Mastering the 1-Minute Marketing Pitch

There are a dozen situations every week where you get less than a minute to pitch your new idea or project with a potential prospect.

Sometimes you don’t even know he’s a prospect. He’s the guy in the lift next to you, a person stuck in a queue with you or someone you meet at a business breakfast. You don’t know who he is but you have less than a minute of “face-to-face” conversation and he MIGHT be your next big customer.

Do you have a 1-minute “sales pitch” for your business or service that doesn’t SOUND like a sales pitch, that sparks conversation and interest and that ends with someone saying – “look give me your card and let’s meet up next week!” (So make sure your business card is “wow” and makes a memorable first impression.)

When I create a website, I help business owners identify a 1-minute marketing message that is a quick summary of the business, yourself as a brand or of an idea for a new project within the business. This becomes the core of the strategy of the website, and the key points are often included on the banner in either graphic or text form.

The 1-minute marketing pitch and the project manager

In practice, the 1-minute marketing pitch can accomplish a lot more if you think of it as a networking tool. When you use it strategically, it can generate new leads, develop relationships and advance your career.

The process of creating an The 1-minute marketing pitch is an exercise in focus and self-analysis and business analysis. Even if you use it infrequently, developing it can make you think about who you are, what you do, and what you want others to know about you in the simplest of terms. This can be an opportunity to look back at your accomplishments and ahead to your goals, keeping you centered on what you’re trying to achieve by networking in the first place.

10 tips for a great 1-minute marketing pitch?

  1. Make it tangible
    No big words, no big concepts, no terminology. In copywriting, we have a trick to help clients outline something complex – “Imagine you were explaining it to your mother”. It combines the right level of respect for someone’s intelligence, but without the assumption of industry knowledge.
  2. Show your passion
    If you don’t have enthusiasm why should your prospect? Since at some point its going to be recognised as a marketing pitch, your enthusiasm will make your presumption slightly less irritating. At worst you want the conversation to end with – “sorry, but no thanks” and not “call the police this guy is a stalker”
  3. Keep it fresh
    Refer to something current events in your introduction. With the current economy people are looking for low risk, and everyone needs to increase their turnover. Tie your business concept to that. Tie it to the situation you’re in. Be flexible – perhaps a small benefit of your business is very appropriate to this situation rather than the benefit you feel is your biggest. Make sure your your -minute marketing pitch is up to date.
  4. Adapt to your audience
    Your language, your approach, and what you choose to highlight for a particular audience has got to change to suit the age, gender, race, dress code, posture, and body language of your audience. Don’t rush to the end of your presentation blindly – watch if you are being annoying and apologise. If he expands on your PART I section himself, listen. Sometimes listening to HIS 1-minute marketing pitch will tell you all you need to know to structure your own message.
  5. Know your competitive edge
    Make sure you can answer the question “What do you think really sets your work apart for someone in my industry?”
  6. Don’t gabble
    Don’t cheat by by cramming 3 minutes of information into a 1-minute pitch. Speaking too quickly reduces the quality of your articulation and reduces the impact of your messages. Breathe now and then! Let your prospect get a word in.
  7. Keep to 2 or 3 primary benefits
    In decision making, the more reasons given the less value is given to each decision. Selected your 3 best benefits for THIS type of situation – if your prospect is dressed in a superbly cut designer outfit, talk about quality and on-time delivery rather than price.
  8. Don’t hard sell
    Against all logic, don’t force your business card into his hand if he’s not interested. If you haven’t got THIS opportunity right for some reason, make a gracious exit.
  9. Delivery is very important
    Not to soft, but not too loud. Changing the pace with a pause to give your listener the opportunity to digest and consider your point before you move on. Don’t stare at your shoes. Direct eye contact conveys seriousness and attentiveness. However, for some speakers (and even some listeners) eye contact can be uncomfortable. In this case, making direct eye contact only at key points can be another great way to emphasize them. Always smile while you are talking, even if you are giving your pitch over the phone. Big gestures in small spaces, fidgeting or standing rigidly with no movement at all are distracting.
  10. Practice
    Most people don’t realize what they really sound or look like to others. Hence, rapid speakers, those who stare at their feet and fidgeters often don’t realize they have poor delivery. First, record your voice only and listen to yourself – focus only on the way your voice sounds. Practicing your pitch in front of the mirror, or better still video yourself. Look at your facial expressions, body language, hands and feet. Over the course of simply practicing like this your pitch you’ll perfect your wording, and you’ll feel much more comfortable delivering it.

Almost all these tips are content ideas to keep in mind for your website as well. It’s a communication medium that works best for businesses who get to the point quickly and confidently, and avoid buzzwords and gimmicks.

5 marketing pitch intro’s in 20 words or less

The opening 20 words of your marketing pitch are critical to grabbing enough attention for the next 45 seconds. Here are some examples.

I help [target audience] do [statement of need or opportunity] through [differentiator]

  • I help member-based organisations support their members more efficiently using the internet.

I help [target audience] do [statement of need] + [statement of benefit]

  • I help large companies distribute the policies and training materials cost-effectively and in a way that can be audited.
  • I connect [target audience] to [something they want] + [differentiator]
  • I connect companies to prospective customers across both traditional and online media channels
  • I [transform/translate/convert a problem] into [something aspirational]
  • I create persuasive text, photo and video content that is easy for anyone to understand.
  • I help [target audience] [fix their problem]
  • I help business leaders identify inexpensive and creative solutions to their marketing and communications challenges.

So what will YOU say in your 1-minute marketing pitch?

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