BY ASHLEIGH HOULT, The Promo Donna & Sale Sistas
Picture this: You’re back in the 1930s in Hollywood – the age of lavish glamour and sex appeal. It’s a time where every man and woman is fighting for their chance to become the biggest and most predominant star in their area of specialty. You are a passionate and driven script writer, and have been working on one for months. The best you have ever written. This script would be gold for the studios! You’ve made your way to the MGM Studios to present to the producers. Even though you don’t have a meeting, you are determined to make an impression. You walk swiftly, but nervously into the foyer and then over to the elevators. You breathe in deeply. The elevator door opens and there stands some of the producers. It’s the chance of a lifetime, right there for your taking. But this chance is only going to last as long as the elevator ride – you’re going to have less than a minute to make tell them about your Script and why they should use it.
This is where the concept of the Elevator Pitch originated from – script writers would flock to the foyers of big studios back in the day, attempting to sell their script to the producers in the elevators. The catch was that they only had around 5-10 seconds to be able to sum up the unique aspects of this script, in a way that excited others!
For Business Owners and Sales people today, mastering the art of making an effective ‘Elevator Pitch’ has become just as much of a fundamental skill. Yet many executives pay little attention to the continuing development of “the elevator pitch” and just how to make it connect with their audience.
On the site www.elevatorpitchessentials.com the definition they provide is as follows “An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea, product, service, project, person, or other Solution and is designed to just get a conversation started.” And I totally agree with this. Whilst the elevator pitch is a sales tool is essence, more importantly it should be seen as a teaching tool to those who will appreciate it. What many sales people tend to forget in their desperate search to close more deals is that there is no point in trying to deliver a spiel and closing a deal if the audience doesn’t understand what you are talking about and why they should care.
The most important thing about putting together an effective Elevator Pitch is understanding your offering/proposition in relation to your prospects and their situations.
You must have a good strategic appreciation of the issues faced by your prospect in relation to how you introduce the services to them. This is an absolutely fundamental requirement when putting together your Elevator Pitch. The prospective customer has a very keen sense of what is important to them and what is not – and if you fail to acknowledge this in your opening then your cold call go no further.
You must keep in mind that the people you are pitching to are also going to be extremely busy. Just like you, they have too many things to do and too little time to get them done. That means that they must constantly – and quickly – decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
As a result, you must come up with a way of explaining your product/service that will grab the attention of someone who has a million things on their mind. Above all else, you must get to the point!
If you can ‘KISS’ your pitch and make it exciting and relevant to your audience, it should give them just enough information about your offer and will have them wanting more. When questions about your services start coming through from your prospects, you know you will have mastered the art of the construction of an effective Elevator Pitch.