There are 8 tips to make sure you are doing it right!
Perhaps you’ve run into this scenario before: you walk into a networking group for the first time and realize you will need to stand up and give a 30-second commercial about your business. You’ve never been particularly good at delivering a quality elevator pitch and, on top of that, you’re woefully unprepared.
So, instead of paying attention to everyone else’s commercial, you spend that time thinking of ways to craft your own. When you’re done talking, you breathe a sigh of relief and forget to listen to the remaining speeches.
This is a classic misuse of the 30-second commercial. The point of a 30-second commercial at a networking event, when you’re saying something to a room full of fellow business owners, is to gain an introduction or referral. It’s your chance to share a brief nugget about your business, and what a good referral for you looks like. Furthermore, it’s a chance to hear and interact with everyone else’s pitch. There’s an art form to crafting the right message to spark engagement before the horn goes off. Do you know what to say, which results to ask for, and how to maximize your opportunities – all in 30 seconds?
Lone Star Business decided to team up with renowned speaker and coach, Jeff Klein, to share some of the do’s and don’ts and subtle nuances of the 30-second pitch. Jeff is the owner of Speaker Co-Op, and since 2004 he has helped thousands of people generate more business from the time they spend at networking events and on sales calls. He is also the author of the eBook entitled, 30 Seconds To Success.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
If the scenario above teaches us anything, it’s that the 30-second commercial is something we must prepare for ahead of time. Think about what message you want to convey, and what audience you are speaking to. Start with a script, then practice.
Keep your message simple
One mistake a lot of people make is they ask for too many things in their 30-second commercial when they should instead be asking for one thing. They end up doing an infomercial, and it simply takes too long. Give the audience what they need to know and focus on who you want to meet rather than why you want to meet.
Don’t give a general overview of your business and sit down. Explain how your product or service benefits them and their clients and what you are asking for.
Focus your message on finding referral partners, not customers
As Jeff said, “The real power is not in asking for customers, but in asking for referral partners.” Potential referral partners are in the audience while you are giving your 30-second commercial. Their clients need what you have, and your clients need what they have. By referring each other business, you help each other.
Be respectful of everyone’s 30-second commercial
The 30-second commercial isn’t just an opportunity to speak about your business. It’s an opportunity to hear about other business owners’ needs, and to contribute to the conversation. How can those business owners grow if you aren’t listening to their needs? When everyone in the room is engaged in the process, we all win.
Don’t rely on just one pitch
Jeff added, “Tell us a different story next week. You can ask for the same referral partners over time, but don’t ask for the same thing every time. When people don’t do this, I think they aren’t paying enough attention to how important the 30-second commercial is.”
Save mentioning your name until the end
It may seem like saying your name at the end of a pitch is counterproductive. After all, every conversation starts with “Hello, my name is …” But the whole point of a 30-second commercial is to hit people with the most critical information first. If you start with your name, you waste valuable time. Not to mention, the audience is ready to hear your name and write it down AFTER they’ve listened to your pitch.
Be yourself, Be Confident
People do business with people. So be yourself and try not to overdo it. Let the conversation flow as naturally as possible, and go in with the goal of developing relationships. Furthermore, show confidence through your words and body language.