Ever been virtual speed networking and heard a Pitch you couldn't even understand?
Virtual networking is all the rage these days as networking groups continually seek to differentiate themselves through innovating. And, as I pointed out in Is Sales a Dirty Word? a while ago, it’s vital you're prepped and ready when prompted for your "pitch."
The ideal outcome of your Elevator Pitch is when the other person says “that’s really interesting, let's get together and talk about whether you could do that for us."
Elevator Pitches can also, if delivered well, be extremely productive as you can deliver 15-20 of them in less then 30-minutes, so here's 7 top tips for a Perfect Elevator Pitch for you:
1. Avoid stuttering like a teenager asking for their first date - Practice your Elevator Pitch well before the event - preferably in front of the mirror.
2. Ask "so what?" This will ensure that you set out tangible benefits - e.g. "We optimise sales processes. (So What?) so that none of your sales leads will fall through the cracks. Our system ensures every lead is assigned to a sales person, leading to more deals and ensuring you optimise your Return on Investment"
3. Know your benefits and PRIORITISE them in your flow - the most important benefits at the beginning of your pitch. remember to articulate
4. Stay succinct and relevant - no excess baggage allowed! Company location (not relevant), number of employees (not relevant), how long you've worked for them (again, not relevant), how long it took you to get to the event this morning because some clown driving a 250 California insisted on doing 29mph all the way here (again, not relevant). Learn to separate facts (“f” words) from benefits.
5. Your Elevator Pitch should be short; how short you ask? No more than 8-10 seconds. Yes, 8-10 seconds. Grab their attention, then quickly follow-up with those benefits from 1 above, succinctly and in prioritised order. A typical Speed networking slot is 1-minute long - that's a mere 140 words!
6. Who's Your Ideal Client? During your Pitch, ask for something specific like "I'm targeting manufacturing SMEs with maximum 50-people who are having trouble generating sales leads." That immediately positions exactly what you want and whether the person opposite you qualifies. If they don't, ask if they can introduce you to any firms of that size!
7. What's Your Call to Action?
Call to Action could be
1st name, company, what your company BRIEFLY does
Prioritise and contextualise your pitch - i.e. benefits 1, 2 and 3
What benefits (e.g. increased profitability) my company could bring to your company
The kind of new client you’re looking for (e.g. size, sector)
Cite a BRIEF and relevant case study? e.g. "I recently helped XYZ Co. improve their sales skills and as a result, they won 3 new clients last quarter!"
Call to Action
Zero waffle or BS (keep asking "so what?") Every word earns its place!
Remember, Practice Makes Permanent...
Above all else, make sure your pitch is crystal clear. If you mis-quote your offer - like the image I've used for this article - you could end up having an altogether different discussion!