There are LOADS of articles about this very subject because it is one that so many people do not spend time working on for their business.
Ask anyone that has an ‘elevator pitch’ or ’60 second infomercial’ worked out and they’ll all tell you that it takes the pressure off and ensures that when an opportunity presents itself, they are ready and able to succinctly and effectively get their business message across in less than 60 seconds. Thus not boring the listener to death and also, hopefully, creating a good first impression, most likely a lead into an interesting and beneficial conversation and at best a new business contact, or even customer.
So what makes up an effective 60 second pitch?
Firstly you need the basics:
Your name and your business name (eg. Hi I’m Steve and I run Pluming Gurus Direct)
Next get a good, short, description of the products or services that you offer – be SPECIFIC! The likelihood is that you know your business inside out, but remember that the person you’re speaking to won’t, so think baby steps – what is it specifically that is your main business service or product?
Keep it simple; if you have a number of things on offer don’t reel off everything you do or you’ll have your listener snoozing in no time, choose one to three things that are your main focus and explain briefly what they are.
Sell the benefits!
So next is the important bit and the part many people miss due to focusing on the product or service rather than the benefit. You are after all selling a solution, not a product so now’s your chance to explain, nice and simply why using your business will make life so much better for your customer.
Think outside the box a little and again, choose one to three benefits that are relevant to the products or services you’ve already mentioned.
For example, when you’re selling swimming pools, really you’re just selling a hole filled with water but your customer is buying it because they want the lifestyle. The pool parties with friends, the lounging in the sun with a cocktail on a sunny day and enjoying the rays, the laughter of children, the cool reflective waters… (I bet you’re daydreaming now about sitting by a pool somewhere hot and all that brings! I know I am).
So mention the benefits:
- How will your customer feel when they buy from you?
- What will they experience?
- What difference will it make to their life?
- What solution are you providing for their problem?
Once you have that down focus on who your perfect customer would be.
- Are they old, middle aged or young?
- Maybe they’re a stay at home mum or an executive in a corporation.
- Where do they shop/go/visit?
- What are their interests?
- What would they be saying if they were in need of your product or service?
Perhaps if you offer sports massage your perfect customer would be a person who’s training for a marathon and need help to make sure they’re up to peek performance and able to compete safely and effectively?
You want the person you’re speaking with to understand who this person is, where they would see them and what sort of things they would deb saying. That way, when they stumble across this very situation, you will be the first thing on their minds and bam! there’s your referral. Not only any old referral, but the exact referral you were looking for.
Once you have your pitch worked out, write it down, read it out loud and get comfortable with it. You want to know the script so well that you can easily tweak it to suit the conversation you’re in.
Yes it will come in very handy at networking meetings where you need to stand and be formal and direct in saying exactly who you are, what you do and what you’re after. But you also want it to work when you’re chatting to another parent on the school run, waiting in the doctors surgery or mingling at a drinks party. If you feel comfortable with your script you’ll get the message across and not come across as pushy or obnoxious, just interesting and self assured.
There is a skill to giving the perfect ‘infomercial’ but with the proper planning and preparation you can be one of those people you meet who effortlessly and confidently gets their message across in the perfect way.
It’s very easy to chat about the weather and miss great networking opportunities. Usually it’s because you simply don’t feel comfortable ‘selling’ your business to other people. By being organised you don’t have to feel that way. You can know that you can get your message across quickly and easily and then let the conversation flow from there.
After all, you never know who you’ll meet next and it’s always good to be prepared.
Author: Sophie Jewry, The Holistic Directory