The art of preparing your elevator pitch

man typing on desk in front of computer screens preparing his elevator pitch

Preparing your elevator pitch

I read a quote by Sales Guru Zig Ziglar that got me thinking “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” I then began to reflect on my approach to sales and started at the very beginning by reviewing the way I introduce what I do to people…my elevator pitch.

I thought I had nailed my elevator pitch and believed everyone knew what my business has to offer. So I decided to ask my  friends and family what I do and not one person got it right! I run a training consultancy, and therefore was shocked to hear I was both a train driver and a teacher!

At first I was puzzled why this was the case so thought about how I specifically interact with people about my business. I quickly realised that, sometimes, I talked too much about the business, so people had switched off.

In other cases, I had been vague to avoid a long conversation. When faced with approaching potential customers in my network, I had appeared needy and was too quick to sell in what I had to offer.  I needed to contextualise how my business could really benefit them as a customer.

So I decided to up my game and make it very clear to everyone what positive change my business and products could bring to a customer’s world.

I developed a carefully worded pitch to promote my service from the beginning of a conversation.  I found myself talking to everyone naturally and confidently about what we do, which has resulted in more sales and referrals.

My new improved elevator pitch has worked, because a family member told a friend about my business at a party which resulted in me winning my biggest client to date.

I have outlined below the steps I followed to make my very own unique sales pitch and I hope you find this useful.

Step 1: Highlight what we can do for you

A simple catchy 1 sentence about the benefit your business can do for it’s customers for example “I have a training consultancy called Glue Planet, we provide sales, customer service and leadership training that improves performance by ensuring learning sticks.”

Remember to have a key word that you use to explain what you do, my key word is “training”. Make sure your first sentence is memorable to attract attention.

Step 2: Be ready to reveal more

Have a very clear explanation about the benefits your business can provide, or what pain it can remove; what your product or service does and illustrate this with an example.

Always remember that everyone needs to be able to understand and reiterate the message so it needs to be simple and easy to follow. Finally, be explicit on why you are unique and how much you care about what you do. Potential clients like to know about your personal values and why these things are important to you.

Step 3: Back up your success

Customers buy things that work. Share the success of the service, product, your team and the business model you use. If people want to know the price it means they are interested in buying so be open about how much things cost.

Step 4: End with a next step

Ensure a call to action. What’s the next step for someone to buy for – can you arrange to meet with them on a professional basis or visit your website? Be clear on how you can move forward together.

Step 5: Now Listen

Once you have shared your short compelling reason to buy from you, it’s time to really listen to what the other person has to say.

They might ask questions or tell you about their business or profession. Either way it’s important that you listen to understand at this point, or you might miss something important that could result in a sale or useful introduction.

I work on a basis of understanding the following about everyone I know:

Step 6: Follow it up

Make the time to check in with people you have spoken to about your business. Ask for feedback and their thoughts on what they think to your business? Keep you, your product or service firmly on their agenda.

Step 7: Review

Think about how you could make your elevator pitch even better. Look at what the competition says in order to benchmark your success. Film yourself and review your performance.

Look at your body language and the way you deliver the message and ask yourself how you could make this even better?

Again a Zig Ziglar quote that encouraged me to review my elevator pitch delivery was “ timid sales people have skinny kids”
Having a great sales pitch is one thing, but knowing your customer is another. Get the balance right on both and you will be pitching to win.

Why not read about how to maintain a healthy relationship with money as an entrepreneur.

Claire
High & Wise

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