2014, Volume 2, Number 2

It may be time to step back and take a second ‘listen’ to your elevator pitch.  If it is focused only on your business, it probably needs an overhaul. Sounds crazy, right? Not really once you understand that selling has evolved from the days of the Fuller Brush Man or any sales person who subjects potential customers with a heavy sales pitch. Such sales pitches and indeed paid advertising has taken a back seat to the reality that most people at the recommendation of family and friends who they trust. And that means you, as an entrepreneur, have to make it easy for people to get to know who you are and earn their trust. You need to inject a message about who you are into your elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch should tell your listener who you are as a person (not as a business), what makes you tick and why they should consider you to be an expert in what you do. The key to your success is your ability to build relationships with customers and prospects so that they trust you enough to do business with you, and recommend you to others. That starts with personal branding (versus product branding).  You are so much more interesting than your product!
Creating your personal brand:
 
How would your family and friends describe you; how do you want others to see you? What impact do you want to have on people’s lives? Once you have done this self-branding, then weave in the story of your product or service which should be a natural extension based on your personal traits, accomplish-ments, passions or desire to positively impact people’s lives. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
–What are your special interests and hobbies; and how did they become so?
–What are the unforgettable experiences that shape who you are today?
–Is there anything special about your education or your achievements that makes you especially qualified in your field?–What is on your bucket list; and does it dovetail what you do as an entrepreneur? What is your dream?
Now that you have incorporated a personal pitch into your elevator speech, don’t forget to close by telling the listener what you’d like him to do next.  Is it  ‘Check out my website and read articles about how the industry is currently dealing with [topic]’; or ‘Please take a few brochures and read about my referral awards program and pass them to your friends and colleagues’; or “I can send you a sample, Just go to my website and sign up.” Make it easy for people to know what to do next.
You can make a strong impression on people, gain brand awareness by demonstrating the value of your product or service and ultimately, drive sales by positioning yourself first. Review your elevator pitch and if you need help revamping it to meet today’s sales environment, call WVF to schedule an advisory session.