Is Your Sales Pitch Really Working? Or Just Annoying?
We're all supposed to have an elevator speech. Something that distills everything we are and everything we can do into a 10 second advertisement.
At a recent business networking event, someone asked me what I do, and when I told them, offered this opinion, unasked: "You're going to have to tighten that up a lot more if you want to get business". Wow. OK then. Let me just get right on that.
I felt great relief today to read that the Guerrilla Consultant, Mike McLaughlin, doesn't care for elevator speeches at all, and I have to agree with his reasoning:
- They are all about the speaker, not the listener -- in short, not customer focused at all
- They don't open the door to a real conversation -- which is the only way I've ever landed business -- or awarded it -- in my career
- They make you memorable for the wrong reasons -- the pithy wordplay, rather than the potential solution to someone's problem
I really liked that he doesn't want me to ask people "what keeps them up at night". I've always hated that question, too. [Like you think I'm going to tell YOU my deepest fears? Get a grip]
What Does Work
I get a startling number of cold calls by phone, mostly terrible. I bet you do too.
But there was one voice-mail I returned recently, from a nice fellow at Flight Centre. He was clear and direct, and told me why he thought he might be of some help to my business. He called back promptly. When we finally connected, he had good questions and listened carefully. And I plan to try his service on my next trip. I already forwarded his contact info to some colleagues. Pretty successful, but no elevator pitch. He just communicated, asked questions, and listened.
What a radical concept.