Your “pitch” is crucially important to let people know what you do and (more importantly) generate interest for your services. The 2 most important things relating to your pitch is:
- You need an effective “elevator speech.” That is, a short (30-seconds or less) description of what you do that you can share on an elevator (for example) between 2 floors, in response to someone asking: “So, what do you do?”.
- You need to understand the nature of your audience and ensure your message resonates with them.
Let’s now cover each of the above.
The main guideline is: it must be succinct (briefly and clearly expressed). For example, the “generic” elevator speech for my business is (in response to someone asking what I do):
“We help companies improve the customer experience and operational performance. We do this via 2 offerings:
- Customer experience assessments to identify what a company is doing well and their opportunities for improvement resulting in a highly pragmatic roadmap to get them where they need to be.
- Project management services to drive mission critical initiatives to conclusion.”
The first thing to reinforce is that you must go beyond the “technical” description of what you do or you will only create a “yawn factor” for your audience and/or their eyes will glaze over.
Your audience wants to hear what you can specifically do for them (or someone they know). That is, the RESULTS they can expect to achieve by working with you.
At a high-level there are 3 types of audiences which, generally speaking, have a particular area or hot button, as follows:
- Senior Executives / Business Owners – Care most about the dollars and cents (the revenue you can help generate, costs you can help reduce and/or profits you can help increase).
- Middle Management – Metrics as well as the organization and performance of activities (i.e., key performance indicators you can help improve: customer satisfaction and/or loyalty, employee morale, average handle time, mean-time-between-failure, etc.).
- Front line – My specific job (the improvements you can help facilitate to make their job easier, more satisfying and/or higher impact).
As such, a tailored statement I’d make, after sharing my generic elevator speech for each of the above audiences would be:
- Senior Executives – “…For example, we’ve helped companies increase the amount of revenue generated by their inbound call centers by 50% in less than 3 months.”
- Middle Management – “…For example, we’ve helped increase customer satisfaction and employee morale while at the same time reducing operating costs.”
- Front Line – “…For example, we’ve helped management realize that if they can improve the product release and/or sales process “up stream” there will be fewer calls from irate customers into the technical support department after go-live.”
Finally, once you’ve defined the above – practice, practice, practice and practice some more until your elevator speech / statements roll off your lips naturally. And, try it out on a few people (starting with your Board of Advisors) to get their reaction. Do the statements make sense? Are there common questions they ask that could be preemptively answered with a slight tuning of the statement?
In closing, have fun with this! And, don’t wait until you feel it is “perfect” before you start sharing it. Let’er fly and make adjustments as you go! In the next post on Launching a Consulting Business we’ll cover the topic of marketing collateral that you may hand someone who indicates interest in your services after you have effectively delivered your pitch.