It’s the festive season and for many of us that is a time for attending work, client and industry functions – a great opportunity to meet new people, and for sales people that can mean new prospects. But are you ready with a clear introductory message. I have been amazed at how many people seem to have lost the art of the quick 30 second introduction that makes an impression. Call it an ‘elevator pitch’ a ”lift pitch’, ‘meeting message’ or a ‘cocktail pitch’, all people in your company who are likely to ‘touch’ a prospective customer should be prepared to give a 30 second introduction that:
- Positions your business in a format fitting YOUR style.
- Creates credibility and trust.
- Provides a statement which will intrigue the other person.
- Provides a statement that will create a reaction and ideally a relevant question from the other person.
An elevator pitch needs to do more than simply state who you are and what you do, it needs to create interest and allow you the opportunity to ask questions of the person, after all the best way to sell is to listen. And it is important that the style of the ‘pitch’ comes natural and does not appear stilted or rehearsed. It is not necessary for every person to have exactly the same wording, but the company message should be consistent.
Sure, the traditional ‘elevator pitch’ was your 30 second ‘grab’ when you bumped into the CEO of a prospect when heading to an appointment with one of his underlings, but today, buyers are more astute than ever. You need to create an immediate interest and a reason for your business card not to end up in the bin when they go through their wallets or look at their smart phones later.
For example, compare:
Hi, I’m Wayne from ABC Print. We are an Australian company providing a complete range of print services. We’ve got a wide range of off-set and digital presses and finishing equipment allowing us to meet the needs of most businesses. (Ho hum, isn’t everyone?)
Hi, I’m Wayne from ABC Print. We are the Australia’s leading provider of environmentally friendly print communications solutions (solutions? this creates intrigue if there is any level of interest). We do everything from stationery for SME’s to print logistics for some of Australia’s most recognised and prestigious brands (credibility, trust, and more intrigue). And we’ve even been recognised as one of the top 3 global businesses with respect to sustainability (more credibility, more intrigue). Now, tell me a bit about your business.
The second says more, raises interest and offers opportunities to extend the conversation if the person so desires, or for you to open the dialogue further by getting them talking about their business.
Here are a few tips for being prepared at your next function – yes, they may sound obvious, but not everyone is listening.
- Always be prepared with your business card to exchange
- Do your homework. If you know the event in advance try to get an attendee list, think about what those attending might have in common
- Pitch at the right level – if you know the person is from a top corporate prospect, don’t waste your time and embarrass yourself by pitching too low.
- KISS – keep it short and simple
- Find an appropriate ‘hook’ to raise their interest
- Follow up – send an email and include something of interest. Send a sample by post. Get them on your mailing list. Diarise to contact and ask for appointment if you think you have something to offer
Now, start to think of what you can say that creates interest. Who wants to be stuck at a party with someone boring.