A primary goal of marketing is to create and deliver a consistent message at every point of contact with the target audience. This means that your website, brochures, ads, social media, etc. should all communicate similar strengths, services, and core values to a similar audience in a similar way. Any disconnect across media weakens your brand and confuses the message your firm is trying to send.

This consistency should translate into business development and personal networking practices as well. Imagine that a potential client meets two of your employees at a networking event, and each professional provides a notably different explanation of your firm. It’s likely that the potential client will leave that event confused and unsure of exactly what your firm does. Furthermore, if professionals aren’t trained to communicate the firm message clearly and concisely, they won’t be able to maximize the impact of their time spent networking.

As marketers for the professional services industry, we’ve found that the best way to avoid such pitfalls is by creating a “30 second commercial” (aka “elevator pitch”) for your firm and training employees to use it in their face-to-face interactions with clients and prospects. Below, I’ve broken down the four pieces of an effective 30 second commercial.

Part 1: The Introduction

The elevator pitch begins with a simple introduction. The introduction should include the professional’s name, firm name, industry classification, and the type of clients served.

“Hi, I’m Richard Robinson from Marketri. We’re a full service marketing company that helps mid-sized professional services firms grow their business through the creation and implementation of targeted marketing plans.”

Part 2: The Client Pain Points

After introducing yourself and the firm, you must explain why your clients choose to work with you and how your firm satisfies their needs. This is best done by focusing on “pain points,” the common challenges and opportunities your clients need help dealing with. Use powerful words such as anxiety, frustration, pressure, worry, weakness, etc.

“Our clients turn to us because they either have no marketing program or are disappointed by their current marketing program, and they’re unsure of how to move forward. We provide the tools and guidance they need to begin growth through marketing.”

Part 3: Differentiation

The goal of the third part of the 30 second commercial is to differentiate your firm from your competitors. Concisely explain what makes your firm different from other companies in the market and why that makes you a better fit for the prospective client.

“Unlike consulting firms or advertising agencies, we see our client’s marketing plans from conception to completion, providing steady guidance, measured results, and proactive advice along the way.”

Part 4: The Call-to-Action

Your elevator pitch should never leave the listener(s) thinking “Okay, now what?” Close your 30 second commercial with an invitation to take another step towards doing business together. Tell the listener exactly what you’d like to do next. The specific action you suggest can differ according to who you’re speaking to and the situation in which you’re speaking, but the important thing is that you provide some sort of next step that will keep the process moving forward.

“I’d love to discuss how marketing can help grow your firm. If you’d like, let’s schedule a brief meeting with you and your colleagues to share some information and ideas about marketing for [listener’s company].”

The End Result

Put all of these pieces together, and you get a short yet informative pitch that includes your firm’s core message and provides a solid foundation for a relationship with the listener:

“Hi, I’m Richard Robinson from Marketri. We’re a full service marketing company that helps mid-sized professional services firms grow their business through the creation and implementation of targeted marketing plans. Our clients turn to us because they either have no marketing program or are disappointed by their current marketing program, and they’re unsure of how to move forward. We provide the tools and guidance they need to begin achieving growth through marketing. We’re especially affective at doing so because, unlike consulting firms or advertising agencies, we see our client’s marketing plans from conception to completion, providing steady guidance, measured results, and proactive advice along the way. 

I’d love to discuss how marketing can help grow your firm. If you’d like, let’s schedule a brief meeting with you and your colleagues to share some information and ideas about marketing.”

Does your firm have a 30 second commercial of its own? Is its structure similar to ours, and how effective has it been in developing business? Please share your stories in the comments section below!