Does it ring a bell, strike a cord, elicit a response like “Tell me more!” or “Ah ha! Just what I need!”? Your tag line and elevator pitch is a critical component to any branding program for your company and a necessary ingredient to a first meeting or first impression.
So first, let’s take a look at how you might want to develop or refine your tag line:
1. Start with a simple definition of what you do or what you offer, in six words or less with no adjectives.
2. Next, in six words or less, describe outcomes for your client, limiting or excluding adjectives.
3. Then, in six words or less, describe how you are unique, different, or better than your competition.
4. Finally, are there motivational reasons to buy or use your products or services? If so, write down up to six motivations.
5. Take your 24 words and read them out loud.
6. Test out three to four words that deliver the most meaning to a potential client.
7. Organize three to four options of the best three to four words.
8. Ask a dozen or so friends, clients, and associates what they think of the tag lines. Please only select friends, clients, and associates who will be brutally honest.
Now that you have your tag line, let’s move on to your elevator pitch:
1. Write down what you normally say in your elevator pitch.
2. Remove all references to yourself.
3. Remove all justifications or “why”s.
4. Describe your ideal client in six words.
5. Describe customer outcomes in six words.
6. Form a new sentence that follows this equation: [we] + [offer or provide] + [product or service] + to [best customer description] + who want to [achieve, realize, or get] + [outcome]. Please note that it is one sentence, not a speech.
7. Pause (shut up).
8. How the person responds will let you know if you should continue on with more information or change the conversation.
9. If they go silent, you might ask, “What about you—what do you do?”
Please pay close attention to number 7—this is where most folks go wrong. If you don’t get that overjoyed “Oh boy, where have you been my whole life?” response, try not to fall into the way of thinking that they didn’t understand, so you need to go into a deeper explanation. Should you keep going on, the likely result is that whoever you’re speaking with will suddenly see someone across the room that they must go to now—leaving you standing there.
If you want an opportunity to continue the dialogue, then start getting interested in who they are and what they do—and stop trying to be interesting. (See number 9.) Turn the conversation around to get them to talk about themselves. This tactic has a better chance of a positive outcome.
Mardy Sitzer is a certified inbound marketing professional and president of Bumblebee Design & Marketing. Since 1993, Mardy has been delivering creative and innovative marketing solutions. An avid reader of all things internet and marketing, she also writes blogs, articles, and web content for industry magazines as well as for Bumblebee’s clients. She is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and instructor at Rutgers University teaching social media for business. Follow her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.