Let’s talk about the “30 Second Commercial.” Also called the “elevator speech,” It’s a tool in our lead-generation and networking arsenal that we use all the time, and something that every company should have at their disposal.
So what exactly is a 30 Second Commercial?
Basically, it’s a short pitch for why you’re worth working with, like a TV or Radio spot, but delivered personally. At a high level, it should be about what you do, and how your company works for people. The core elements of the 30 Second Commercial?
- Who you are.
- A one sentence summary of exactly what you do.
- 2 to 3 of the common pains your customers face that your company resolves.
That’s it. Who you are, what you do, and the kind of problems you help fix. No buzzwords, no jargon, just a quick, compelling pitch.
When should I use the 30 Second Commercial?
The 30 Second Commercial is a tool to start a discussion with a prospect about their pain points, and how to solve them. It’s a brilliant conversation starter and a great way to introduce your company and the values you provide. It makes for an indispensable tool
- whenever people ask you what you do
- as a part of a cold calling routine
- during networking events
When shouldn’t I use the 30 Second Commercial?
Remember, the 30 Second Commercial is not a closing tool. You’re not trying to meet your company’s need to close new business, (at least, not right now.) You’re focused on solving your prospect’s pain points. Because you’re not selling, it’s important to avoid a common temptation: to jump right into discussing the features and benefits of working with you.
This is ill-advised, because your solutions don’t matter if they don’t accurately address the prospect’s pain. Most every company in your field can provide a very similar list of features and benefits. If those features and benefits are presented as the primary reason to work with you, that puts you in a vulnerable position. It puts pressure on YOU to deliver, rather than on your potential buyer to address their pain points by using your services.
So how do I craft a compelling 30 Second Commercial?
Remember, the 3 building blocks for a 30 second commercial are
- who you are,
- what you do
- 2-3 of your common customer pain points.
The first two can be nailed in a couple of sentences. For example: “I’m Brandon Malson with EAM Staffing. We provide business development outsourcing and sales recruiting services across the country.”
Talking about your prospect’s pain points is a little trickier… after all, you don’t know what your prospects particular pain points are until you have a chance to talk about it, so by necessity this part of the 30 Second Commercial is speculative. We’ve a method of addressing these to be particularly effective.
Let’s call it the “Stroke/Pain/Impact” method.
Talk about something your clients do well. For example: We work with companies that are well-run, that are growing, that are focused on sales. If your prospect self-identifies with these statements, then they have identified themselves as the kind of company that would work with you.
As we mentioned, this part is particularly speculative. But these pain points should be common among the type of companies you work with. Ideally, put emphasis on the type of pain that hurts now, rather than in the future. Present pain is critical and tends to be decided on first. For example: I have an excruciating toothache, but I also need new tires. Which one of those things do you think I’ll address first, and have more of an emotional investment in fixing? Remember: people decide intellectually, but they buy emotionally. Make sure to talk about at least 2-3 common pain points your prospect is likely to encounter.
How the pain effects the business or person you are speaking with. Give them a glimpse into their future if they don’t deal with the pain points you’ve just discussed.
What if I don’t have time to deliver the full 30 Second Commercial?
30 Seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, until you try and cram it into a handshake meeting at a conference or your calling prospect says they’re in the middle of something crucial. That’s okay- there’s a method that works well to deliver a 30 Second Commercial in about 10 seconds!
Let’s call this the “Why/How/What” method.
Why: Why do you do what you do?
How: How do you do your why?
What: What specific ways do you address pain points?
If I was making this short pitch for our recruiting platform, I might say something like this:
“I’m Brandon Malson with CloakHire. We a recruiting platform designed to make split-fees simple. We help job recruiters who are growing their business, but are a little frustrated because they’d like the resources of a larger firm without with the overhead and headache of running one. (Why) We help with this by offering a platform designed to make split-fees simple. (How) Cloakhire lets you search recruiters, share information, and upload resumes to a central platform with native legal contracts. (What)”
By delivering the basics in this condensed way, you get to address the prospect’s potential pain points all while explaining who you are and why you do what you do… which may just lead to an opportunity to deliver your full 30 Second Commercial.
Who should know the 30 Second Commercial?
Ideally, everyone in your organization! The 30 Second Commercial should not be a scripted, unnatural lead in to a sales pitch. This is a distilled and potent form of who you are and what you accomplish, so it’s helpful to the whole organization, not just a sales team. Customer service, operations, everyone… as long as the 30 Second Commercial is genuine and natural sounding, it can be a helpful tool for initiating conversation and creating opportunities for follow-up.