In today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business world, customers are bombarded about 17,000 messages a day. Between emails, voice mails, robo-calls, social media, pop-up ads, and everything else customers are experiencing marketing fatigue.
That’s why when you have a chance with a prospect or client, you need to make the most of it. You are about to make a first impression on a new customer and basically have about 30 seconds to position your value proposition and the right value message to the right customer.
Always be preparing!
There is only one way to take advantage of the opportunity and that is to diligently practice, practice, practice. At Advantexe, we have a saying that you shouldn’t practice until you get it right; practice until you can’t get it wrong.
This week, I had the pleasure of working with a team of senior sales professionals whose customers are experiencing customer messaging fatigue (CMF). I got the group together to work on their messaging and positioning skills and as a pre-work assessment we asked each participant to create a recorded positioning message to analyze and understand their strengths and weaknesses using our new Practium learning platform. With this new social learning platform, learners engaged with a video sales scenario and were asked to prepare and then record their response to the scenario via video. They posted their response back to the hub and received peer and coaching feedback all online, helping create social learning that is extremely scalable. After the live session, learners will be presented with four more opportunities to practice their elevator speech in different selling situations with different potential decision makers.
Practicing New Skills and the New World of Talent Development
The story I shared is also acknowledging the reality of the new world of talent development. Here are four reason why.
1) CEOs are Expecting a Tangible Return on Investment
The five-day training event is over. And so is the two-day! And very soon, the one-day may also do the way of the dinosaurs. CEO’s are demanding Talent Development departments to provide a measurable return on their investment dollars. By today’s standards, return is going to be defined by increased revenues or decreased costs divided by the investment. The new elevator pitch practice described earlier will do both!
2) Traditional Learning is lost after 30 Days
We all know the truth; the live five-day event was fun, expensive, and everyone ate well, but what did they learn? More importantly, what information did they retain? Not much. The new elevator pitch practice tool I described changes everything. Participants will continue to use the elevator pitch practice continuously to prepare for that magical real-word moment when they actually get on the elevator with real-life executives.
3) New Dependency on Micro Learning and Curation alone does not Sustain Learning
The “hottest” thing in Talent Development these days is micro-learning through curated content lists. While some of them can be effective – based on the quality of the content – most of the learning isn’t sustained by itself. The elevator pitch practice takes good curated content and presents learners with the opportunity to apply and sustain their new skills so that they can actually continue to improve them.
4) Growth of Communal and Social Learning
In 2018 and beyond, the next generation of learners want to work together and do it in virtual collaboration. The elevator pitch practice provides opportunities for scalable peer-to-peer feedback and continuous communal and tribal learning.