10 Steps to Increase Your Sales

A 30-Second Elevator Pitch Without the Elevator

When I was the Marketing Manager responsible for advertising Heinz Ketchup back in the 80's, most TV commercials ran 30 seconds, a big reduction from the 1 minute spots of the 60's and 70's. Today you would be hard pressed to find a 1 minute spot and now 30 second commercials are being replaced by either 15 or 10 second spots. What happened? Well two things actually. First the obvious cost savings were important, and secondarily, research confirmed that our attention span was getting shorter while confirming the fact that shorter commercials worked just as well, and in many cases better than the longer form commercial in terms of recall and impact.

A direct parallel can be drawn between what is happening with commercials and your company's selling approach, both have to accomplish more in less time. Just try and reach a buyer the old fashion way! Virtually no one answers their phone, even if you are lucky enough to have a buyer's number and just try and reach a buyer with an email or by cold calling, chances are you have to go through an assistant, secretary or some other manner of gate keeper. The implications are clear, you have to be creative (see some of my earlier articles), well prepared and more nimble than ever.

I am sure everyone is familiar with the concept of the 30 second elevator pitch, but here is an update; you don't need the elevator. The 30 second pitch can be a great go to strategy for networking, public relations, and old fashion "social media", you know, when reaching out to someone meant using the phone or talking directly with someone face to face; this before texting or tweeting became the norm. More than ever, the ability to quickly deliver a concise and cogent message is your key to sales success.

This is an approach that you and your sales team should develop and practice until it can be delivered effortlessly under any condition or in any setting.

Here are the Steps:

1.   You have to put your pitch on paper then refine it to the point that it is simple, concise, persuasive and deliverable within 30 seconds.

2.   You need to grab the listener's attention right off the top, but, and this is an important but, with an interesting promise that is mutually beneficial. Be controversial and creative. For example: "Mr. Brown, my name is Carl Cassidy with XYZ Company, I was surprised by the size of your IT costs as reported in your annual report. I believe you can cut your costs dramatically. Our company has a track record of doing just that with some of the biggest firms in your industry."

3.   Speak knowledgeably with confidence and passion. After all if you don't have a complete grasp of your subject or don't believe in what you are you pitching, why should the other person?

4.   Keep in mind your objective is not to necessarily close the sale, but to get to the next level; a follow up phone call, an agreement for a future meeting, or to send out a sample or promotional material. In other words, move the peanut.

5.   Practice delivering your pitch out loud by reading what you wrote. This will point up an important difference between what is written and what you need to change in order to verbalize it. The written form is very different medium from the spoken word, but important in organizing and prioritizing your material. The written script will also provide a format for editing and recording your pitch as it takes shape with each delivery.

6.   Once you have your script set, practice delivering it a number of times and you will find that you will have to modify it once again for pacing, timing and ease of delivery. The key here is to commit to one or more rewrites while making sure that the most relevant points are clearly stated as a benefit to the listener. Use a video camera or a tape recorder in order to better judge your delivery and to improve your performance.

7.   Now that you have your pitch "finalized", give it a test run with other sales people in your company. They can provide valuable criticism and input that can improve your presentation. Also, your approach can benefit your fellow sales team by providing them with points and an approach that they might adopt for their own use; by sharing presentations everyone benefits. After all, the goal here is to up everyone's game. The end goal, increase sales across the board.

8.   Now that you have your pitch the way that you want, be prepared to modify it according to your audience. Know your target audience's business, interests and needs so that you might make a meaningful connection with your listener. To be effective, your pitch has to be relevant to your listener or it's so much wasted effort.

9.   Take the time to evaluate your pitch once given. Did it work, how can it be improved, did you meet your objective, what needs changing?

10.  At least once a week, practice your pitch so it becomes second nature. Like a professional athlete, you need to practice continually to be at the top of your game.

Now you are ready whenever the opportunity presents itself; an important compliment to your comprehensive full blown sales strategy and one more arrow in your sales quiver.

Good selling.

If you have any questions dealing with Small Business Management, Operations, Sales, Sales Training, Marketing, Advertising, Social Media, Web design, Direct Mail, Marketing Research, Promotions, Trade Shows & Special Events, or Public Relations I will gladly answer a select number of questions directly or in the next newsletter.

Just email your questions entitled "Ask Carl" in the subject portion of your email to match@bm.ca

For more information in respect to how I may personally assist you with any of the above disciplines that I provide for small- to medium-size businesses, you can reach me by contacting, Boomer Match to Business at match@bm.ca for a FREE no obligation consultation.

The use this material is free, provided that copyright, acknowledgment and reference by link to carl@impaqmarketing.com is provided by you in using all or any portion of the forgoing. This material may not be sold, but may be republished with written permission from Impaq Marketing & Communications Inc. Disclaimer: Reliance on information, material, advice, as received herein, shall be at your sole risk, and Carl Cassidy and Impaq Marketing & Communications Inc. assume no responsibility for any errors, omissions, or damages arising. Users of this material are encouraged to confirm information received with other sources, and to seek qualified advice if embarking on any action(s) that could potentially carry personal or organizational liabilities. Managing people and relationships are sensitive endeavors; the free material and advice available via this material do not provide all necessary safeguards and checks. Please retain this notice on all copies. © Impaq Marketing & Communications Inc.

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