HARDISON’S TIPS – NOVEMBER 5, 2021 – Why You Should Ditch Your Traditional Elevator Pitch (PT.2)
How an Alternative Approach Can Take You Up, Up, Up!
So if the typical elevator pitch is so flawed, doesn’t it make sense to turn it upside down? I think so. Here’s how to do that:
Focus on the other person. Notice in the above that the words “you” and “your” appear. In a response that probably takes no more than 15 seconds, you can shift the dialogue to one that includes and respects the other person by showing interest, empathy and a desire to get to know them better. It also doesn’t assume that your solution is a fit for them. By wanting to have a deeper conversation, you let them know that further discovery is needed to determine if both parties would benefit. You are now perceived as someone who wants to figure out whether it makes sense to work together, rather than giving them the impression that you want them to buy from you long before you both know if you can really help them.
Start a conversation. Use your answer to the question, “What do you do?” not as an attempt to fully answer the question, but as an opportunity to invite further dialogue. Period.
Listen. Even if the other person started the conversation, and even if the clock is ticking, make a concerted effort to allow the other person to be an active participant in the conversation. Time permitting, ask questions and listen, listen, listen!
Be prepared for overtime. If you and the other person have a few moments to find a quiet corner or grab a cup of coffee, great! Be prepared to take the conversation further and deeper. Know your talking points, but only trot them out if they fit organically with what you learn about the other person and their needs and goals. Don’t try to follow a script. Be yourself. Let the other person get to know you while you are getting to know them.
Don’t rush to deliver a scripted sales pitch in 30 seconds or less. Instead, use that time to set the stage for an extended discussion during which you can listen, learn and explore solutions together. As I’ve said previously, see yourself and the prospect as equals, getting to know one another as you begin a dialogue of discovery and a possible professional relationship.
Sometimes that journey starts in the elevator; and sometimes it starts in line at Starbucks or in a noisy networking environment. How you handle those few critical moments can mean the difference between an opportunity lost and an opportunity realized. Our licensed Advisors at Sales Xceleration know that every sales opportunity demands the right approach for the time, the market and the prospect.