I don't go to networking meetings to catch a nap, but I feel like some networkers are trying to induce narcolepsy. What do you do? "I'm a business and management consultant." zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
That violates my #1 marketing rule - make your marketing about the customer. It also violates my #2 rule - never waste an opportunity to answer the question, "what can you do for me?" It's money out he window. I could care less about business and management consulting, I don't even really know what it is.
If you haven't heard of an elevator pitch, the idea is to make a very brief statement about your business. If you were in an elevator with someone and had to describe what you do before they got off, what would you say? Your elevator pitch can be one of the most important marketing pieces you craft.
One of the best elevator pitches I have ever heard was, "I help businesses just like yours learn how to double or triple their revenue in about 45 minutes." The guy that gave this pitch does sales training. Imagine if he just said, "I do sales training." How interested would I be in the rest of the conversation?
What can we learn about crafting a great elevator pitch from this person?
- It is 100% focused on me. This person doesn't even mention what his solution is.
- It makes me curious. I want to ask him the question, "really, how do you do that?"
- It is very short. It's about 3 seconds long, and that's about all you have. You don't have 15-30 seconds to get people interested in you.
- It answers the question, "what's in it for me?"
- The benefits are very specific, he uses actual measurements and a timeframe. This gives his statement credibility.
Your elevator pitch needs to be prepared and practiced. If you aren't getting the response you want, work on it some more. You need to deliver it as if it was unrehearsed - this may take practice if you aren't a public speaker. Be prepared to answer follow-up questions when the people you are talking to are intrigued by your new elevator pitch.
The next time someone asks you what you do - be prepared to turn them into a paying customer with a killer elevator pitch.