If it’s good, you can win a sale or a customer.
If it’s bad, you can lose a lot more than that.
The elevator pitch has been around for ages, and it’s here to stay. Businesses use it in person, in print and on the web to convey their value proposition to customers.
But it’s gotta be good to be convincing—and to catch busy consumers’ ears.
Today’s salesperson has to compete with a lot of noise: information overload, never-ending emails, pop-up ads. There’s no shortage of elements competing for your audience’s attention. You can use new technologies to your advantage, however, if you learn how to fix your elevator pitch.
It’s a New Day
The smartphone is the average salesperson’s worst nightmare. It’s like competing every minute of every day with a cute puppy video, the latest ice bucket challenge, or celebrity hacking scandal. If you adapt your pitch, however, you’ll gain a competitive edge. Instead of fighting with the smartphone, use it as one of your tools.
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
- The next time you’re pitching your product to a new prospect, grab your smartphone. Open up a photo folder to show off your product’s features and address a customer’s pain point.
- Take screenshots so you can showcase your product even when you don’t have access to the internet—such as when you’re in an actual elevator or brick building.
Show and Tell
Sometimes, it’s not enough to simply “tell” someone about your product; you need to offer proof, too. Your smartphone will come in handy for proving that your product works or meets a pain point. You can hit multiple senses with your phone in hand; your audience will “hear” your well-crafted pitch and “see” pictures.
For example, you’ve connected with a potential investor and you have five minutes of her time. Instead of an isolated, verbal elevator pitch, you use screenshots and onboarding slides to “show” the investor the product’s potential. This is a much more convincing elevator pitch that will improve your chances of getting funding.
Slow it Down
One of the biggest mistakes newbies (and seasoned salespeople) can make is talking too fast. There’s a fine line between giving a speech and giving a pitch. You don’t want people to have the impression that you’re giving a canned speech and simply notching points off of a checklist. You DO want people to get the impression that you’re giving them a personalized preview of the product and that you care. A too-quick pitch is a surefire way to obliterate your chances of getting a meeting or scheduling an appointment.
Reading the Situation
Often, the most important part of an elevator pitch is to know when to give it. There’s nothing worse (or more awkward) than plugging through an elevator pitch when everyone around you is feeling the uncomfortable tension of an unwilling audience.
Increase your chances of success: give a pre-elevator pitch that assesses the person’s interest level and gives her a way out—before you ever start. Gauge this right –and prime the pump, so to speak– and you’ll end up giving your elevator pitch to people who are ready and willing to hear it.
When it comes to crafting the perfect elevator pitch, the bottom line is to continually evaluate the culture, adopt tools like the smartphone that help you improve it, engage multiple senses, and slow it down. Combine all of these tips with a keen pre-screening step, and you’ll hit the mark more often, and score more meetings and sales.