One of the most spoken about concept in most of the sales training sessions is the elevator pitch. By technical definition it can possibly be defined as “a succinct and persuasive sales pitch usually lasts not more than 20 to 30 seconds”. In my view after having sat through umpteen number of sales training sessions and personally having more than a decade of sales experience most of the times I had my own reservations about the concept of elevator pitch.
Usually it is to attract and grab the attention of a suspect or prospect and seek for an appointment/induce curiosity keeping the value of the product or service offering in short and terse. In my experience this could be a by-product of two main factors which could be the possible underlying assumption which forces one to design such a pitch but not restricted to only these two alone.
1. Time constraint of the suspect /prospect.
2. Pitching in areas /zones where we meet our suspect /prospect by chance.
My challenges on first Assumption: (Time constraint of the suspect /prospect)
If a prospect is going to appreciate or reject a service or product offering based on elevator pitch alone which most of the times is given importance, I personally feel the loser may be the suspect or prospect also for all genuine reasons that no effective value can be communicated within the time frame prescribed for elevator pitch.
It also puts the sales person under pressure to make more fascinating and extremely formal statements or questions in the name of communicating value but actually not making the desired impact.
Most of times we are not the best judge when we are under pressure and we need quality listening to even evaluate a service or product offering. In my view I request the suspects ,prospects and customers not to be too judgemental on the value of the product or service offering based on the first elevator pitch .Also I request the sales personal not to be too formal in the name of communicating value by expressing marketing jargons or addressing the pain of the prospect or suspect .
I request sales personal to be very natural and adapt his or her own success formula to grab the attention and seek appointment or get the desired impact.
My challenges on second Assumption: Pitching in areas /zones where suspect /prospect are met by chance.
Fundamentally if we meet a prospect /suspect in an areas/zone where he or she is not intended for the desired purpose it shall only be an intrusion in their desired objective. It has to be understood that the attention seeking percentage when one’s mind is oriented towards a different objective is significantly low and most of the times too aggressive sales professionals spoil the moment or relationship by troubling the suspect or prospect in the name of elevator pitch.
Also we should understand every product or service has value from different associations of the product or brand or service and the corresponding value changes according to the suspect’s, prospect’s or a customer’s need over time. If we try to compress it to be short and terse the risk of communicating a no value or wrong value is very high. Hence it’s important and I always suggest to go with the natural flow of a sales professional by doing a deeper study but still understand the intent behind the elevator pitch and perform accordingly.
Let’s not slip from the elevator by being too cautious! Happy Selling!