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Think about the last time someone asked you to tell them a little bit about yourself. Did you stumble? Did you regret how you answered? Did you miss an opportunity to fit in something important or fail to make it relevant?

A ‘thirty-second commercial’, as we call it, can be used in sales calls and at networking events. A great ‘thirty-second commercial’ doesn’t focus on what you do, but the challenges you help people resolve and the outcomes you can help them achieve.

If the person you’re speaking with can’t relate to what you’re saying, then you have lost them at the first hurdle. This is not the time to talk about yourself, go into detail about the many different products or services you offer or use industry buzzwords – but rather an opportunity to create a connection to the ‘pain’ or challenges that may encourage someone to buy from you.

Here are the main components of the ‘thirty-second commercial’:

Intro (who you work with): You should concisely describe you, your company and what your typical client looks like. Knowing this helps someone envisage themselves as one of your clients or gets them thinking about their own connections. For example, if you’re a financial planner you may say something like “Our typical clients are usually employed or self-employed people in their thirties to fifties who want to create a secure future for their family.”

Problems (you fix): Here you provide third-party examples of some of the problems you fix. These should be relevant to the person you are talking to or the kinds of connections they may have. A financial advisor might say “We work with people who are worried about their future financial security and the lack of provisions they have made for their retirement.” This will connect with any relevant prospective customers.

The solutions (you provide): This is where you explain how your products or services provide solutions, for example “We help individuals by matching them to suitable investment options so they can secure the lifestyle they would like in their retirement years.”

The best way to conclude is by using a question such as: “I don’t suppose any of this sounds relevant, does it?” or “Is that a problem that you have come across recently?” The challenge is to - in less than one minute - get the person’s attention, get your message across and not sound like every other sales person!

To talk about this or any other sales or leadership challenges contact: Sophie.bevan@sandler.com / 01395 203050.

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