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Make It Snappy

Use an elevator speech to captivate customers.

By Kimberly L. McCall

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Your reps need an elevator speech-a 15- to 30-second sales soundbite that succinctly communicates your company's offerings.Dianna Booher, author of Speak With Confidence, offers theseguidelines:

  • State what you do in terms of benefits. People don'treally care what you do--they care what you can do for them.A rep for a sales-consulting company might say, "We helpsalespeople really engage buyers when they deliver salespresentations." This causes listeners to say, "Oh, yeah?We have problems with that."
  • Add a credibility builder. Mentioning well-known clientsshows that others value your services. A marketer could reference ahigh-profile project by saying, "We just wrapped a big webcampaign for XYZ Co. that boosted sales by 20 per-cent in the thirdquarter."
  • End with an open question to engage the other person. Arep pitching an event-planning company might ask, "How couldyour last event have been improved?"
  • Be quotable. Make the speech memorable enough to bepassed along to others who might be interested.
  • Deliver your speech off the cuff. Instruct reps to talkas an advisor or a friend, rather than as a salesperson.
  • Skip industry jargon. A rep should sound like he'stalking to his brother, not to a prospective boss.

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