Formerly, an elevator pitch was a short summary designed to describe your company or product. As the name implies, it should be short enough that it can be delivered during the span of an elevator ride.
the brevity? The truth is that when you are “cold calling” into a prospect, ten
to fifteen seconds is all you have to make an initial connection and get
permission to continue the conversation. In light of this, it is critical that
you can quickly establish trust and pique interest.
prospects are receiving so many incoming sales calls, that they are
particularly wary of being “sold.” The old way of delivering your company’s
message is no longer good enough.
take a look at how elevator pitches have traditionally been made and how they
should evolve to become more effective in today’s selling environment.
Old Elevator Pitch
call starts with, “I’m Bob with XYZ Printing. How are you today?”
“clever” segue into the sales pitch, assuming we still have the prospect on the
line, goes something like this. “We’re the premier printing company in
the area. We’ve been serving the local market for over 20 years and have
the most advanced digital printing equipment in the area. Our specialty
is quick turnaround and competitive pricing. I’d like to set an
appointment to meet with you to show you how we can save you time and money on
your next printing project. Would Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning be
better for you?”
that sound familiar? It probably does and there are many problems with
- “How are you today?” Every telemarketer in the world starts
the call by asking about the prospect’s “well-being.” While this is an
honest attempt at politeness, prospects know you don’t really care, so it comes
across as insincere and makes you sound like a telemarketer.
- The “compelling” pitch by the printing salesperson sounds like the
other printing company that called the prospect yesterday. They said they
were the best in town and could save him or her time and money too. Whom
should he or she believe
- “Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning?” How many times have
we heard that over-used alternative choice close? Nearly every
salesperson uses it.
- The salesperson wants an appointment but doesn’t want to take the
time to find out if there’s any pain. This is the typical product
pusher’s strategy and the prospect knows it.
- The easy blow off that the prospect can, and often does, use is to
say, “Just send me some information about it.” And you know how sincere
that request is.
New, Improved Elevator Pitch
fear, there is a better way. Take a look at this new, improved approach.
call starts with, “I’m Bob Smith with XZY Printing. Thanks for
taking my call. Can I take about 20 seconds to tell you why I called,
then you can tell me if we need to talk further?”
you get permission, you say, “I’ll be brief, right to the point. We’re
one of the leading commercial printing companies in the area. Typically
companies switch to us because they’re upset with long turnaround times,
concerned about the inconsistent quality of the final product, or frustrated that
their printer can’t offer any creative ideas to improve the job. Are any
of these issues for you?”
you may want to give a specific example of how you’ve helped a competitor with
a specific pain, something like “We recently helped [competitor’s name] save $2,000
per month on printing fees and reduce their turnaround time to 48 hours. Is
this something that would be helpful to your business?”
the answer is affirmative, you then go on to explore the pain further.
the answer is negative, you could conclude the call quickly by
saying, “Sorry to have bothered you. Have a good day.” And
make another call. Remember, you’re trying to find that gold nugget
quickly and not waste time with people who are not good prospects.
are many benefits to this approach:
- You won’t have done anything to destroy rapport.
- You won’t sound like every other salesperson that calls.
Your ability to
differentiate yourself in your initial call with a prospect will dramatically
improve your success at developing new business. Try our new and improved
elevator pitch for yourself and see how it works for you.