Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Make 30 Second Commercial Magic

Would it surprise you to learn that most business people do not have a 30-second commercial (otherwise known as an elevator speech)? In my travels, even those at the highest level have not completed a few versions to suit any occasion in which they might be asked the age-old question, "What do you do?"

It is not only prudent but truly crucial that you be able to simply and quickly describe what you do and who your target audience is no matter the occasion. The purpose of your 30-second commercial is to tell who you are, who your company is, and what you do. In addition, it asks one or more power questions, makes a power statement that shows how you can help others and ends with why the prospect should act now.

Tips for Creating Your Personal Commercial

Follow your plan. When you write a business plan, you prepare the executive summary last because you can't effectively summarize something you haven't already thought out. The same holds true with your personal commercial. Write your personal business plan first. Then, align your personal commercial with your mission and the roadmap you have developed for achieving it.

Make it memorable. Apart from the need to exchange pleasantries, you tell other people what you do for two reasons: they might have a need for your services or they might know someone else who has a need for your services. In either case, they should remember enough of what you told them so that they think of you when the need arises. To make your personal commercial memorable:

o Use an energetic group of words that leaves them wanting more!
o Avoid using industry jargon unless it's absolutely necessary.
o Talk about benefits... "I help lawyers find ways to win more business from existing clients."
o Speak slowly, audibly and clearly.
o If possible, personalize it -- for example a trademark attorney speaking to someone who has expressed concern about cyber squatters might say "I protect companies from cyber squatters," in addition to saying "I am a trademark attorney."

Keep it simple. Test your personal commercial on a seven-year-old. If they can't understand what you do, then you need to do some editing.

Have more than one version. The level of detail you provide at a cocktail reception is often very different than the detail you provide during a client meeting. You need to be prepared with at least two (preferably even three versions) of your 30-second commercial. The first version is quick--perhaps one or two sentences. The second version is as long as one or two paragraphs and should expand on the information provided in the first version. For example, you might expand on your responsibilities or explain in greater detail what your firm does. The third version lasts one or two minutes and could include further explanation of the second version as well as key clients, case studies and other information relevant to the current audience.

Primary Goal of the 30-Second Commercial

To develop a series of sentences that take 10-30 seconds to articulate, sharing how you add value to your customer's business and life. The purpose isn't to tell the other person everything that you do. It's to keep them from saying: "So what!" "We've already got something like that." "We're all set." or "Good-bye!"

30-Second Commercial Outline

Name and Title ... Hi, my name is Honorée Corpron, Visionary, Business Strategist and Performance Coach.

Company Name ... My company is Honorée Enterprises.

Creatively say what you do ... I work with CEOs, senior level professionals and entrepreneurs to achieve profit-doubling growth in 60-80% less time than it would take them to do it on their own.

Insert your Power Question ... Wouldn't it be great to be able to reach achieve more goals in the next 12 months with support than you could achieve on your own in the next decade?

Insert your Power Statement (how you help) ... I think I might be able to help you. Let's get together to discuss ways to implement systems and strategies into your business to help you be the most effective and efficient you can be, all while maintaining balance in your life.

Why the prospect should act now ... Would you like to schedule a brainstorming session, or have lunch or coffee to see if I can be of assistance to you?

Creating your 30-Second Commercial. First, list five ways you improve your clients' business, save them money or money, and/or help them to get more of what they want. Then list five reasons why people do business with you. Combine the most important elements into your 30 Second Commercial.

Power Questions
The Power Question qualifies the prospect and sets up your response. Use these five questions when formulating the Power Questions in your 30-Second Commercials:

1. What information do I want to get as a result of asking this question?
2. Can I qualify my prospect as a result of this question?
3. Does it take more than one question to find out the information I need?
4. Do my questions make the prospect think?
5. Can I ask a question that separates me from my competitor?

Here are some lead-ins to Power Questions that will expose areas of need:
o What do you look for ...?
o What have you found ...?
o What has been your experience ...?
o How do you propose ...?
o How have you successfully used ...?
o How do you determine ...?
o Why is that a deciding factor ...?
o What makes you choose ...?
o What is the one thing you would improve about ...?
o Are there other factors ...?
o What does your competitor do about ...?
o How do your customers react to ...?
o How are you currently ...?
o What are you doing to keep ...?
o How often do you contact ...?
o What are you doing to ensure ...?

Using some of the lead-ins above, as necessary, make a list of 25 Power Questions that make the prospect think and give you the information you need.

Combining all of the necessary elements in creating your 30-second commercial, along with mastering your Power Questions will assist you in attracting more of the clients and customers you want to work with - and they'll know exactly why they should hire you right away!

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