Most business people have heard of the phrase “elevator pitch” and the idea is that if you were in an elevator with a complete stranger and had one minute to tell them about your business what would you say? In BNI we refer to this “elevator pitch” as your “Sales Manager Moment” and I want to share some thoughts on delivering an effective moment. Over the years, I have met so many business people at Chamber, BNI, Rotary, and other networking events, and two glaring things happen more often then I like to admit. People try to close too quickly and they try to tell me everything they do in one minute. Closing the business to quick is for another day and can be discussed in more length, but let’s stay focused on the Sales Manager Moment.
We have a catchy phrase in BNI that in order to be terrific you need to be specific, and this is so true. You need to stay focused on one topic at a time, and not tell people everything you do at one time. You will do that as the Relationship develops, and your goal with the Sales Manager moment is to get a referral at that time with that ask. The other key component is to change your way of thinking from sales to education. Sales are great when your sitting at the table with a prospect, but when you are at a Networking event the key is educating your prospective new sales partner on what is a great referral for you. The gurus of Networking say the average person knows 250 people so would you rather make one sale or tap in 250 potential sales? This is where the mind shift change can take you from average to all star!!
In my last blog I referenced Jack Trout who wrote a book called “Positioning” in the 1980’s and he mentioned that we live in an over communicated society. Well let’s fast forward 30 years and add in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… and talk about an over communicated society. Each of us are in a profession where the competition for business is stiff and our goal is to position ourselves in the minds of our consumers and our referral team that when a need arises the only person they think of is us! The key to this equation is a terrific Sales Manager Moment that is delivered each time in a strategic manner.
There are five basic components to the sales manager moment:
1. The Introduction: Name, Profession, and Business (Same every week)
2. The LCD (lowest common denominator): What is your specific ask for the week? (this changes every week and is part of the relationship building)
3. The Story/body: we say in BNI that Stories Sell and Facts Tell! (this is different every week and you select a story to support the LCD of the week)
4. The Ask (Most commonly missed item-sales people say they don’t want to ask for business because they don’t want to seem pushy, but your referral partners want to help and need you to ask): This is different every week and should support the story and LCD of the week
5. The Close Your Name, Business, and Tag line (www.memoryhooks.com has over 500,000 tag lines to help you out): This should be the same every week.
I strongly recommend developing three Sales Manager Moments that you have memorized that you can share with prospects at Networking events. The basic categories can be the “Bread and Butter,” “the Cream,” and “the Dream” referrals. Bread and butter is the most basic business you conduct, the Cream is a referral you get once a month, and the Dream comes once a quarter. You build three sales manager moments so you can share with your people and you will be amazed by the resulting reactions to your focused approach. People will connect with the stories and immediately have either referrals or connections to make with you.
This is an exciting and important component to being a master networking. If you have questions please leave them and stay tuned for next weeks moment about the effective 1-2-1 meeting.
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty