30th June, 2016
How slick is your sales pitch? Can you summarise what your business does in just 60 seconds?
In the movie Jerry Maguire, Dorothy cuts off Jerry’s long-winded declaration of love with the line, “You had me at ‘hello’.”
When you’re talking to people about your business, are you using an unnecessarily long sales pitch that puts customers off? What’s the short version of why your potential customer should fall in love with your business?
The elevator pitch is an essential skill for any business owner, manager or entrepreneur. And it’s critical to refine it so that you can deliver it in under 60 seconds.
To be effective, your pitch must be clear, concise, and tell a story that makes sense to the audience you’re pitching to. It has to grab your listener’s attention, interest them and make them want to know more.
Here are five simple rules.
While it sounds simple, too many people don’t follow this rule.
Rather than waffling on about how great your product or service is, give people a clear idea of what the product or service does and what problem it solves.
Your elevator pitch should never attempt to deliver a crash course on how your product or service works. Talking about nuts and bolts is a sure way of turning the listener off.
Make sure what you’re sharing benefits the listener.
Don’t just tell them what your business does, but what the listener can get out of your company’s products and services. How will your company save them time or money, help them work smarter, or become more competitive?
Adapt what you say to the specific audience, whether it’s a potential customer, bank manager, potential partner or investor.
Keep in mind the needs of the person in front of you. What’s in it for them specifically? How can you meet their needs?
What differentiates your business from the competition? Why should they care?
Are you 20 to 30 percent cheaper than your rivals? Do you offer more convenience or value-added services? Are you the only company in the area (city or country or even on the planet) offering this product or service?
What is your call to action? What do you want the person to do after they’ve finished talking to you?
Can you invite them to a specific webinar or live demo? Don’t just send them off to your website to find out more, you’ll never see them again. Think about what specific action you’d like them to take, and create a call to action to match it.
As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. And this means practicing your spiel out loud in front of the mirror, in front of your partner and family, or even in the shower. You can run through it in your head while you’re at the gym or taking the dog out for a walk.
And while it’s important that your pitch doesn’t sound overly rehearsed, you’ll find that the more you say it, the more comfortable you’ll be with it. The more you feel like you own it, the more natural you’ll sound.
So while Jerry Maguire had Dorothy at hello, you’ve probably got closer to 60 seconds to get your next customer interested and wanting more.
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