In this age of fast communication, nobody has time to listen to your long stories patiently. The ability to pitch your company’s story to investors, stakeholders, vendors and customers becomes a deciding factor for the success of a company. Nobody is interested in knowing the details of a new company until they know the gist of it.
You might go on for five long minutes explaining about your company as it is your baby and can explain everything about it. But this does not solve any purpose, neither for you nor your listeners. At the end of the explanation, you’ll still notice listeners’ detachment, misinterpretation and confusion about your company.
This happens because it is hard to gain attention of the listeners for a long time, especially, when your company or services are entirely foreign to them. They have no emotional interest in your company. You have to be careful not to sound rhetorical and over pitch your company’s story.
The 60 seconds’ magic
The idea of 60 seconds is important because it serves as a benchmark for you to be to-the-point and answer the basic questions about your company in this stipulated time frame to engage the listeners. To begin with, you need to be able to answer within this time what your company does, what problem it solves, how it is different from others and why the listeners need to bother about you. Once you are successful in doing so, their attention would be at your disposal. With this backdrop, the following points brief about how this can be achieved practically.
1. Take it easy
First impression is the last impression. While briefing about your company, you have to keep your calm, stay pleasant and not get aggressive in introduction. Mind it, you can be aggressive in approach with respect to your marketing strategy but you can’t be aggressive with your customers. Customers today are much more aware and have the ability to judge the businesses.
Take pride in your business proposition and be confident to introduce it. 60 seconds is a lot of time to introduce your company. Practice one-liners following the clock that answers all the basic questions as mentioned above. The impression created by you in the first 60 seconds will help you to take the conversation forward.
2. Explain clearly the existing service gap in the market and how you fulfill it
The point of differentiation is very important to share while you introduce yourself. Do not underestimate the knowledge and awareness of your listeners. Do not try to form an unwarranted image in their mind.
Specify clearly how you differentiate from others. You need to be able to convince that none exists in the market that matches your service levels and offers what you do. Many entrepreneurs fail at this stage of explanation as their mere focus is to tell the customer what they do, leaving the only message that they too offer this service or they too exist among several other businesses.
3. Create a brand image
The reference here is not being made to massive brand building exercise taken up by large corporations with hefty budgets. In its simplest form, a brand represents its target customers, speaks of its value and vision. A brand image can be formed only when your brand stands apart in the crowd. Brand image can be associated with both tangible and non-tangible factors.
Tangible factors include your corporate identity package (for example, your visiting card or company logo in this case), company souvenir (if you intend to use), dressing sense and your physical appearance. On the other hand, non-tangible factors include your confidence, clarity, and a smile on your face. Besides that, share two to three important facts about your brand that highlight your company.
4. Rehearse in front of a camera
You don’t want to lose your customers or investors while you are still trying to build up confidence by pitching your company’s story. By the time you gain perfection, you will lose a significant number of people. There is not going to be any change in the fundamental questions and the answers pertaining to them.
Rehearse your answers in front of a video camera and see the recording. Repeat it continuously until you eliminate that hesitation, stutter and stammer from communication. What you get at the end is a confident person, fluent in communication skills and prepared to hit the bull’s eye.
5. Keep a tab on the market
Though you have a completely different story to share with your listeners, it is important to know what your competitors are doing or have done in the past. As a start-up company, you get to learn a lot from them as they have gone through this phase, committed mistakes and have used unique tactics to project their company’s story.
The idea here is to learn from your competitors, steal the good points, drop the bad points and add your own tactics to devise distinguished tactics that tell your company’s story. Moreover, it also helps you during your interaction with the listeners if they consider your company no different from your competitors.
6. Learn from your mistakes and do not regret
It is a natural phenomenon to commit mistakes when you do something new. Don’t be afraid of it. Though you have camera-rehearsed, facing a real person is a challenge in itself as human beings have emotions and they react to what you say.
You need to be able to improvise your pitch whenever the need arises. Meet more and more people to refine your 60 second pitch. Take every customer as a new personality, holding a different level of knowledge with a different set of requirements. Overcome your mistakes in the next interaction and pitch better.
7. Pitch to gain feedback
Asking for the listeners’ feedback is part of your training. After you share your company’s story (which you do to the best of your ability), request them for a feedback. A genuine feedback comes from complete strangers who give you a true picture of your abilities. It will help you to improve your communication skills or probably help you to improve your answers. Be ready to handle criticism and move ahead. Analyze the critical remarks and see where you went wrong. Don’t take the remarks personally as not all of them might be true.
8. Breaking the ice
What does it take to start a conversation? A set of six words should be enough to explain what your company does. For instance, “we provide web-design solutions”. A small introduction by you will help them to decide whether they are interested in your product. The 60-second pitch you prepared to answer the basic questions is not to be used randomly.
Understanding the context of the communication is extremely important. It is equally important to address their concerns, assess their needs and formulate your words accordingly that strike a chord with them.
It is highly likely that your basic product and services hardly differ from your competitors’. But still it is important to differentiate your products and services from your competitors’ to make your mark in the market. Figure out how you can add value to the basic level of service. What extra features or services you can offer to impress the customers. Are you going that extra mile to serve them better? What are your customers supposed to pay for an added value of service? Seize the moment to leave them awestruck.
10. Using an explainer video
Explainer video can be your best bet to share your company’s story in 60 seconds. The use of graphics, animation, colors and company logo is an impressive way of grabbing the attention of the viewers. The best thing about explainer video is that the person on the other side will watch it fully to understand what it says; and for that they don’t have to spend more than 60 seconds. If they find your video exciting, they will definitely ask questions. Thus, leading the conversation becomes easier for you once the basics are clear.
Telling your company’s story in 60-second is difficult than doing the same in 300 seconds. You need to be concise in your approach and answer the basic questions clearly. Based upon how you are able to relate with them, they will decide whether to do business with you. Prepare, learn and improve from your mistakes. There is no power that can dissuade you from pitching your company better every time.
To create compelling explainer videos, get in touch with the explainer video experts at Oomphbox.