Last October I had the honor of participating in ALES 2018, the Latin American Association of Exporters of Services, whose host this year, the CEI-RD (the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic), did a wonderful job and offered participants a high level experience.
During the activity the participants included shared services centers, BPOs, KPOs, game designers, creative arts, professional services and all types of services, both transactional as well as those based on knowledge.
On the second day of the convention, we had negotiation rounds and it was very nice to see a large amount of Latin American companies negotiating and offering their services, differing widely, to potential buyers of each round.
This is why we want to dedicate this article to a very important topic during the rounds, which is essential for any business that aims to sell its products or services.
Keep your message clear
The simplification of the commercial message, the explanation of what you do and what is the value of importance of someone buying it, is perhaps the most important segment of the commercial process in which you can invest time.
Why should a client care about what you produce or the service you are providing? You should be able to respond quickly and convincingly to that question.
There are lots of studies that suggest that the majority who buy products or services felt attracted to the offer in the first two to five minutes. If you get their attention, then the process of researching, rating your offer and eventually negotiating or rejecting the sale can begin.
However, in those first two minutes, 80% of the process has already been decided. Experts in Neuroscience and more recently “Neuro Sales” have given us advice on how not to inadvertently “scare” the client in those first few minutes by activating a defense mechanism in their brains – and that is good, we should avoid scaring them.
How do we attract them? The opposite of “not scaring” is attracting, and two minutes is not a lot of time. This is why the simplification of your commercial message is so important, because without compressing lots of information, you should be able to explain clearly what your business does and why your clients prefer it:
What makes it different?
If your prospect “buys the idea” that you are sufficiently interesting to know more or they “click” with something that solves one of their business problems, they will do more research and you can elaborate on the specifications, benefits, and case studies of your products, services and business.
Simplify for Success
At ALES 2018, the negotiating rounds gave each business meeting 30 minutes. If you think about it, 30 minutes is a short amount of time for everyone to present themselves, share information on both sides, and look for business opportunities.
This is why simplifying your message to concisely present it allows you to dedicate more time to the important tasks, looking for areas of common interest with which you can continue talking about after the rounds
Our experience in the rounds was that different business contacts had different amounts of message simplification.
Those who did not simplify their message as much, had less time for the final interaction to look for areas of common interest, as they had used various presentation slides to explain their history, values and details of their products.
That information is valuable, but maybe not for the first contact, where the priority should be in captivating the interest of the speaker to win more attention time and continue deepening the potential prospect.
The Elevator Pitch
The simplification of the commercial message is commonly called the “Elevator Pitch”, in reference to the analogy that indicates your commercial message should be able to be delivered in the time that an elevator transports two people from one floor to another.
This means if you meet someone you know, or casually meet a new contact during a meeting or at a cafe or in a social activity, you will have two to three minutes to tell them what your business does and see if they are interested in exploring the conversation later.
This is because you may not be able to talk to them for long enough for them to hear your whole story.
Your “Elevator Pitch” is something you should analyze with care, including with outside help, to identify: what do your current clients see in you? Why do they buy from you? What positive and different attributes do they see in you and what makes them continue to buy?
It also requires an internal analysis process that allows you to compress in a standard “script” your main attributes and differentiators.
Educate your Employees
Once your script is defined, you should publish it internally through the internal marketing devices you have, which may be through human resources, or part of the induction of new employees, as all your collaborators should also be able to explain where they work with the same commercial message.
At EXYGE.COM, our internal revision process took around five weeks and various meetings between the people who have some link with the commercial part of our business. There were discussions, some were hectic, on what should or not be included in the commercial message and how to simplify it without losing the essence of who we are.
We finally reached an agreement and now we are overturning our branding, documents and commercial resources based on this to align the message we send. For us, this made a big difference during the rounds as it made us focus and we took advantage of the important things during the allocated time.
I invite you to do the same with your company and see how your commercial process can improve.