The 60 second nightmare, sometimes known as the elevator pitch

An online conversation with Linda Mattacks and Sally Church, leading pharma marketing consultant (from Icarus Consultants) proved illuminating recently.

We were discussing 60 second pitches, or elevator pitches as they are sometimes known.

I was at a loss as to what to say when contacting not only to ‘prospect’ companies, but when having to say my spiel at a breakfast meeting. I found the whole process of writing and speaking the pitch, daunting.
“I work for Arrow Light Haulage, Essex couriers delivering nationwide. We deliver parcels, pallets and urgent cargo” is often what I blurted out, and it didn’t get me very far….

Sally’s started to get me thinking with her comment – “So why should someone call you rather than another courier? You need a compelling USP – unique selling point that makes people remember you first.”

Couriers grow your sales

Linda responded with “Sally, you’re right but sometimes that’s easier said than done :-( :

* It’s tough to do in a competitive market where people often initially buy on price
* Especially when customers only get the benefits from the USP once they come on board
* We all get too close to see the wood for the trees ”

Linda, took me under her wing and started to train me with the soft selling skills that I needed…

“All I’ve done so far Sarah is look at your website and thought about various conversations we’ve had. Why not play with my basic suggestion and come up with different stories and angles until you get a formula (or two) that you’ve tested out and know work.”

And this is what she come up with for me….

I’m Sarah Arrow of Arrow Light Haulage, Essex couriers delivering parcels, pallets and urgent cargo nationwide.

Most people see couriers as a commodity – and it’s not unusual for them to switch suppliers if one pops up and tempts them away with a cheaper deal. They really think they’re saving money and everything’s fine until something goes wrong, as this story from one of our customers graphically illustrates.(pause) He says:

“I thought I would go cheaper (pause) after all it was only delivering clothes to a deadline, how hard could that be? I went with another courier and, in a month, I was billed £30,000 in fines from missed deadlines and port fines. I learned my lesson, (pause) professional couriers make the difference and are worth every penny and are not that much more expensive…”

Don’t you make the same mistake – talk to us: Sarah Arrow, Arrow Light Haulage.”

Linda even told me when to pause and take a breath…. :-)

Linda went on to say, now you might not like the above at all but hopefully it will give you some ideas to play with. The following might be useful, too:

* People love stories
* People remember good stories
*Believable stories can bring home valuable lessons without appearing to lecture

*Use real life good stories to demonstrate how you’re different
I ran the above spiel fairly slowly though in my mind and reckon you could deliver that well within the time allocation. In this example you’ve reinforced your brand name four times in less than a minute – not bad going, huh 😉 !Whatever you come up with practise it in front of a mirror till you can say it easily and naturally

Now, none of this was new to me, but Linda and Sally spoke to me in a language that I understood, and it speaks to my customers in a language they understand!

For more information, and a downloadable sample of Linda’s superb book ‘Calling all Couriers- Win Keep and Grow Customers, please visit Sales Success at the Courier

Warm regards

Sarah Arrow
Chelmsford parcel and same day couriers
Basildon Parcel and courier services
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"I was very impressed by Linda's determination to help and the constructive, but persistent, manner in which she identified issues and then tried to resolve them. After recent progress I was again reaching a stage where I seemed to be spinning my wheels, and she has given me fresh impetus to start moving forward again."