Such an easy way to promote your business…
Why don’t more people do it?
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
Now who wouldn’t want that?
Yet despite my training and cajoling and creative writing and live hand-holding examples, I still see a “failure to implement” rate way in excess of 90%. Is it the name of the technique? Or inherent shyness? Or simply a disbelief that it works? Whatever the reason, I’m going to try to make a few more converts today.
The concept is called “an elevator pitch.” Simply put, if you stepped onto an elevator with a complete stranger, and they said “What do you do?” what would you say? You have 30 seconds or so to make a lasting impression. Keep in mind, for all you know, this person may be exactly the prospect you’ve long been praying for.
“I’m in sales.”
“I own a pool company.”
“I’m a marketing consultant.”
Wow. That certainly is arresting and memorable. If I ever need someone “in sales,” I’ll surely think of you. Not.
Need I point out that we humans enjoy things that are interesting? Unusual? Funny? Entertaining? Worthwhile? Need I remind you how much we abhor things that are boring, mundane and predictable? Why not bring a little spark of excitement and entertainment to someone else’s life? Why not say something interesting and memorable? And if you can promote your business while you’re at it, what’s wrong with that?
When someone asks me (or anyone with MYM Austin) what I do, my answer is always the same. “I’m a marketing consultant that works exclusively with pool builders. I help separate them from their competition, and then beat that competition into a demoralized quivering pulp.”
That’s only twelve seconds. Does it tell the whole story? Nope. Does it get their attention? Most times, and a chuckle, too. If that person is a pool builder, and they’re struggling with competition, do you think they’ll remember me? Well, I’d say the odds are certainly better than if I just said “I’m a marketing consultant.” If nothing else, at least it’s opened up the door for a conversation.
I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about “Inside Reality” and “Outside Perception.” Your 30 second elevator pitch is the perfect opportunity for you and every person in your company to address both. And that’s a much bigger deal than it may sound on the surface, so let me explain why.
First, if you can clearly and succinctly explain what you do and why it’s better & different than your typical competitor, well that’s exactly what “managing your outside perception” is all about. The more interesting and natural you make it, the more effective it will be. That’s especially good if you’re in the business of selling something. (And I think you are.)
But here’s the other side of the elevator pitch regimen that will affect your company for years to come. When you put your specific advantages and differences in writing, your employees start to take notice. To some degree, they’ll start to recognize that maybe you do have some advantages over your competition.
But now look at what happens when you require your employees to actually say the words out loud -first to you and their co-workers, and then ultimately to customers, prospects and total strangers, on a daily basis. They actually begin to believe it. And more importantly, it starts to affect their thinking and decision making. When faced with the usual day-to-day challenges and problems, they will increasingly decide in favor of your “inside reality” vision and mantra.
Do you see the magic of this? Now, with your elevator pitch in place, you are constantly coaching and leading each of your people to go in the direction of exactly where you want your company to be. And you’re not even there!
Almost sounds like brainwashing, doesn’t it?
It’s not. It’s actually what happens when you have a crystal clear vision and you communicate it consistently and effectively to all your people, all the time. And here’s a bonus – When your customers hear it clearly and consistently, they begin to believe it too. And they’ll start sharing your vision with their friends, because they know it and believe it. That’s what we call “referrals,” which in most industries, including ours, is a very good thing.
So have I made you a convert? Will you accept the fact that people actually don’t mind hearing 30 seconds about you, if it’s interesting and entertaining? And that something as simple as a 30 second elevator pitch can change your company inside and out?
If so, I’d ask you to take the next step – Put something in writing. Spend a month fine-tuning it if you want to, but get your advantages down on paper. Convert yourself, and then you can begin to convert your people.
Best of luck to you,
©2009 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin Inc. May not be used without permission.