Monday, April 01, 2013
Your 30-secs Elevator Sales Pitch is Dead... Fix it now!
Refer to these 4 tips to strategise and create a sales pitch that doesn't sound like it was written in 1900s.
"The elevator speech is dead, or at least it should be," says Cliff Suttle, author of The Anti-Elevator Speech. "Elevator speeches are too long, too boring, and too pushy."
Based on his sales training, he said, "Most sales trainer highlighted that an elevator speech is a pre-planned 30-second-to-two-minute response to the question 'So what do you do?'". Business people today have become hyper-sensitive to commercials. If anything even hints at being sales-y or fake sounding, people will tune out. "The goal of networking is not to gather sales leads, but to start genuine relationships and that begins with a conversation, not a sales pitch." says Suttle.
Suttle has created a system that replaces the old, worn-out elevator speech with a new approach that, he says, will have people clamoring to speak with you. He mentioned that is his podcast, The Million Dollar Mindset, recently. He shared a number of thought-provoking insights about the old, worn out elevator speech. Here are some highlights from his four tips to supercharge your networking.
1. Start with a hook.
When someone asks, "what do you do," start with a short statement designed to peak their curiosity. This statement should NOT lead the listener to any preconceived notion. It should not include any details about how you do what you do. So a car dealer may say, "I get you where you need to go." A realtor may start with "I make sure you have a warm place by the fire." An investment counselor might begin with "I help you sleep well at night." In CommGate, we say, "As A Technology Profit Partner to Businesses, We help businesses to succeed". Notice that none of these mention how they do what they do, but they will all lead the listener to ask "what do you mean," which is the beginning of your conversation. Focus on delivery here--because you really don't want this statement to sound too contrived.
2. Stop Talking.
After you deliver your hook it's important to shut up. Don't just do something, stand there. You need to give the listener time to contemplate what you just said, get confused, and want to know more. When they ask, "what do you mean," they've invested in the conversation giving you permission to give them more details. Without the silence the hook won't work.
3. Reel them in.
After a successful hook, don't launch into a sales pitch or commercial. Your hook does not give you permission to blast them between the eyes. Ease into the next part of the Anti-Elevator Speech with what I like to call the reel. Begin to tell how you do what you do, but don't give away the show. No good mystery movie starts out with, "the butler did it." The movie keeps you in suspense until you're dying to know. You want to do this too. I ran an IT software company for over 10 years where I used this hook/reel combination--Hook: You dream it up, we make it happen. Reel: We make your computer do what you bought it to do in the first place. A hook/reel combination like this will normally lead to the question, "what do you mean." Now you've earned the right to give them the details.
4. Serve, don't sell.
If you have crafted a good hook and reel you should now have them securely in a conversation. However, I always mentor people to have the mindset of "how can I serve you," "how can I be of help" and NOT "what can I sell you." Remain focused on your listener's needs, not on your needs. The more you give to the world, the more the world gives back to you. As simple as that.
Now practice! How can you deliver an Anti-Elevator Speech instead of the old, boring commercial that's come to be expected at networking events? Share your new approach with us here, or on Twitter or Facebook.