Many companies overlook developing a clear and concise message about their company for their salespeople and employees who interact with customers. This oversight cost these companies more than just sales; it can have a negative impact on your brand image as well.
I have seen countless companies leave this important step in the sales process up to each individual sales representative to determine the best way to present the company. The problem with this strategy is each salesperson will have different levels of ability when it comes to developing and delivering your companies elevator pitch. Some salespeople when left on their own to develop the message will say things that would make you cringe. Why leave this important tool up to chance?
Think about it, prospects make an initial decision about your salespeople and company in the first 15 to 90 seconds of a conversation. With that said, your salespeople need to be able to create enough curiosity about your product or service in that amount of time, so that the prospect wants to find out more. If this is not done properly, your salespeople will be fighting an uphill battle and may struggle to get future meetings with a prospect that has been turned off by what a salesperson says in that initial conversation.
As you can see it is important for every company, no matter the size to develop the message you want your employees to deliver to prospects or any time they have to talk about what makes your company unique.
Has your company developed its ideal message to deliver to prospects yet? If not you should make it a priority to start developing one as soon as possible.
Here are some tips to consider when developing your elevator speech:
- Develop your message with your target market in mind. Always ask yourself, if what you are saying in your elevator speech is important to the customers you target? A test of whether something should or should not be included, is does something resonate or not resonate with your current best customers? If it does not, it’s most likely not important to a prospect either.
- Focus on the results you provide. You don’t want to get bogged down in how you do it. If you speak about results you provide, it will trigger the how you do it questions after the elevator speech. If they ask the how question, you have them engaged in a conversation.
- Focus on your prospects needs rather than your own needs. One way to answer how you focus on customer’s needs is to think about the ways your company regularly meets standard industry needs.
- Don’t make your elevator speech too long. Ideally it will be under 90 seconds, but it is not uncommon for them to go as long as 2 or 3 minutes. You do want to make sure you have trained your salespeople what to say next, but the elevator pitch is designed to grab the attention of the people it is being shared with.
- Make sure it includes your USP Unique Selling Proposition. Include things that make you better and different from your competitors. If your elevator speech sounds just like everyone else who presents to a prospective customer, they will look primarily at price for the difference between companies.
- Keep your elevator speech up to date and relevant. You should review the elevator speech your team uses at least 1 time per year to be sure it is standing the test of time. Is the information still relevant? Has technology changed? Has the economy changed? Has the competition changed? Etc…
- Is your elevator speech in line with your mission and vision statements? Is it in line with your current strategic planning? You need to make sure that your message supports the company’s mission.
- Make your salespeople learn your elevator speech word for word. Have them recite it to you word for word. Once they can do this, you know they will adjust it to their individual style, but they need to have a clear understanding of the message the company wants delivered. If you don’t make them learn it word for word, they will probably be sending a different message than you want.
- Interview some of your best current clients to find out why they think you are better than you’re competitors. They are on the same side of the table as your prospects and can provide you with incredible insight.
- Make sure your management team and best sales people are involved in the development of your elevator speech (pitch).
A great place to see both good and bad elevator speeches is to watch hopeful entrepreneurs present their products to potential investors on ABC’s television show the “Shark Tank”. You can see instantly if the entrepreneur’s message connects with the cast members. You can also see the cast members telling these hopefuls what their elevator pitch should be. They constantly pull out additional values in the products that the entrepreneurs did not see in the product.
Let me close with these words of advice. Developing the ideal elevator speech is of utmost importance to every company. It is important enough to have your management team included in the creation of the elevator speech. Don’t leave it up to each individual to develop their own message about your product, service or company. Your brand is far too important.
Please let me know your thoughts. What advice would you give to readers of this blog post on the subject of the ideal elevator speech (pitch)?
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reasons people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou or visit www.whybuyfromyou.com.