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Give a 30 Second Commercial That Leaves an Impression


I hear them all the time—in class and outside in the real world. 30 Second Commercials or Elevator Pitches are all over the place. It really isn’t hard to give one. The problem is sounding like everyone else.

So many people give a boring or standard answer when asked at a networking event or get together, “What is it you do?” A lot of people will just give their standard occupation—engineer, consultant, business unit manager. Unfortunately, some people even look to sell when someone asks them what they do. By all means, if you want to end a conversation quickly, answer, I’m in law, insurance, or sales. If they stay, the walls will begin to go up. People don’t want to be sold, certainly not an event that we are discussing.

The thing with people is they want to know that you have their best interests in mind. Most people, when giving a commercial or elevator pitch make it about themselves. If you want people to connect with your message, you must make it about them, or at the very least the people you help. Therefore, I give our clients a process to develop their commercial to be more impressionable and separate them from their competitors.

Let me show you the methodology of my commercial and break it down for you:

I’m Greg Coyne. (1) I help Presidents of companies (2) who are concerned their sales teams are selling at smaller margins and worried that their teams are comfortable because many of them have been there for 15 years or more. (3) I don’t suppose either of these are an issue for you? (4)

I’m going to break it down for you, in order for you to create a commercial of your own. It’s broken down into the following 4 parts:

  1. Who Are You?
  2. What Do You Help?
  3. 1 – 3 Pain Statements
  4. Hook Question

Each portion of the commercial is important. There is only one part that is about you and that is the first part—who you are. Whether you are on a call, in person, or speaking virtually, people need to know who you are, no more no less. A lot of times, people will talk about who they are, the company they work for and what they do for them. Many people have been attributed this quote, including President Theodore Roosevelt, stipulating, “People don’t care what you know, until they know you care.” People won't care who you work for, but whether you can help them or not. We’ll get to that in the following segments.

The next step is who you help. Who do you help? Is it President’s of companies like my world, or is it shift managers, engineers, software developers, or commercial real estate investors? What do they look like? What do they sound like? So many people will talk about “anyone” and “everyone” being their client. For most people, when they hear that, they think, “Not me.” The request is so expansive, that the human brain shuts down and starts to ignore the rest. Don’t give people that you are speaking with, the opportunity to do that... Who specifically do you help?

Next, give them the kind of issues you help with. Not how you help them, but what you help your prospects and clients with. In my world, we call these, “pain statements.” What are the things that keep your prospects up at night? Some examples might be:

Upset that their salespeople are not closing enough new business;
Concerned that products aren’t getting to their destinations in a timely manner;
Frustrated because their current provider isn’t meeting their needs—it feels like they are being ignored;
Worried that if things don’t change, they may have to lock the business doors;

Those are a small sample of things I have said or heard others say. It’s communicating to the person and understanding the pains of their respective businesses. You will need to deliver “pain statements” that are pertinent to the individual you are talking to, so understand what it is they do. It’s vital to the connection you are looking to create.

Finally, you will need to deliver something we call a “Hook Question.” A Hook Question is simply a question to get the person talking longer. It may sound like any of these:

I don’t suppose either of these items is an issue for you?

Who do you know that I can help?

Any of these items hitting home for you?

I’m sure none of these items are an issue for you, but who do you know that might be dealing with any of these?

If someone is to answer yes to any of these “hook questions,” there is only one response you should have—tell me more…

The key to remember when delivering your commercial is that it is all about the person you are talking to. Your commercial should be impactful to them. It's all about who you help and not what you do or sell. Will your commercial land with everyone you deliver it to? No, this is not a miracle cure-all; however, it does separate you from your competition, who are typically looking to peddle their goods and services; and not looking to become a trusted advisor.

If you truly want to separate yourself from your competition, you need to start here, with your introduction. Who knows? You may find your next new client, from understanding their needs. Give it a shot!


For more sales & leadership tips like these, join us for a complimentary executive briefing. You'll be glad that you did.

Greg Coyne

Greg Coyne

Principal at Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc.