Time to retire the “elevator pitch”?

Photo of an old elevator floor indicator
“Elevator” by Steve Snodgrass is licensed under CC BY 4.0

“What types of products do you use on your skin?” the esthetician at the spa asked. I named a small list of products and ended with, “…and olive oil.” “Olive oil?  Why on Earth would you use that?” she said surprised.  Then she continued, “Well our products are all natural…”

I don’t remember what she said after that because, at that moment, she lost me.

She lost me because she said something that countered her position as “an expert” (olive oil is very natural, last time I checked) and she lost me because, at that moment, I knew my “custom” facial wasn’t going to be “custom” and her pitch wasn’t going to be relevant to me.

It’s important to have a consistent message and it’s important communicate key points of interest to your audience (Note: not key points of interest to you!), but your brand ambassadors and other front-facing team members need to have the freedom, skill, and training to be able to move away from the “elevator pitch” and customize what they say to match the situation they are in.

If the esthetician had, instead, responded with “Olive oil? Oh that’s great! I’m glad to hear you use natural products. Our products are all natural too and may provide an even better impact on your pale skin because it’s a blend of several natural ingredients…” I may have bought her $200 bottle of lotion.

Probably not though, olive oil is much cheaper.

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