You’ve heard and/or seen it before, “What do you do? Tell me about your company.” What happens next can be a pandora’s box of awesomeness, ridiculous hilarity, confusion or painful regret. Crafting a great elevator pitch is an ongoing struggle for companies and organizations. There’s numerous reasons why, but for the purposes of this little ditty i’ll focus on “THE VOLUME ISSUE!”
HELP, MY EARS ARE BLEEDING!
For many reasons, we want to literally throw-up everything about our company to make sure we don’t miss any “vital” information. This is akin to stuffing a firehose into someone’s ears at full pressure and is a fast track to the gallows. Why? Many of the companies and organizations I work with express a fear of not “getting it all in.” Without knowing what will grab the interest of the person they are “pitching,” they instead shove data, background, services, and awards into the hose and drown the person they’re talking to.
Another reason why companies force too much into their pitch is they truly don’t know and/or understand their value. This lack of insight spells death because without value, there is no foundation for your customer to ever buy what you’re selling or your employee to care about their job.
Lastly, (not really, there are tons more but we don’t have time…) Organizations simply don’t spend enough time and resources training their employees and teams teams how to communicate a solid pitch. Successful companies like IBM, Starbucks, and Walmart understand that you have to share the value of your company from top to bottom, empower great storytelling and provide the tools and resources to tell a great story internally as well as externally. Leadership leads the charge but all are included.
“Your employees are connected. They tweet, post, comment and spread the word. Embrace this reality.”
With these three challenges in mind, here are three tips to help begin avoiding the elevator pitch executioner:
- Develop a toolkit for better pitch training and share it from top to bottom with champions at each level. Whether it lives in marketing, sales or HR; your entire organization is an extension of your sales efforts and if equipped with a good elevator pitch can help accelerate growth.
- Keep it short and sweet. A good elevator pitch piques curiosity and drives someone to want to know more. The goal of an elevator pitch should be to get the person you’re speaking to to ask, “How do you do that?” or “Tell me more.” If you give them all the info, there’s nothing left to share. The “mystery” has already vanished.
- Focus on the impact of what you do, not just what you do. “What” is just half the equation. The real juice lives within how you impact the lives of your customers in a positive way.
Al is the founder of Value Mapping™ and has been a passionate brand enthusiast and consultant for over two decades. Everything Al writes is designed to help others reach their potential and become wildly happy. Contact him directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.valuemapping.com.