We’ve been using that term “pitch” for years. The whole approach to sales has changed in the meantime. Sales people need to build relationships. Sometimes you might also hear the term “elevator speech” but who wants to give a speech, or hear one, for that matter?
The scenario for the elevator “thing” is a chance encounter. It may be in the hallway, the parking lot or when you’re walking the dog on the weekend. Wherever it is, it should be quick and light. It’s not a scheduled sales call. Keep it simple and interesting. Crowding the “elevator” is silly. Nobody wants to be stuck in an elevator and especially not a crowded one.
Start by not “pitching.” Just have a conversation. Typically, you respond to a simple question “What do you do?” or “What are you working on?” Create a simple answer that will start a conversation. Don’t be cryptic, lofty or “salesy.” Just simply say what you do, that’s it.
Step 1: Open with your results
They asked what you “do” not what you “are.” Answer with the result of your work not your job title. For example, you may be a financial advisor. So you might be tempted to say “I’m a Financial Advisor.” That’s not a result! Think of the benefits you offer. You might “help people retire early” or “make complex financial stuff easy to understand.”
Whatever you say make it natural – just as you would when you strike up a quick conversation. Keep it light. Make it memorable.
Step 2: Listen and respond
Your purpose is to build a relationship. Period. Entice the listener and start a conversation. Listening is the key to successful relationships. So start right away!
Let them catch what interests them from you. They may say “Tell me more,” “How does that work?” or “Who are your clients?” When you listen and respond to the direction they want to go, the relationship has started!