Digital Libraries Network is for health librarians and trainers in the UK, interested in promotion and training.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Your sales pitch

At the DLnet masterclasses, we've talked about planning a good sales pitch so you have a clear and simple message to tell people when you meet them. Here are some suggestions which I've come across:

The idea of the 3-minute elevator speech is discussed by Judith Seiss in her book, The Visible Librarian(ISBN 0 8389 0848 9):

"Often you will have an impromptu opportunity to market your library, such as finding yourself in the elevator with someone you want to impress. Have a prepared 'elevator speech' that has a beginning (to introduce yourself), a middle (the pitch) and an end (to request action, a meeting or a visit). Start with a provocative statement or question such as 'Did you know that 40% of an executive's time is spent looking for information?'"

Seiss also recommends you plan a 30-second commercial, "designed to tell a stranger who you are and what value you can bring him or her".

In a recent interview with Free Pint, Mary Ellen Bates, talks about how she has developed 10-second commercials:

"I have an example of how to explain our profession, in the book I just wrote, Building and Running a Successful Research Business. The example is taken from Paul and Sarah Edwards, gurus for home-based business. They describe a useful formula for developing your ten-second introduction. The template they use is: 'You know how [describe typical clients' information problem]? Well, I [solve problem] by [doing this].' For example, 'You know how frustrating it is when you spend an hour looking for market research on the Web and never do find what you're really looking for? Well, my company helps you solve business problems by finding information that doesn't even appear on the Web.' [...] I like this formula because it forces me to focus on the benefits I provide to my clients, rather than simply describing what I do, and it keeps the entire description to ten or fifteen seconds."


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