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The term elevator pitch or elevator speech is probably familiar to every actor in the tourism industry. If someone asked you to give your own elevator pitch right here and right now, would you be able to pull it off, or would you end up with a lump in your throat?
An elevator pitch is worth practicing because it can be needed in many different situations, sometimes planned, sometimes unexpectedly. An elevator pitch can be perceived as a company’s “oral business card” and that’s why it’s worth investing in.
First impressions are very important and often affect trade in the tourism industry as well – you want to convince your listeners about the uniqueness of your service or product, right? In general, a good elevator pitch is clear and concise - of course, always depending on the situation. In a sales workshop or event, you often only have a few minutes to present your product to the buyer. There is often a little more time during FAM trips or media trips to tell about your company, and in addition to just a presentation and storytelling, participants also get to try and test the products by themselves. Whatever the situation, you should always summarize what you are selling, to whom and why, in an elevator pitch. It might take a while to figure out especially the “why” part, but quite often the “what” and the “whom” need to be thought through in detail as well. If you are selling everything to everyone, your message doesn´t really resonate with any target group well enough.
You can build a frame for your elevator pitch by answering the following questions for example:
It is a good idea to create a few different versions of the elevator pitch so that you can tailor it to your target group (meaning your audience). If a buyer specializing in FITs is sitting in front of you, don’t waste time introducing group products. If you are meeting with a tour operator focusing on leisure travel, do not unnecessarily show meeting rooms during a FAM trip for example. Modifying an elevator pitch according to the target group is a testament to professionalism and situational awareness - time is money and first impressions are crucial, right? You will also impress the tour operator by getting to know their background and customer profile in advance.
In addition to the facts, the other party is also interested in hearing what kind of a company you are. What kind of history do you have, what is your story? If your business is a family owned business, for example, you should definitely emphasize it. If you have a little more time to talk to a potential buyer instead of a couple of minutes, it may also be a good idea to tell a little about your business background: where your current customers come from, are they mainly domestic customers or which nationalities they represent, and what is your possible low and high season, etc.
Your elevator pitch also needs to communicate your unique selling point or proposition, or in short, your USP. The tour operators often need assistance from the local service providers and destinations, meaning help in defining the right sales arguments. If you can’t define and tell the USPs of your product or service, how could a tour operator succeed in doing so? If you do not know how to sell and present your product convincingly, will the tour operator succeed in it with their own customers? It's a good idea to take a moment, to define and identify your USPs. Again, don´t forget to keep your target groups in mind, since the USPs can differ between your customer segments. The USP helps you identify what is unique, distinct, and different from the competitors in your product or service. If you are not yet sure what your USP is, you could start out with a competitor and target group analysis to get on the right track. With the help of a competitor analysis, you can identify the things that make you stand out, or alternatively, the things that require further improvement.
Elevator pitches should be tested with different audiences. Try giving an elevator pitch to your colleague, supervisor or another service provider in the area. See what kind of a reception it gets and practice different versions as well. Often, familiar service providers or partners who already know your product at some level will give the best feedback. Ask them if you possibly forgot to mention something that seemed self-evident to you but could serve as a good argument towards the customer.
Do you believe in your own story? Self-praise can sometimes feel difficult, but modesty won't get you the deal. You need to present your company and service with pride and confidence. Your own enthusiasm and fire shines through your elevator pitch. Facial expressions, tone of voice and other gestures are also worth taking into consideration. Your body language affects how well or poorly you convince your listeners. That is why it is highly recommended to practice elevator pitches before attending a sales event or hosting tour operators or media on a FAM trip.
If you would like to organize a training event or workshop in your area or group of companies to discuss USPs together and practice elevator pitches - feel free to contact us!