When you work in sales, you’re constantly striving to perfect your company’s “elevator pitch”. Since attending IMTS last month and talking to dozens of people about who we are and what we do, I can recite ours in my sleep. But every once in awhile, something comes along that shifts that pitch—maybe the company’s mission changes, or the product is rebranded. My shift came not as a result of an inspirational speaker or big meeting, but from sitting next to a stranger on a plane.
As is typical for someone who is on the road often, I found myself running through the airport on a hot August day hoping to find a friendly gate agent to greet me for my flight home. To my surprise I arrived just prior to the boarding door being closed. I was looking forward to the two hours this flight would give me to catch up on e-mails and other paperwork. Most travelers would have been nervous or anxious running on such a tight schedule, but in my world this was just another typical day.
As I poured my 6-foot 7-inch frame into my aisle seat I made sure I had all the travel essentials. Laptop? Check. Phone? Check. Earbuds? Check. Let’s get this bird airborne!
Immediately after takeoff I was ready to roll. As I opened my laptop to sign in, I noticed this very grandfatherly gentleman sitting next to me. He fit comfortably in his middle seat and was watching as I got ready to work from my “remote office”. He didn’t say a word, but I could just feel him wanting to start a conversation. At that point I did what all seasoned travelers do…I avoided eye contact!
After a few minutes I could tell he was not going to back down. I closed my laptop, turned towards him, and asked how he was doing. Without hesitation he said, “I’m fine, but what do you do for a living that you need all this stuff?” I had to chuckle.
His name was Norman and he worked on the railroad for his entire career, retiring 20 years ago. After a few moments of chit chat he asked again what could I possibly do for a living to need all of this technology. I was about to break into my normal pitch— “You see we provide mobile experiences that are the next generation of landing pages that are required for today’s mobile centric world. We target customers with highly relevant experiences tailored to their specific needs, when and where they need it most…”
For some reason I hesitated with that response. I sat back, took a breath, and said, “We sell change.”
We change the way companies sell their products. We change the way people learn how to use products. Heck, we even change the way companies register and service their goods. I told him we make people’s lives easier by pushing everything to their mobile device.
We went on to talk about all the changes he has seen in his life: Cell phones, computers, electric cars. We talked about the companies that have adopted to change and thrived and those that resisted and are no longer around.
I realized that the simplicity of my “elevator pitch” resonated with this perfect stranger and sparked a genuine conversation and interest in our product, which is exactly what it was meant to do. Even if you sell a product that is complex and multi-faceted, being able to boil it down to a simple, thought-provoking statement is sometimes more effective than that memorized pitch.
I got nothing done on the flight home that day, but I learned so much about what we are doing at Lumavate.
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Steve Brennan is our resident Sales expert with an impressive background in entrepreneurship and leadership. Having seen potential in Lumavate, Steve joined the Team Lumavate fresh off his 14 year run as Senior VP of Sales at Experian. Steve has won multiple Elite Awards and was chosen to attend the prestigious Center for Creative Leadership.