You Have To Be Fast
Recently I had the opportunity to spend sometime with very successful business owners, and sales representatives at a networking group. In these situations where many people are trying to capture the attention, the successful entrepreneurs and successful sales reps who stand out are the ones who deliver their story, their “pitch” in less than 60 seconds. They have the ability to make their key points clearly and persuasively, then “Gone In 60 seconds.” They effectively communicate their brand in 60 seconds.
Do You Really Know?
Unfortunately, many sales reps don’t think enough about their company’s story [what they do] and how it comes across. I can say that with confidence as I sat listening to these successful entrepreneurs asking question after question only to hear the sales reps stumble along unable to even clearly communicate exactly what the company they represent does to meet the needs of their clients. At the last networking group I attended, I asked one rep “what do you do?” “What exactly does your company do and offer?” His response started with, “That’s a good question…” Five minutes later, he was still trying to describe his company, and I was trying to find a polite way out of the conversation. After five minutesI had no idea what his company had to offer or even if it was something that was of benefit to me much less anyone else. Heaven for bid I get to my next question, “What differentiates your product from competitors?” Needless to say as a result he totally lost me.
Gone In 60 Seconds
As a sales training consultant, here is an exercise that will work for any company or product. You must simply answer each of the following four questions in no more than two sentences:
1. What do you do?
2. What problem do you solve?
3. How is your product or service different?
4. Why should I care?
By keeping each answer brief, you will develop a clear story that should take no more than 60 seconds.
The 60 second pitch:
Here is an example of an entrepreneur who is starting a Website Company. Based on those four questions, the company’s story might sound something like this:
“Integrity Resource Solution, is a single source marketing company for growing to midsize businesses providing a single resource for web development, digital marketing, and sales support. We use WordPress as our web platform, Woocommerce for e-commerce, as well develop sales support material to provide brand consistency. We use interns from universities such as Purdue, Georgia Tech and others therefore, assuring the latest in technology, recent trends, and understanding recent marketing strategies, staying ahead of the curve. This sets us a part by staying fresh, developing trends, and staying affordable compared to large marketing and development companies”
Your first sentence should be a “Twitter-friendly headline.” You should be able to describe your product or service in 140 characters or less, short enough for a “Tweet.” In the example, Integrity Resource Solution bills itself as an “a single source marketing company, for growing to midsize businesses, providing a single resource for web development, digital marketing, and sales support.” But many small-business owners don’t create product descriptions that are short, catchy, distinctive and memorable. The Twitter exercise will help. *If you can’t describe your shop/product in a sentence, go back to the drawing board.
If you can tell your story in well under 60 seconds and have some extra time, be ready to relate an example or story that makes your shop/product or service more tangible. Don’t let your idea die because you’ve lost the attention of your audience. Grab your listeners in the first 60 seconds and they’ll want to hear more. Be ready with numbers, details, testimonies of how you accomplished those claims.
Watch for our next article, “Keys to developing a winning presentation!”