Rising Above the Noise (Pt 2): The Elevator Pitch – By John Stiernberg

May 22, 2014 by John Stiernberg

CRAFTING HIGH-IMPACT PROMOTIONAL MESSAGES:

In the last issue, we talked about how clients make buying decisions, and suggested proven ways to reach out to prospects. Sure, face-to-face is best for selling, but you need to get inquiries in order to screen out the nonviable prospects and screen in the viable ones—then schedule phone calls or meetings from there. Many mobile entertainers have good websites and a complementary presence on Facebook or LinkedIn. But is your messaging on target? Do you make it easy for prospects to understand what you do and why they should hire you? How do they get in touch with you? What do they (and you) do next? This article takes a closer look at optimizing your promotional messages and suggests three action tips for using promotion to drive sales.

PROMOTION 201 REVISITED

Remember the Elevator Pitch? This is the description of you and your company that allows you to provide accurate and inviting information to prospects in the amount of time that it takes an elevator to move five or six floors. That’s about ten seconds. You don’t have much time. The concept translates to your website and social media presence too. You don’t have much time to make a good first impression.

Let’s be clear. The Elevator Pitch has one purpose: to get the prospect to ask for more information. It is not intended to be the full story about your greatness. It won’t get the prospect to hire you on the spot, but it should invite them to either ask a question (if you are there in person) or click through to the next page online. It’s called “engagement.”

Here’s a bad elevator pitch:
“Well, you gotta understand. I wear many hats. I’m a DJ, booking agent, sound engineer, and music curator. I’ve been around a long time, so I know what audiences like and don’t like in their music. And of course we’re cheap so anyone can afford us…”

Ouch! You lost them at “well you gotta understand.” Here’s a better alternative.

“My company is called Global DJ. We provide mobile entertainment services for weddings, private parties, and corporate events. We’re different from many others in that we continually update our vast music library, and our state-of-the art sound and lights are scalable to any size audience or budget.”

If I’m even remotely in the market for mobile entertainment, you have my attention. Yes, I want to know more, but I haven’t tuned you out (yet).

HELPING THE CLIENT TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Now that your prospect is momentarily engaged, what do you want him or her to do next? You need to capture some information from them in order to actually sell. This goes back to tried-and-true Promotion 201. Here are the three elements of an effective promotional message (whether web copy, brochure, or in-person pitch).

1. The Promise. This is a brief statement of what you do and why it is good for the client. This should go a little deeper than the Elevator Pitch.

2. The Offer. Give them more in return for their contact information. The win-win spirit is, “I’ll do something good for you if you do something good for me.”

3. The Call to Action. This is where you make it easy for the prospect to take the next step without feeling like they are over-committing too early.

Here’s a sample.

“Global DJ is the leading mobile entertainment company in our region and we want to prove it to you. [ Promise…] We are the best choice for weddings, anniversary parties, and business meetings from 25 to 500 attendees. [ Offer…] In addition to our bio and references, we have developed the Global DJ Guide to Pleasing Your Guests. It’s a planning tool to help assure that your event is a big success. [ Call to Action… ] To get your copy with no obligation, all we need is your contact information.”

Who is going to say no to that? Answer: Only the people who are not really in the market to buy mobile entertainment services. You’ve effectively screened out the non-viable prospects without offending them.

CREATING HIGH IMPACT MESSAGES

Yes, it is simple, but you need to prepare. There’s no worse turnoff than a fumbling, unrehearsed Elevator Pitch or endless rambling copy on a website. Here are three action tips for effective targeted promotion.

Action Tip 1. Create and/or update your Elevator Pitch. Make sure it rolls off the tongue, sounds natural, and can be used by your team as well as yourself.

Action Tip 2. Define your Offer. Make sure that you are able to provide immediate follow up (like the guide to entertainment services or whatever). Beware that if you offer something and cannot deliver instantly (like download from your website), the prospect will move on and never come back.

Action Tip 3. Do a test. Invite family, friends, or past clients to give you critical feedback on the Elevator Pitch and the Offer. Ask them to advise you on what would make it clearer, stronger, more compelling, and easier to respond to.

HERE’S THE POINT…

Promotion triggers the sales prospect qualification process. Since you can’t make a sale without a prospect, it is vitally important that your promotional messages and offers are compelling and targeted to the kind of clients that you want to work with. Remember to complete the Action Tips in sequence: 1) update your Elevator Pitch, 2) define your Offer, and 3) test the pitch on family, friends, and past clients before putting it out there.

Next issue we’ll talk more about how to reposition your competitors without disparagement. In the meantime, best wishes for big success in 2014!


John Stiernberg is founder and principal consultant with Stiernberg Consulting (www.stiernberg.com). John has over 25 years experience in the music and entertainment technology field. He currently works with audio and music companies and others on strategic planning and market development. His book Succeeding In Music: Business Chops for Performers and Songwriters is published by Hal Leonard Books. Contact John via e-mail at john@stiernberg.com, or on LinkedIn and Facebook. Follow him at http://twitter.com/JohnStiernberg.
 
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John Stiernberg John Stiernberg (16 Posts)

John Stiernberg is the founder of Stiernberg Consulting (www.stiernberg.com), the premier business development consultancy serving the entertainment technology and music products industry. With over 25 years experience in these fields, he currently works with audio and music companies on strategic planning and market development. His book Succeeding In Music: Business Chops for Performers and Songwriters is published by Hal Leonard Books. Contact John via e-mail at john@stiernberg.com, find him on LinkedIn and Facebook, and follow him at http://twitter.com/JohnStiernberg.


Filed Under: Business, Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #156, Sales & Marketing