09 Dec Improving Your Verbal Pitch: How to Sell Your Business in 60 secondsReading Time: 4 minutes
You’ve probably heard of the ‘elevator pitch’ before, which is used a lot in the sales world. It describes a short verbal pitch about whatever it is that someone is selling to a potentially interested party. As in, if they were to only have someone’s attention for the duration of an elevator ascent or descent, how would they make the thing they’re selling (e.g. their business, products, services or themselves) sound interesting and appealing before the other person could get out?
Now I’m not suggesting you go out and start trying to bump into potential clients in lifts / elevators, as that might not always be the best approach to finding new customers. But if you did meet a Grade A prospect for your business in person and you introduced yourself, what would you tell them about what your business offers? The same applies when you’re speaking on the phone, once you’ve asked some good discovery questions to find out about their respective situation and challenges of course. If you haven’t already, take a look at last week’s related article here – Discover New Business Opportunities with Informative Questions.
Being able to articulately summarise what your business does in simple and direct language is a fantastic weapon to have in your arsenal. If you can get it down to a tee, then you’re going to be ready to impress whoever you cross paths with, whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Within 30 to 60 seconds, how would you describe what you do and how you do it better than – and differently to – anybody else? What have your existing clients achieved thanks to what you have done for them? If you don’t have yours perfected yet it’d be worth spending some time to refine and rehearse it. The trick is not to rush. It needs to sound natural, conversational and not pre-scripted.
How to build yours
Here’s a template to use as a starting point, although you’ll most likely want to make it sound less formal and more personalised once you’ve decided what key information to include:
At [insert your company name] we [insert brief product or service description] that our customers have used to address [insert common customer challenges]. The results have been significant for a good number of our clients in the [insert industry type]. What we do differently to other [insert company type] is [insert USP]. This means that our customers have been able to achieve [insert common customer outcomes].
How much of a focus does your company have on [insert relevant customer goals] over the next 12 months?
You’ll notice the open question at the end to help you get an idea of how your pitch came across and how relevant your offering is. If the person is interested to know more, then perhaps you’ll get an opportunity to put a more formal pitch and presentation together (which hopefully won’t need to be delivered in an elevator next time). Give it a go. Write one out for your business and learn it off by heart.
Practise and adapt
Just like when learning a speech or the lyrics for a song, the way you’ll be able to make it sound natural and not pre-scripted is by practising. A lot. Once you have it sounding tip top you can use your elevator pitch when you meet someone at an industry event, at the coffee machine in a coworking space or when you bump into someone in a cafe or bar. Basically you can recite it to anyone, anywhere, that might be interested, which includes when you’re speaking to a customer or prospect on the phone, as we discussed a little earlier.
You will need to be somewhat flexible with your pitch depending on the circumstances. Maybe you’ll want to have a short version and a longer version. The better you rehearse saying your USP and other key selling points and achievements, the more you can act fast on the spot in order to adapt your pitch for your audience.
Thanks for reading and good luck.
Keep an eye out for my next post, Three Tips for Avoiding Procrastination, coming later this week.
This article was written by Joe Ogden.
Joe is a copywriter and sales professional with a background in business development and technology sales. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs, freelancers and small companies reach a wider audience and grow their business. Read more at Joe’s website.