We know the end of the financial year is a critical time for you and your small business clients. Roughly 70-80% of businesses have a December year end, and before their year-end hits, many of them are thinking about changes they’ll need to make in the new year. This is equally a great time to reflect on some of the learnings you’ve had throughout the year around technology and how you’ll incorporate these practices in the upcoming year. Your clients will also be thinking about how to work with you, so it’s an ideal time to start planning how you’ll craft the perfect pitch for them.
Elevator pitches are pretty common these days, but perhaps you’re wondering if you really need one for your accounting business. While the term “pitch” sounds a little “sales-y,” the whole point of this exercise to be able to communicate the benefit of your business in a short amount of time, and hopefully encourage people to want to know more.
So what makes a good elevator pitch?
There’s no real recipe when it comes to crafting the perfect elevator pitch, but here are some things to keep in mind.
Make it original
You could find an elevator pitch template online and simply drop in your business name, but that’s not really going to help your business. To make your pitch compelling, and ensure it resonates with your audience, you want it to be original and memorable. You want to frame your business in a way that will help customers better understand what you do, and why they need you.
Humanize the details
A good elevator pitch should not be filled with jargon and buzzwords – it should be a friendly, humanized story that will connect with the listener. Think about it as if you’re talking to a friend, not selling to a client. And don’t script your pitch and recite it in the exact same way every time. Be flexible and change it up so that it feels natural, and authentic.
Tell them ‘why’ they should care
It’s really easy to fill 30 seconds with a laundry list of all the things you do – but that’s not what an elevator pitch should do. Touch briefly on your services, then elaborate on why people need it. What challenges for small businesses are you solving — cash flow, streamlining workflows, helping their business operate more efficiently? Yes, even as an accountant you are solving life problems. Think about what your audience wants, and build your pitch from this perspective.
Brag a little
This is your chance to show confidence and leadership – to establish yourself as an expert and tell customers why they should choose you. Position yourself as an advisor with answers to wider business issues. Tell them how you can help fix cash flow issues, reduce the costs of doing business and increase the speed of doing business. You are good at what you do – and it’s okay to say so!
Set yourself apart
Look at the competition and take inventory of what you’re doing better, faster or more efficiently – then build that into your pitch. Talk about specialization, team strengths, your unique process, impressive tools you use like Xero, and “sell” your unique strengths with confidence, personality and most importantly – proof.
Change things up
Your elevator pitch shouldn’t be something that you write once, repeat a thousand times and never refine. Think of it as a piece of clay that can be molded and reshaped as your business changes. You can tweak it for different audiences or change it seasonally, and if you find your elevator pitch isn’t opening any doors, maybe go back to the drawing board and start again.
Spread the love
To get everyone singing off the same song sheet, share your pitch with everyone on the team. They don’t have to memorize it or use your words, however, everyone on the team should be telling a similar story. You can also get everyone on the team to play a role in writing it.
Don’t expect miracles
Remember that an elevator pitch is just one of many pieces to the “conversion” puzzle. It may not win you business on the spot, however it’ll hopefully lead to the next step – whether that’s a call, meeting or quote. Then you’ll just have to make sure you have good coffee at the office. That’s the easy part.
Your role as an accounting professional is to serve as a trusted business advisor to your small business clients. By showcasing your knowledge and value in your elevator pitch, you can make an impression on prospective clients and elevate your role as a true partner and extension of their business.