the heart, as it's relevant, magnetic and highly focused on the needs and easing the pain points of the right listeners.
The Attractor immediately grabs the interest of the listeners and invites them by stimulating further conversations and engagement.
“I help small businesses win big contracts with large corporate customers.”
“I work with people who are struggling to sell their products or services into large corporate accounts.”
If you’re looking to build yourself and your team to be the Attractor, please find below 5 steps to craft ‘killer’ Elevator Pitches:
1. Who’s Your Target Market?
It's important for the people listening to your elevator pitch to know what kind of businesses or people you are dealing with – precisely.
The more you spell out exactly who you work with, the clearer the prospects are about your target market and they can relate immediately. It could be; Tech Companies, Project Management firms, Executives, Salespersons, Hospitality Professionals, Entrepreneurs or Lawyers, etc. Being specific helps you to narrow down on only the prospects who are interested and those who would benefit from your business.
2. Indicate The Problems/Challenges Solved By Your Product/Services.
Your target customers or prospects are mostly interested to hear whether or not you can solve their problems. They’re not concerned about your products or processes, but are keen to learn how you can leverage their businesses by addressing their challenges.
The trick is to focus on the ‘outcomes’ the customers will receive and not ‘what you do’. Some of the specific problems you or your business tackles could be; customer turnover, high labour costs, lack of innovation, increased competition, workflow bottlenecks, decreased profits, etc.
This step requires that you brainstorm and come up with as many such challenges as possible, with your team – and then narrow them down later.
3. Capture The ‘Feeling’ of Target Market About The Challenges.
This step helps to generate the ‘emotional’ feel which compelling Elevator Pitches possess. It's important to connect with the prospective client on an ‘emotional’ level.
If the words you use in your elevator pitch appeal to their heart, or if they find it resonating with how they feel towards their problems – then you have hit the jackpot. Some of the powerful words you can use are; Frustrated, Concerned, Struggling, Confused, etc.
The prospects could identify with the words immediately and even feel that you seem to be talking about their company.
4. List The Outcomes Customers Get When Using Your Product/Service.
Again, the prospects are only interested and seeking the answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?"
How can your product/service benefit them, in which way? What facets of their business are you going to improve? As a rule of thumb, the negative aspects of any business are ‘reduced’ whereas positive aspects are ‘enhanced’ or ‘improved’.
For example: Decrease turnover, increase cash flow, stimulate new business opportunities, eliminate bottlenecks in production, improve customer loyalty, etc.
The more specific you are with the outcomes, the better the customers find it to be genuine and professional. For instance, how much percentage can you reduce turnover?
5. Refine The List And Prepare Your Pitch.
Now you need to go back and review all the problems/challenges identified in Step 2. Out of these, select 2-3 of the most appropriate ones, you think you could solve for your customers.
Move back to Step 3 and scan the list of words that describe how your prospects/customers feel about these challenges. Select two of the most descriptive words which describe how your target customers feel.
The final step is to look into the benefits or Outcome List from Step 4 and pick out 2-3 that resonates most with your targeted customers.
Now you can go ahead and write your Elevator Pitch as prescribed below by Jill Konrath:
1. For the ‘Problem-Centered Elevator Pitch’, you can work with the following formula:
I/We work with (insert target market)
…who are (insert ‘feeling’ word)
…with (insert ‘problem’/’issues’ you solve)
Before: I’m a Sales development Specialist (Minimiser)
After: I work with small-to-medium sized manufacturing companies who are struggling with
unpredictable revenue streams and profitable growth (Attractor)
2. For the ‘Benefit-Centered Elevator Pitch’, you can work with the following formula:
I/we work with /help (target market)
… who want to (describe what your customers want).
Before: We sell and implement fully-integrated CRM systems that are compatible with all the
major data base applications utilised by the Fortune 500 companies. (Impresser)
After: We help large corporations who want to effectively use their customer information to drive repeat sales and reduce customer turnover. (Attractor)
Once you’ve crafted your perfect Elevator Pitches, the key is to practice your delivery as much as you can. Because at the end of the day, no matter how good your Elevator Pitches are, if you cannot present it with ‘confidence’, ‘passion’ and the right mix of ‘energy’, you may risk losing your prospects who could take you as distracting or off-putting.
If you'd like more assistance with your sales/lead generaton or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Website is element7digital.com.au