When I got out of sales, I swore that I was done for good. There was no way, in my mind, that I’d ever be involved in closing a deal again.
And then I joined a startup.
It took about 3 days for someone to ask me what FullContact does, and about 3 seconds for me to realize that I couldn’t answer that question. I didn’t know our elevator pitch. I had known the company founders since their Techstars days and helped them to define that initial media pitch. But explaining our product had me stumped.
Everyone Should Know Your Elevator Pitch
If you ask anyone around FullContact what it is that we do, you’ll get pretty much the same answer – We’re solving the world’s contact information problem. The details might change, depending upon which of our products you’re talking about, but the pitch is still the same. It isn’t hammered into our heads, but we know it because we’re all aware that our job titles don’t matter when we’re talking to a customer.
In any company, it’s vital that every single person knows your elevator pitch. They need to be able to explain, in about 30 seconds or less, what it is that you do. Maybe their “real job” is a software engineer, or an administrative assistant, or newly-hired accountant. But their secondary job is to be a salesperson for the product that your company provides.
Customers appear at incredibly inconvenient times, to absolutely everyone in your company. That customer might look like a waitress or a cab driver. The last person that you’d expect might be the best, most loyal customer you’ve ever known. So you have to make sure that everyone in your company is ready to sell them your product.
Marketing Versus Sales
You’ve likely heard the adage that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. The same is true when it comes to marketing and sales. Marketing is sales, but sales is not always marketing. This piece from Pardot gives a great explanation of the turf war between the two. The beauty of a pitch is that you don’t have to be particularly good at either sales or marketing in order for it to work. The pitch, when given well, does the work for you.
Does your company have a clear, concise message that you’re telling the world? If not, it’s time to sit down and find one and then make sure that every employee knows it. After all, if the people who help to make the product can’t explain it, how can you ever expect anyone else to understand?