I’ve been working with a sales team on creating their elevator pitch. We’ve been exploring different words, what they mean, and what they mean to other people. We were debating whether to say CEOs or Senior leaders when describing who they work with. As we were working on it I realized that our elevator pitch can be the first step in qualifying prospects.
Consider this scenario. You attend a networking event where business people in a variety of industries and roles are in attendance. As you meet people they share their commercial and you share yours. Your commercial refers to your clients as CEOs. So, the person you are talking to is determining whether they are a good fit for you or whether they know anyone who is.
Is this a good thing? Should the elevator pitch be more generic so as not to exclude anyone? I submit that the more specific you are the better off you’ll be. It starts with having a clear view of your ideal client. What does an ideal client look like? Consider all of the characteristics of your best, most favorite clients. Create a profile of who you like to work with most out of those traits and then seek those kinds of people/companies.
Of course, in order to do this successfully you have to be ready and willing to walk away from (or never encounter) anyone who doesn’t meet the criteria you’ve set. This can be hard for people. If you are chasing revenues you may be uncomfortable clarifying your target. Get over it and realize that chasing revenue actually works against you. Whenever you gain clients who are less than ideal you take yourself, your company, and your time away from finding and working with those you should be working with. When you decide to tough it out and focus on the most ideal, you will find that you gain exactly that.
Everyone is strapped for time these days. Having a specific 30 second commercial can help you gain time. When you are specific you are letting others know who you wish to work with. Therefore, anyone else will not approach – they self-select out. You will find that you are not spending time in conversations with people who aren’t your target. You don’t have to qualify in the sales conversation because you have qualified ahead of time.
Moreover, as you meet people in networking situations who have clear and specific elevator pitches, you will be able to quickly identify whether you can connect them or not. This helps you qualify networking and referral partners – are they someone you should spend time getting to know?
Anyone in a sales role has a responsibility to their company to build valuable relationships with resources, prospects, and clients. We do this when we have clarity around who we work best with. Our elevator pitch can help us define those people, and then act as the first qualifier in the sales process.