Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How To Develop An Effective Three Minute Elevator Pitch

Writen by Jonathan Farrington

What is an Elevator Pitch? Quite simply, a short presentation designed to grab the attention of new prospects in a succinct yet comprehensive way

Nobody seems to remember who first coined the term "elevator speech," but I know it's been around a long time and I am often asked to help design speeches for clients.

An elevator speech is a short presentation that you could deliver to someone in an elevator as it travels from top to bottom or vice versa. It must be compelling as well as descriptive. It should contain such punch that the other person would love to buy from you. Of course, you can use this in ways other than travelling in an elevator.

When cold calling, it is a good idea to have your pitch ready. When the buyer meets you in reception, deliver the elevator speech with enthusiasm and he or she is much more likely to agree to allocate time to you. On the phone, you can use this to obtain an appointment. You may want to use it in a sales letter where you introduce your company to the prospect. For those who attend trade shows, have your elevator speech ready for people as they approach your stand.

An elevator speech should meet these criteria:

• Keep it brief, long enough to convince, but short enough to hold the other person's attention.

• Be articulate, use the right tone and speed so that you don't rush the message.

• Make it sincere, the buyer must feel you're a credible source.

• Be enthusiastic, use appropriate excitement when telling your story. Buyers take their leads from salespeople. Enthusiasm is infectious and if you are not enthusiastic about your products/services or your company, change jobs!!!

And it should answer these questions:

Who are we?

What do we do?

To whom do we sell?

What makes us unique?

How do we bring value to our customers?

An elevator speech might sound like this: "My name is John Brown and I work for Packaging R'us, a global leader in packaging technology. Our twenty European technical sales and service centres specialise in helping many Times Top 1000 companies solve their biggest handling, packaging and shipping headaches. Our product lines include packaging equipment and shipping supplies. Our customised solutions increase production uptime and through-put. Our customers tell us that we stand out because of our troubleshooting expertise, problem-solving creativity, and quality solutions. Last year, we won the Packaging Association Customer Satisfaction Award."


Do remember that knowing what you want to say and rehearsing it will make this sound natural. This may be the first time the buyer has heard it, but you don't want it to be the first time you deliver it.

The moral right of the author, Jonathan Farrington, has been asserted. All rights reserved. This publication or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system or otherwise, unless this notification of copyright is retained.

Jonathan Farrington is the Managing Partner of The jfa Group jf-assocs.

To find out more about the author, read his latest articles or to subscribe to his newsletter for dedicated sales professionals, visit:http://www.jonathanfarrington.com

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