Snowed In: Reflections on Elevator Pitching

Right now, the east coast is being pummeled by Winter Storm Jonas, or “Snowzilla 2016”, and I happen to live on said coast. Mayor Michael Pantelides (pronounced “pant-uh-leed-eez”, for those of you who wanted to know) has declared a Level 3 Snow Emergency in Annapolis. That means we’re all exiled from the roadways and forced to relax in the comfort of our (hopefully) warm living rooms. Whatever will I do with myself?

As my slow cooker bubbles and simmers in the other room and the oven preheats for homemade cookies, I can’t help but reflect on a recent networking event. Well, okay, I can definitely help reflecting, but I thought I’d make this interlude somewhat productive. Back to the topic at hand: at this networking event, I was confronted with the question, “What makes your company different from all the other web and internet companies out there?” This wasn’t the first time someone had asked, but my honest answers never seem to be enough. I need a gimmick, apparently. I need a better, perfectly-well rehearsed, natural-sounding clincher that will both intrigue and charm listeners.

What converts potential clients into actual clients is usually not integrity or straight-forwardness, but a pied piper. His words beguile and seduce those close enough to hear him. He makes a well-timed joke. A flick of the wrist, a slight of hand, and the would-be informed consumer is now a compliant follower traipsing into the forest with a charismatic stranger who hasn’t really proved himself trustworthy.

Here’s the truth: I’m not that charming. I mean, I feel I’m a pretty likable person, but I’m not a sales person. In an everyday setting, I can tell you about Clear Space Media and everything we offer, but when it comes time for me to pull out a line that will convince you we’re the best, I falter. I trip when it comes time for me to transition from an educator into a slick-tongued peddler.

Here’s another truth: I believe that, in itself, should be a selling point. If what you’re looking for is honesty and integrity - which are our guiding values at CSM - you should be wary of the sweet-talker. Listen to what a company representative says, not whether those words drip like honey from their lips.

There are thousands of books out there with sales tricks and tips. Surely, you knew! There are seminars and workshops and conferences with the sole purpose of teaching businesses how best to persuade the population to spend their dollars with them. You might have attended many of them yourself as a business owner. Shouldn’t business-to-business transactions operate slightly - or largely - outside the sales-pitch realm? You know what’s behind the curtain, after all.

I may not have the one-line wonder up my sleeve to “wow” you. I can, however, educate you. I can explain why attractive web design, with a focus on user experience (UX Design) is important for generating sales. I can demonstrate how social media marketing (SMM) is one of the most cost-effective ways to both boost your website in online search results and also engage your already established audience. I can show you the difference between an effective and an ineffective email campaign, and then tell you why email newsletters still dominate online marketing strategies. I can help you decide whether pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will work for you. I can introduce you to happy clients. I’ll even let you know when or if an idea you propose will fail… and aren’t these the things you need to know about, even if you choose to go with a company other than Clear Space Media?

Sure, telling you that we’re different because we’re honest sounds cliche. You can decide whether we’re telling the truth when/if you research our business. We leave being a discerning buyer up to you. It’s important that we prove our integrity through our actions and ability to perform… and while, of course, we believe our clean, simple design stands out from the overdone clutter of literally thousands of other web/graphic designers; and, of course, we think you should work with us over them… you must be the perceptive judge of character and quality.

In the meantime, we’ll be here waiting to give you a great experience. Enjoy your snow day!

If you'd like to start a more honest conversation, you can send me a message give us a call: (443) 637-2136.