Introducing your product or service to a market also requires you to sell yourself and make your business known. Many are gifted with convincing powers; however, not everyone is effective at promoting themselves. When I think of selling myself and my products, I picture out the annoying and pushy dealers and telemarketers. To avoid irritating your prospect customers, you need to sell yourself effectively.
According to Ashley Neal, sometimes you only have 60 seconds to sell yourself or your small business to a lead. She also added that it can take days, weeks, or even months to convert that lead into a client. Ashley believed that it is important as a small business owner to have an elevator pitch, 60 seconds introducing others that you meet to your products or services. You can read her blog in Growth University, a website that provides resources and tips for small business owners.
Ashley is an entrepreneur and a small business advocate which is why her article on 60 Seconds to Sell Yourself provides reliable tips for small business starters like me. Below are three of her essential tips on how to sell yourself to the prospect customers.
3 Tips to Selling Yourself in 60 Seconds
1. Keep it simple but don’t be general: Focus on the problem that you want to solve
Take 10 – 20 seconds to state what you do. No need to state your name that’s boring, it will probably be forgotten, it wastes time, and more importantly it is on your business card. When stating what you do, be sure to be interesting so that you will stand out (remember you only have 60 seconds to make an impression on someone and be memorable). Get right to the point and explain what problem or problems that you solve for your customers.
Being brief and concise is the key to promoting yourself. From Ashley’s advice, you need to address the problem directly and focus on solving it. You have to remember that you are trying to beat the time during the process. Just make sure that you sound interesting when you are introducing yourself and what you do. So instead of saying “I create websites,” you can start with “I design inexpensive websites for small businesses and professionals. I believe that even small businesses and the services of professionals should be promoted online so that they can market outside their boundaries.”
2. Ask questions that will make the prospect feel that they need your service.
Use the next 30 – 40 seconds to ask a question or two that will qualify the person you are speaking to or generate more interest. Use the last 10 – 20 seconds to hand out your business card and invite them to do business with you.
Asking questions will entice your customer to your product or service. Going back on my example in the first item, you can ask your prospect customer like, “Do you search the internet when you look for specific stores or services? Majority of people now days are dependent to the World Wide Web which means they search before looking at the yellow pages for more information.” You will definitely get the attention of the person once you convince him/her that the service you are providing or product that you are selling is important. But don’t get caught up by discussing your entire business because you are killing the time of the person. You need to use the rest of your time by giving your business card so that your prospect client will know how to contact you. You can actually close the short conversation by telling him/her “If you are interested at promoting your small business online, I can discuss with you all the other advantages anytime that you are convenient. Here’s my card and don’t hesitate to call me.”.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Once you have crafted your elevator speech it is very important that you practice so that it sounds natural and fits in the allotted time frame. Practice your pitch in front of the mirror. Also consider recording and videotaping your pitch so that you can see and hear what you sound like. Next share your pitch with friends and family members for feedback. Once you feel that your pitch is perfected than use it on everyone that you meet.
Practice makes things perfect, so you need to practice and practice and practice even more. You can even practice in front of your family and friends and they can be your critics.
Selling yourself will push your business to the market. But you have to remember that your goal is to sell yourself effectively and not pushing your prospect clients away with your annoying promotions.