Your company needs a 15-second statement.

by Shannon F.

It may seem obvious, but you and your salespeople should have something succinct and stylish to say about your company. You have limited time to get your message across to potential clients, especially if you are making cold calls. How can you wow them in 15 seconds, pique their interest, and get them to ask questions? By delivering a word-perfect introductory statement that sounds off-the-cuff. It’s harder than it sounds—just try explaining what makes your company stand out, in one or two sentences, without thinking about it first. Chances are that you’ll either stutter or come out with a generic-sounding statement like, “XYZ Corp. is the best at what we do because we provide the best customer service, and we are simply the best.” Right. Here are some Dos and Don’ts for developing a statement that will make your prospects stop and pay attention.

Do: Mention your company’s greatest accomplishment. Have you won a notable award, handled a particularly daunting challenge, or gained an important and influential client? Make that part of your value statement. By sticking to the facts, you can’t go wrong. Example: Instead of saying, “We’re the most trustworthy moving company around,” say, “We moved the LA Lakers to their new headquarters!”

Do: Identify what makes your company unique. There are likely dozens or even hundreds of companies that do exactly what you do, and each one thinks that they are special. Never generalize. Instead, give an actual example of why your company is different from your competition. Example: Instead of, “We go the extra mile,” say something like, “We have saved our clients thousands of dollars with our thorough risk analysis.”

Do: Customize your statement. If you do a little research on your prospects, you can tailor your statement to address their needs. For example, if you are cold-calling a sports management company, say: “We offer the most diverse ergonomic furniture solutions around, including workstations for active people.”

Don’t: Abuse buzzwords and jargon. Your statement should be friendly and easy to understand. Instead of, “We decrease overall spend by leveraging techniques for right-sizing your workforce,” say, “We can help you save money by evaluating your human resources.”

Don’t: Memorize the statement to death. No one responds to robots. Yes, you should practice over and over, but never forget to inject warmth and enthusiasm into the statement whenever you say it. The 5000th time you say it should sound like the first time. Why not come up with several variations to cycle through?

Keep in mind that knowing what to say and saying it with confidence will bring you success. Find out what works through trial and error if you have to, but then stick to the script that gives you results.

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