Q&A | May 30, 2014

From ASCII Columbus: How To Stand Out In A Crowded Market

By Jim Roddy, president, Business Solutions magazine

VAR And MSP Stand Out In A Crowded Market

I liked the tactic AVG used for its presentation May 29 at the ASCII Success Summit in Columbus, OH. They correctly assumed the nearly 100 channel executives in the room were already aware of AVG’s RMM platform, AVG Managed Workplace, so they used their 25 minutes on the main stage to educate the attendees.

AVG staffers Jessica Turner and Michael Kraft outlined a seven-step process to help solutions providers craft a unique and effective elevator pitch to help them stand out from their competition. The principles are similar to Herman Pool’s ASCII presentation the day before about Creating An Effective Marketing Plan, but I believe MSPs might find this approach helpful as well.

(If you’re unclear what an elevator pitch is, it’s a brief overview of your business, products, or services and is meant to be delivered in the time it takes for a 30-second elevator ride.)

Here are the seven steps AVG listed and discussed with the group. Spoiler alert: when you get to the end, you’ll have your elevator pitch written already.

1. Define who you are. Write down one sentence about who you are.

2. Describe what you do. Write down 1 or 2 sentences about what you do every day in your business.

3. Identify your ideal clients. Write down 1 or 2 sentences using your target audience description as a guide. For example, size of business, geographic location, and verticals will help you be more specific.

4. Explain what’s unique and different about you and your business. Write 1 or 2 sentences about what sets you apart from the competition. This is where you build your unique value proposition.

5. State what you want to happen next. Write down 1 or 2 sentences that state what you want your audience to do next.

6. Create an attention-getting hook. Write down 1 or 2 sentences that pull in your audience and get them engaged in what you’re about to say.

7. Put it all together. Take all the sentences you wrote in steps 6 through 1 and work backwards. There will need to be a few edits of course to ensure a conversational flow, and you will have to practice, practice, practice to make your elevator pitch smooth and effective.

The ASCII Success Summit – Columbus is being held May 28-29 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus, OH. It is one of eight solution provider-focused conferences ASCII is hosting in 2014. For more information on ASCII, go to www.BSMinfo.com/go/InsideASCII

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