This article has a lot of great information, a lot of which I constantly mention to my clients. I am a professional at “over complicating” things, but as I grow in business, I realize that simplicity is key.
As I work with clients to structure and simplify their communications strategies and processes, I often ask, can you say what your company does in 15 to 30 seconds? In short, what is your “elevator pitch?” This often confuses them because they ask, why is this important? Well, you only have about that long to sell to your customer before losing their interest. Are you keeping their attention long enough?
Here are some questions addressed in the article that you can ask yourself to see if you are making things overly complicated:
Can I say what my company does in 15 to 30 seconds? As a new business owner, you should be able to capture potential customers’ attention in a very short amount of time. So, it is worthwhile to perfect your elevator pitch. To do this, you have to know what benefits you bring to the table in the eyes of your customers. The more convoluted you make it; the more likely people will tune you out and then you will get nowhere.
When I first started doing PR, I would ramble when someone asked me about my career. I realized that most of the time I lost people about 15 seconds into the conversation. So, now when people ask, I simply say, “I work exclusively with PR firms to get more media placements for their clients.” Easy enough!
Who is my ideal customer? This is a business lesson I learned early on: You won’t be a fit for everyone. For me, my ideal client is a boutique PR firm with between one and 10 employees. Since I know this, I try to cater all my services around this demographics’ needs.
I would recommend sitting down and writing out the characteristics of your dream customer. Where do they live? What do they do? Where do they shop? Having a real mental image of the type of person you are going after, helps you to tighten up your services to include only necessities.
Am I really, really good at one thing? I have found that when businesses excel at one thing, they become way more irreplaceable. When you are only mediocre at a variety of tasks, it is easy to be replaced. However, if you are the best at one service, then people will keep coming back for your expertise. Plus, if you know your business is centered on doing one thing well, you will have the time to constantly be perfecting it.
What is the one outcome you’re providing your customers? This is a lesson I learned from being in high school debate. When we built new cases we would start by coming up with one sentence that clearly stated what we had to prove to win the round. Then, we usually had three bullet points with supporting evidence. At the end of each point, we clearly showed the link back to our original argument. I think of business the same way.
You can add new employees, services or strategies, but they should always go back to the initial reason that people are hiring you. Are you saving your clients money? Are you making their businesses more effective? Are you selling them helpful software? In my case, my one goal is to get media placements, and everything I do goes back to that.
Read more online at Entrepreneur.com.