You are attending an event and someone asks you what you do. You want to make a good impression but how do you get your message across in a way that creates interest and prompts the listener to seek more information?
Most people will respond with what they do – “I am an Accountant”, “I build websites”, “I run a printing business” – all of which whilst true, is not likely to really engage the listener.
This is where an “Elevator Pitch” comes in – a short prepared statement that outlines what you do and your “Compelling Purchasing Benefits” clearly – in a concise way.
A well-crafted “Elevator Pitch” will only last approximately 25 to 30 seconds – the duration of a short ride in an elevator – hence the term “Elevator Pitch”.
Step 1 – Think about your customer’s world and the problems you solve
The problem with most “Elevator Pitches” is that they are internally focused – that is; they focus on what the business does – which usually is only of interest to the owner and no one else!
To create a compelling Pitch, start by thinking about your customer’s world, their problems, challenges and dreams!
What are the greatest problems, wishes or hopes that you see your clients typically struggle on a daily basis?
Also think about what clients typically dislike about dealing with businesses in your businesses in your industry.
For example, cash flow management often is a source of great stress and sleepless nights for many business owners!
Accountants and Bookkeepers can help reduce this stress by putting systems and processes in place to better manage their cash flow and give early warning where shortfalls may occur – allowing early remedial action to be taken.
\The impact of this is the stress is significantly reduced, the owner can focus on what is truly important and no longer wakes up at 4am in the morning in a cold sweat realising a large payment is due to a supplier in the morning and they don’t have the money to pay!
Similarly, the challenge faced by many business owners when it comes to getting a website built is the lack of understanding as to what is involved and how web marketing works. This can create a lot of doubt and uncertainty. The build process can also be very intimidating – as is the industry jargon that is often used.
Therefore whilst the developer builds websites – to craft a compelling “Elevator Pitch” & engage potential customers, the focus needs be on the issues that are important to the customer and how these can be resolved.
Step 2 – Use the table like the one below to draw out what is important to your customers
Some points to note:
“The impact of what we do for the customer” – relates to how you impact or change the customer’s world! – “We help our customers to sleep at night and free them up top focus on what is important” “We make it easier for our customers to…..” etc.
You may find when you identify what is actually important to your customers – some of your internal processes need to change or new processes introduced in order to actually deliver what is important to your customers!
If you are unsure as to the primary concerns of your customers, or want to check you are on the right track – then give them a call!
Step 3 – Identify your Compelling Purchasing Benefit
Having completed this work the next step is to use this information to define your “Compelling Purchasing Benefit” – that is; from the customer perspective, what makes you different and why will they choose to purchase from you and not someone else?
Step 4 – Craft your Elevator Statement
The next step is step in the process is to use the information you have developed to craft your “Elevator Pitch”.
You do this by looking at the content of the first column (Customer Problems) and the last (The Impact) choosing the most important – from the customer perspective!
The way to structure your “Pitch”:
- Focus on the greatest problems that you solve – We help……
- Then your Compelling Purchasing Benefit – customers choose us because
- Finally outline the impact you have on your customer world
Some Tips to get your Elevator Pitch right
- When you have crafted your “Elevator Pitch”:
- Rehearse it to ensure it flows easily when spoken
- Time the “Pitch” and make sure it does not exceed 30 seconds – if it does, it will likely lose much of its impact
- Avoid using jargon or technical language
Remember, if it doesn’t excite you – start again! If your not excited by the “Pitch”, then it is highly unlikely your audience will be!
It is important to be able to clearly outline what you bring to the table from the customer perspective.
As stated at the earlier, many “Elevator Pitches” (like marketing) fail to work because they are internally – not externally focused!
It is important to always focus on what is important to the customer and the problems you solve – what you do is simply the means by which you deliver what is important to the customer.
A key point when it comes to an Elevator Pitch – never be afraid to experiment – have a bit of fun and keep refining your Pitch until you find one that really works!