Tuesday, 31 March 2015

How To Create A Great Elevator Pitch That Converts


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Mike Southon is known as "The Beermat Entrepreneur", after the name of his series of business books, and he is one of the UKs leading authorities on entrepreneurship and sales. He teaches the art of selling, is an entrepreneur mentor and delivers presentations at business events up and down the country. Mike’s advice comes from experience having built and sold his own company in the 1980s. In the 90s he worked on seventeen start-ups. 

          

When I met Mike at a Business50 event in Glasgow he kindly agreed to share some business advice based on his highly successful book "The Beermat Entrepreneur". To be specific his tips are on the topic of The Elevator Pitch or Elevator Speech. Mike has distilled the elevator pitch into its component parts to the point wher it is an easily remembered elevator pitch template. He calls it the Elevator Pitch Five Ps: Pain, Premise, People, Proof and Purpose.

If you are thinking of starting a business or the thought of selling brings you out in a cold sweat settle back what you need is a good elevator pitch. Thinking it through at the start of your business will not only help you better understand your business but also give you the ability to explain it others, including potential customers, in about a minute or two.

It is always good to have an elevator pitch, you never know when you will need it. Getting back to the basics of the elevator pitch the model is you find yourself in an elevator with a client and you only have a few minutes, or even a few seconds, to get your point across. If you have prepared your elevator pitch you will be able to easily present your business idea and do it clearly and concisely.

Do not be tempted to inflate your elevator pitch until it is at bursting point. All those details are for a later date, for now all you want to do it get people to remember you and what you can do for them. Nobody likes a pushy sales pitch so it’s always good to make it snappy.

In Mike Southon’s elevator pitch template there are Five Ps: Pain; Premise; People; Proof; Purpose.

An idea is always easier to understand if illustrated with an example and the example Mike uses in the video is an elevator pitch for my video production business.

Pain or Problem
The first P is the Pain or Problem you solve. What is it that you can that your client that he/she is finding difficult to achieve. Using Mike’s elevator pitch example for my business my customer’s pain or problem would be getting good video footage of their product or service and creating a first rate sales or marketing video.

Premise
Premise is the second P. Again using my business as an example am an excellent video producer and can do the whole job from writing the script through to uploading the finished video to YouTube and doing it properly so it will rank on Google. Small and medium businesses increasingly need video and my business can provide the ideal solution. In the case of your business what is it you provide?

People
People is the next P, the people in your business and how good they are. How does your sales, who does the finance and you. In the case of my business it’s myself and my wife. I take care of the creative and technical aspects of the business and my wife handles the admin and organisational aspects. I’m a national and international award winning writer and producer with more than 30 years’ experience in broadcast advertising. My wife’s background was in theatre sales and marketing, working in theatres across the UK. Again you need to provide the information that is relevant to your business.

Proof
Proof comes next and proof means testimonials. If you are not a natural when it comes to sales this sales technique will suit you perfectly because you get your customers to sell for you. Again for my business it would be something like, I create really effective videos for my clients so watch one of the many video testimonials my clients have recorded. If you see one that particularly interests you give them a call and they’ll give you more details about what I’ve been able to do for their business.
In my business I use video testimonials partly because video is my business and clients would probably expect me to use the medium for testimonials but also because video testimonials can be repurposed. First off they are stand alone videos. Second the audio can be exported easily and I can use them in podcasts. Third the transcript can be used along with a still from the video as a traditional print testimonial. Video testimonials give you more flexibility and are more credible since almost anyone can spot someone who is lying or reading a made-up script on video. I also make it transparent as to who the people in my testimonials are so if prospects want to check the authenticity of the testimonial they can. In your business you may not want to go to the lengths of using video for testimonials but I would recommend getting as many testimonials as possible.

Purpose
Purpose is the last P and it stands for what is the purpose of your business? Obviously it is about making money but is making the world a better place? Are you having fun? Are you enjoying what you are doing? If you have started your own business you know how much harder it is than being an employee so you have to enjoy and be rewarded by what you are doing. The purpose of my business is to pay a salary but also to allow me to apply my creative and technical skills for the benefit of other business people who either cannot or do not want to create videos and TV commercials. Knowing what I create can and does influence others is awesome, what I do actually affects others, hopefully for the better.
You will have your own purpose for your business but clearly it is first and foremost going to be to make you money.

If you would like to read more of Mike Southon’s advice on starting a business and growing sales I can recommend his book The Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn Your Good Idea into a Great Business. The revised second edition paperback is available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com If you would like further details click on the appropriate link below.

For further details on Mike southon visit his website here: http://www.mikesouthon.com/

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