Last week I presented my How To Double Your Sales conference at one location in the USA and another in the UK. Before the conferences start, I always mingle with the delegates. I go up to as many as I can in the time available and I say: In order that I can tailor some of the material I present during the day to what you are selling, please tell me very briefly what you do and how it might help your customers". In other words I am asking for their sales elevator pitch.
Most of the people who attend my ‘How To Double Your Sales’ conferences and MasterClasses are Sales Directors, Business owners and of course salespeople. Most have many years experience in selling and yet with only a few exceptions, they are unable to deliver a clear, brief and stimulating description of that they do and what they can do for their customers or clients; in other words a really effective ‘sales elevator pitch’. I used to be shocked by this. Now I expect it.
Later, during the conference, I explain that there are three main reasons for having a clear, brief and stimulating sales elevator pitch. They are:
1: For when you are networking amongst a group of people. You want to create an impact and be remembered for what you do and what you can do for a potential customer or client.
2: For when anyone asks you ‘what do you do?’ You want to create an impact and be remembered for what you do and what you can do for a potential customer or client.
3: For when someone, who is usually likely to be a very important customer in the future, says to you “You've got fifteen seconds to tell me why I should be doing business with you and your company". If that hasn't happened to you yet, I guarantee it will one day and you had better be prepared.
I also give examples of elevator pitches and how I have helped clients to take their very boring sales elevator pitch and turn them into one that will have an impact. And I am often criticised by some of the delegates who think they are too punchy and forceful and will put people off. There is a lot of shaking of heads in disagreement with what I have said.
This happened again this week and I took a little barrage of criticism from some of the delegates. Then another stood up and told the audience of an experience he had that week. He had been at a networking meeting which was also attended by Richard Branson. He had a brief encounter with Mr Branson who said to him - You've got nine seconds to tell me what you do and why we might be doing business with you. He was half prepared for something like this and managed to respond with something reasonably clear, brief and stimulating. Mr Branson immediately picked up his mobile telephone, dialled the managing director of one of his many companies and told them they needed to be speaking to this person. This person is now honing his sales elevator pitch ready for the next time a similar situation occurs.
Here's one of mine: I'm Bruce King - people call me The Sales Guru. I help salespeople who are struggling to meet or exceed their sales targets to achieve a dramatic increase in sales in just a few weeks. Could that be of interest to you or someone you know?
Over the top? Some people might think so - but it works!
How is your sales elevator pitch? Could it be improved upon? Do you even have one?
Bruce King is an internationally recognised expert on sales. He is a best selling author, professional speaker and sales trainer. Bruce is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FInstD), a Fellow of The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (FInstSMM) and a Member of The Professional Speakers Association.
T: 44 (0)1923 859977