The power of a killer 30-second commercial
As the old saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." This is never more true than when it's time to deliver your 30-second commercial, also known as your elevator pitch. You need to be able to recite it on the fly at any given moment: who you are what you do and how you do it - or at the very least, get people to remember you so they can refer you to their friends.
You might be thinking, oh no, not another lecture on the purpose of a good 30-second commercial! Well, those of you who have been networking in Denver lately you know how necessary a little advice is. It seems like many people just do not have their commercial nailed down, their message is confusing or it takes way longer than 30 seconds.
A good commercial can help you attract new clients, gain referrals and make yourself memorable. A bad one gets you nothing and can create a negative impression that may never go away. If you don't have your elevator pitch down pat, then you are dead before you even open your mouth.
Is your commercial a clear, concise and compelling 30 seconds? Or is it a two-minute ramble that creates confusion instead of clarity for your audience? Do you even know?
There can be some anxiety associated with an elevator pitch if you aren't used to delivering one, or if you're uneasy when it comes to talking about yourself or your business. Most people think they need to tell prospects everything they have to offer, but this is not the case. It's just a snapshot of what you do. Focus on the results you provide and make it about the customer, not you.
Many people have no clue if their message is working. That became very clear to me at an event I attended recently where over 70 people had the opportunity to stand up and "own the room" for a full 30 seconds. Clear instructions were given, as well as an example of what a 30-second commercial sounded like. Anyone who went over their 30 seconds heard a horn blow and they were to stop, sit down and let the next person take their turn. Many did not have a clear and concise commercial, some squandered their time with weak words, some rambled on with a confusing message and some never even heard the horn so they kept talking.
Whether you are an experienced salesperson, new to networking and business development, or a new business owner, you must proudly "own" your 30-second commercial or you will blow your chance at making a good first impression. The salespeople and entrepreneurs who get in the door are the ones who can quickly and powerfully communicate their value. Your 30-second commercial needs to hit the mark - or you're going to lose sales and referral opportunities.
Keep it simple, make it memorable and clearly tell people what you do and how you can help them or others. It's important to focus your message on the clients you work with and how you work with them, not on how great you are, the wonderful things you do and how long you have been in business. This is not your time to brag. Take control of your commercial and you will create more opportunities and close more sales.
So, the next time someone walks up to you shakes your hand and asks, "What do you do?" say it loud, say it proud and recite your 30-second commercial with power and confidence.
If you are interested in participating in a workshop to learn how to create your commercial, join me at "Crafting your perfect 30 second commercial," I will be teaming up with the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce on April 8th. Visit www.cwcc.org event page.