Melissa’s question: Sometimes I get nervous when I am asked to describe my business. Do you have any tips?
This is a common question. You are working on your business when a new potential customer rings. After a short chit-chat he/she asks if you could describe what your business does. How do you start? Maybe you freeze up or regrettably start jumping around all over the place with random details.
This is one situation where it helps to have an "elevator pitch." This is a short pre-prepared speech of around 2 minutes in length that describes exactly what your company does, clearly and to the point. You should run through this so many times that it is almost second nature and you feel very comfortable describing it.
When describing your business to a potential customer, business contact or friend try to stick to the following:
1. What is the problem that you are trying to solve? Or the question you are trying to answer?
Customers will relate to this and will remember a question or problem.
2. How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors
“We are different because…”
3. Why is your service or product important to your listener
“This is important because…”
4. Practice, Practice, Practice, by yourself, on friends, family…anyone who is willing to listen.
Memorise the pitch first, and then try some variants. Try slowing down at the important points, using your voice and gestures to add emphasis.
5. Maximum three points. As human beings, we cannot remember more than three points, so make sure that the selling points are the ones your future buyer walks away with
6. A word of caution, even though you have performed the pitch umpteen times, you must still remain enthusiastic and energetic.
Once you have completed your pitch, continue the conversation, pause for questions or take down details for sending a media pack, a follow up email or any other content. Think of your pitch like a commercial – and all good commercials are memorable and leave you with a way to reconnect or buy the product or service.
After carefully crafting your pitch and practicing this – your nerves should be replaced by brimming confidence.
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