March 1, 2013
While the term “salesman” often conjures up images of someone we really don’t want to be, the truth is if you are in business you are a sales person. The question is, “are you any good at it”?
Cold calling is difficult for most of us but with practice anyone can reduce the number of rejections and learn to deliver a compelling message with confidence.
Carmine Gallo, a best-selling author and communications coach for some of the world’s top brands, caught my attention with this statement, “If you can’t tell me what you do in 15 seconds, I’m not buying, I’m not investing, and I’m not interested.” Gallo goes on to explain the importance of creating an opening pitch that tells prospective customers why they should listen to you in 15 seconds or less. Here is an excerpt from an article he wrote on this subject that I found very helpful.
“Build a message map in 3-steps. A message map is the visual display of your idea on one page. It is a powerful tool that should be a part of your communication arsenal. Building a message map can help you pitch anything (a product, service, company, or idea) in as little as 15 seconds. Here is the three-step process to using a message map to build a winning pitch. For this exercise you will need a notepad, word document, PowerPoint slide, or whiteboard.
Step One. Create a Twitter-friendly headline. The headline is the one single overarching message that you want your customers to know about the product. Ask yourself, “What is the single most important thing I want my listener to know about my [product, service, brand, idea].” Draw a circle at the top of the message and insert the headline. Make sure your headline fits in a Twitter post – no more than 140 characters. If you cannot explain your product or idea in 140 characters or less, go back to the drawing board.
Step Two. Support the headline with three key benefits. The human mind can only process about three pieces of information in short-term memory. Specifically outline the three or, at most, four benefits of your product. Draw three arrows from the headline to each of the key supporting messages.
Step Three. Reinforce the three benefits with stories, statistics, and examples. Add bullet points to each of the three supporting messages. You don’t have to write out the entire story. Instead write a few words that will prompt you to deliver the story. Remember, the entire message map must fit on one page.”
Gallo uses this example of a company that sells soap to illustrate his point: “Twitter-friendly headline: Lush makes handmade soaps and cosmetics. 3 supporting messages. All Lush products are:
- ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
- SUPPORT ETHICAL CAMPAIGNS
The 15-second pitch would sound like this:
Welcome to Lush. We make handmade soaps and cosmetics. Everything in the store is fresh, environmentally friendly, and part of our profits support ethical campaigns.
Now for the supporting points.
Under Fresh, Lush might include the fact that all the products made from natural ingredients and they are handmade daily and shipped the next day.
Under Environmentally Friendly, a Lush sales associate might say that products are made from ingredients not tested on animals, they are mostly unpackaged, and contain little or no preservatives.
Under Ethical Campaigns, Lush might highlight some of the environmental causes championed by the brand.”
Try this 3-step process for your windshield repair or headlight restoration service and practice, practice, practice.