There have been many articles and techniques revolving around Elevator Pitches. These are the pitches that you can make in a very short time as in the amount of time it takes an elevator to go from the main lobby to one of the top floors. This 30 to 90-second commercial is intended to get you more business and set meetings on the spot. There have been numerous approaches to this speech that include everything from a wow statement such as “I change the world, one student at a time”, to telling a story, to showing humor. There are even names for pitches, such as the Pixar Pitch wherein you pitch yourself the same way Pixar pitches their stories starting with “Once upon a time…”
Let’s be honest, would you want to be caught in an elevator listening to an Insurance Salesperson tell you that he protects your loved ones by providing your widowed wife and fatherless children security (i.e. money) after you die? Or a financial planner that can lower your tax rate, or the car salesperson that tells you he makes dreams come true?
This approach reminds me of car dealership commercials where the owner is yelling about his great offers while standing on top of his dealership building, or the furniture dealer that thinks using his kids and pets as props will make you want to run to the store to buy furniture.
These approaches are one-sided monologues full of sound and fury. They are all about pushing something on you that you may or may not need. There is the assumption that if you tell enough people the same thing, sales will flow. It also assumes that all people are equal. Everyone needs a new car, everyone needs to update their furniture, everyone needs to lower their tax rate. What if the person you are babbling to has just bought a new car, lives in a furnished apartment, and pays little or no taxes.
When someone asks me what I do, I usually tell them in one sentence, something like this: “I help companies grow their business.” Right after that statement, I ask “what about you, what do you do.?” There are a few things at work here:
My main goal is to build rapport, and see if there may be a potential need. I am not trying to sell them anything and I am much more interested in asking and listening than I am in telling. If it sounds like there may be a potential alignment of my services and their needs then I may see if they would like to meet for coffee or lunch to chat further. Frankly, I may also see if they want to meet simply because what they do is fascinating, or that they may be an extremely interesting person and someone that I would like to better get to know. You never know where these discussions may lead. Obviously getting business is important, but also hearing about a great book, hearing a great story, hearing about a business approach, or developing a center of influence also has its rewards.
About the author:
Harold (Butch) Frick is a Sales Consultant with Lockton Companies. Where he is responsible for the ongoing stewardship of client services for a group of clients as well as new business development. Lockton is a professional insurance and risk management services firm that provides full-service retail insurance brokerage, loss prevention, claims management, and alternative risk financing consulting to commercial clients that range in size from smaller local companies to international Fortune 500 businesses operating in many diverse industries.
Today, we’re giving you a glimpse of what’s happening in our mastermind group, the TSE Hustler’s League. In this session, we focus on messaging, which is something a lot of seasoned salespeople and entrepreneurs are having a tough time with.
In this part of the training, I emphasized the importance of messaging when you’re selling as well as some strategies that have worked effectively.
Here are the highlights of the episode:
Strategies for effective messaging:
One of the common mistakes people make when it comes to messaging is that they convey a message according to what they want to hear instead of what the customers want to hear. The best way to create your messaging is to go back to the interview.
Find out what their main challenges are. Find out how they’re making money and what’s holding them back from increasing their output by 5%.
Once you find out what things they want to share, use their own words towards them. Then you’re speaking their language.
Interview 5 of your ideal customers and craft your message around them.
Now think about the last person you spoke with that was your new prospect and ask yourself these powerful questions:
Today’s Major Takeaway:
Here is an assignment for you. Find at least 5 of your best prospects and find out why they purchased from you and what made them go to the next level with you. Then tweak your message in a way that resonates with your ideal clients.
People Buy You by Jeb Blount
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One of the biggest issues salespeople and entrepreneurs face with value propositions is the fact that they don’t know what it is. Many times, they mix up a value proposition and a quick 30-second message expressing what you do. Worst of all, sometimes they offer a one size fits all value proposition that may not be most effective to the potential client.
During this episode, I will share with you the difference between a value proposition and a 30-second message. I will also share what each of them are and how you can develop both. Here are some of the highlights from the episode:
What do you do?
Your quick 30-second message tells people what you do, who you do it for and how you do it. For instance, “I work with mid-size HVAC CEO who’s frustrated with slow months revenue, they are concerned that their techs are leaving money on the table and they’re overwhelmed running the business. They don’t have the time or know how to train their staff”.
What is value?
According to the business dictionary, value is “the extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to meet his or her needs or wants, measured by customer’s willingness to pay for it. It commonly depends more on the customer’s perception of the worth of the product than on its intrinsic value.”
What is this saying? Well, it’s quite simple. Value varies based on the customer and you can’t cookie cutter it. You can have a clear message of what you do and how you help others. It could ignite some kind of interest by the customer, but it may not be the only thing that will close the sales.
You will need to propose some kind of value. That’s where your “value proposition” comes in place. So how do you find the value the customer needs? That knowledge will come from learning about the customer and understanding what they need or want. In my experience, the most focused your value proposition is to your prospect, the better you are at securing movement and conversion.
What is a value proposition?
According to Jill Konrath, “A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. It’s outcome focuses and stresses the business value of your offering.” I feel that a 30 second message speaks to the “what you do, who you do it for and sometimes how.” A value proposition, on the other hand, speaks to “WHY” it matters to the prospect and specifically how you can help.
Here is an example of an effective value proposition: “Jon, I understand that during your slow months of Oct-Dec, you can expect revenue to drop by more than 15% or $40K. In working with other organizations like your (insert their name). We’ve been able to maintain steady revenue year round and, in some instances, increase revenue by 3% by making 3 simple changes with the way they did customer agreement. Would you be open to learning about how this can help you too?”
With a value position like this, you come off more professional. You don’t sound like the typical seller. It shows you know my business very well and thus it is valuable to me. Why? Because as the executive, I’m concerned about making more money and you just proposed a way I can do so. Again, that’s value and you have my attention.
Now that you’ve learned these things, it becomes your responsibility to implement them. Take a few minutes to write out your quick 30-second message and also to start crafting an effective value proposition. Again, the more you know about the customer, the better off you’ll be to giving a killer proposition. I hope that this help you. If you need some help crafting your value proposition, feel free to take advantage of a free 30-minute coaching session with me and I would be more than willing to spend some time with you. As always, I want you to be successful, most importantly, I want you to go out and DO BIG THINGS!!!