Pitch vs. Positioning… How It Grows Your Business To Know the Difference
If you’re a salesperson, you’re likely quite familiar with the idea of an “elevator pitch”. It’s a simple concept, really, whose general idea is to prepare you to succinctly–and with punch–answer the question, “What do you do?”
In my career, and very likely yours, having a good, well-thought-out answer to that question has led to new business. Having a great elevator pitch is a key component to making a business successful. But one thing that an elevator pitch is NOT is a positioning statement. They are very different and, quite often, they’re things that many salespeople confuse. Knowing the differences and how to use each to their greatest strengths can make all the difference in the growth of your business.
An elevator pitch tells people what you do. A positioning statement tells them why they should do it with you.
It’s a subtle difference, but that difference is a critical part of the sales process. When used properly, an effective positioning statement does far more than help you make a sale; it puts you forever in the mind of the person to whom you communicate it.
An effective positioning statement tells your prospect why you are uniquely qualified to serve them. In industries like real estate, insurance, and banking, where the consumer has difficulty identifying (or even understanding) the differences between you and your competitor, an effective positioning statement not only helps them choose you, but it actively defends you from your competitors.
For example, if someone asks me what I do at Keller Williams Realty, I say:
I handle all of the technology systems that our agents use to grow their business.
While this tells them what I do, and usually invites follow up questions too, it doesn’t give them a real indication of how I am uniquely qualified to help them. This is an elevator pitch; it is not a positioning statement.
When I further explain that I’m a serial ladder climber, that I started my career at the Front Desk answering phones, and that I’ve learned how to quickly build and nurture relationships, I start to get a little closer, but I still haven’t given them anything special. There are millions of people climbing the proverbial ladder, after all, and everyone knows the importance of building and maintaining relationships.
But when I tell them that I work for the number one real estate company in East Orlando, and Keller Williams is the number one franchise in North America, I start to carve out a little space in their brains. I cease to be just “that blonde girl” who might be able to help them and become someone with a proven track record of success.
When I go on to tell them that our offices have grown our sold units by 147% from last year, and our sold volume by 185%, they start to imagine what results I can produce for them.
Still, that’s not enough. If I want to stand out in their minds, I’ve got to give them a little more. It’s nice that I’ve caught their attention and it’s good that they’ve started to see me as a unique individual, but to make a lasting impact, I’ve got to put it all together in a way that’s truly memorable.
That’s why I say, “Using technology isn’t a challenge today. There are countless companies that have technology at their fingertips. Keller Williams Realty is different because we’ve developed a unique system that has all of the technology that you need to run your business all in one spot, and we have the staff support to help you every step of the way.”
So, let’s review.
First, I’ve stated that I handle all of the technology systems that our agents use to grow their business.
Then, I tell them something unique and memorable about me–something that’s relevant to my capacity to serve them.
“ Of course many companies have technology at their fingertips, how many can say that they have it all in one place and have the staff support to help you with that technology? It’s my experience that makes me different. You should know that I’m a serial ladder climber and that everything we do at Keller Williams Advantage Group is influenced by that experience. I know that our customers need results, and they need them right away. Keller Williams Realty is uniquely positioned to help them achieve those results.”
Finally, I connect that to what it means for them.
“This is important; because it’s my technology experience that has allowed us to train our agents and give constant support that has resulted in almost thirty-three million dollars in sales last month our agents. It’s why we are number one in East Orlando, and Keller WIlliams is number one in North America.”
Telling people what I do gets their attention. But it’s the positioning statement that earns their confidence and their business. And it’s the thing that makes all the difference.