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Honing Your 30-Second “Elevator Speech” Can Instantly Transform Your Marketing Message…

And Deliver a Huge Payoff in the Number of New Paying Customers You Get.

Though I’m no longer involved in Congressional campaigning as I was early in my career, I still watch with interest anytime our elected representatives in Washington, DC seem to be making a hash of “selling” something important to the American people.

Two weeks ago, the debt-ceiling debates in Congress were accompanied by the usual sideshow of television pundits, radio talk-show hosts, Congressional leaders, President Obama and thousands of others making lots of speeches… few of which clearly described the approaching default — or succinctly described a viable solution.

While I’ve never used this newsletter to make political statements (and I’m not now), there is a useful marketing lesson here.

In our fast-paced society, sound bites have become important — and making sure that your marketing message is clear, concise and compelling isn’t always easy. Take your own business, for instance. If you had just 30 seconds to communicate an offer, a telephone sales pitch, an in-store special or other marketing message…

Could you do it three sound bites or less?

This spoken message is often called an “elevator speech” — because you should be able to communicate your product’s benefits and sales proposition in the time it takes to ride the elevator with a potential prospect.

Let’s look at an example of what I mean — using the recent debt-ceiling debates as the background for a marketing message:

Soundbite #1: Since 1972, the U.S. Government has used an accounting method different from most businesses and households. It’s called “baseline budgeting.”

Soundbite #2: Baseline budgeting assumes that last year’s budget (the “baseline”) is approved — whether or not the Government has the money to pay for each line-item again and regardless of whether each line-item is further needed. Under current law, every budgeted item from last year is not only retained, it automatically receives a budget increase of 4% to 10%. This phenomenon has increased our national debt substantially.

Soundbite #3: Repealing the baseline-budgeting law and freezing all spending at current levels would result in a savings of trillions of dollars in future debt increases — without any cuts in current services.

While this particular elevator speech never happened — and baseline budgeting was not a major topic in the debt-ceiling debates — it makes for a good example of how to put together an effective 30-second marketing message.

What About Your Most Important Marketing Message?

Could you clearly state YOUR offer or marketing message in three sound bites or less? Here’s a formula to follow:

Soundbite #1: State an irrefutable fact or current reality.

Soundbite #2: Explain why that fact or reality is causing a problem.

Soundbite #3: Describe a product, service or other item you sell that can solve that problem. State an added benefit of your solution.

Once you know this formula, it’s fairly easy to hone the wording of your message for presentation in any situation — from a phone call to a television interview to a ride in an elevator with a potential prospect.

Let’s apply the soundbite equation again — this time to a small business instead of Congressional wrangling:

Soundbite #1: Supply chain mismanagement is the #1 problem for small manufacturers.

Soundbite #2: Mismanagement not only causes delayed delivery of components, it produces cost overruns due to forced idling of labor, delays in final job delivery and reduced plant efficiency from project delays and backups.

Soundbite #3: We sell X-FACTOR software, the manufacturing industry’s most powerful application for small manufacturers seeking to better manage their supply chain and communicate with suppliers. It even contains an inventory management module that syncs with your shipping, assembly and receiving departments to track incoming parts and count finished and shipped goods. And it’s a lot less expensive than major software packages which are typically written for big companies with multiple plants and multi-million dollar contracts.

Honing your message is one of the most important marketing activities you can accomplish. It can put you way above the competition — and even make you sound smarter than the United States Congress.

More power to the (marketing) people,
Instant Income

Janet Switzer
Editor, Instant Income Revenue Report

Creative Commons License photo credit: Jitter Buffer

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