I cannot put into words how much I dislike the average, sales trainer taught elevator speech.
Until recently I couldn’t quite put my finger on the real reason why, I just knew they didn’t work.
Should someone approach – or worse, corner me in a lift – spouting out how incredible their solutions are and why I should change suppliers right now, I’m not going to gaze into their eyes like some evangelistic convert and skip away behind them while they play their mystical sales flute.
In reality, I would become suddenly introvert, skin-crawlingly uncomfortable and make my excuses just to get them out of my face. Actually, my teeth are itching just thinking about it.
But where were all the articles and quotes by the “Big Names” on planet sales to back me up or use as a reference to argue my side logically.
Then lo and behold, a little while ago, Seth Godin wrote a short piece on elevator speeches that summed it up perfectly.
My favourite bit was;
“If you’ve told me what I need to know to be able to easily say no, I’ll say no. The best elevator pitch doesn’t pitch your project. It pitches the meeting about your project. It’s not a practiced, polished turd of prose that pleases everyone on the board and your marketing team”
I have little to add to that really.
So whether you are getting in touch with people through social media, on the phone, knocking on doors or networking – start to create a conversation piece that gives people a reason to have a real discussion properly, comfortably – during a foundation level sales training day back at Varda Kreuz towers recently, a phrase was used that sums it up nicely;
You’ve Got to Learn to Pitch the Meeting and NOT the Meat
This tiny window of opportunity has to be the reason to move forward to the next stage, not the “Listen To Me – Listen To Me – Buy Now!” content of most elevator speeches.
What it definitely can’t be is a 30 second commercial designed to stun the buying sense out of your fellow human being, because they just don’t work.
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