What is an elevator pitch? According to Wikipedia, “an elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch should be possible to deliver in the time span of an elevator ride, meaning in a maximum of 30 seconds and in 130 words or fewer.” What does an elevator pitch mean to your insurance agency, and why are these 130 words so important to your business?
Synthesizing your value proposition to differentiate your products, services and solutions is challenging enough. Encapsulating it into 30 seconds is particularly difficult for most agencies. In this case, I say “most agencies” because those agencies which specialize in one or two highly vertical segments have an obvious advantage. For example, let’s say you specialize in trucking insurance. Your elevator pitch might be: We specialize in helping trucking companies with 50 or more power units with all of their insurance needs. This includes all trucking related insurance services including property and casualty, liability and benefits. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years and no other agency offers our deep expertise in this area. According to Microsoft Word, this succinct pitch is only 51 words, and arguably conveys this agency’s value proposition in even a short elevator ride.
Let’s say, however, your agency is a generalist, offering many types of coverages to almost any type of business. What is your elevator pitch in this case? If possible, create a pitch, or several variations on your pitch demonstrating your value added services, and do so while discussing a type or size of your target market. If this seems obtuse, let’s try an example. We specialize in helping small businesses, often with fewer than 50 employees with a value based approach to the insurance market. We become the advocates for these smaller companies, helping you get the best coverage and rate balance, making sure we minimize risk, while keeping premiums affordable. Because we specialize in small business, regardless of your company’s size, you’re still a very important client, and you won’t get lost in the shuffle. This 72 word elevator pitch takes an agency generalist, and turns them into a specialist, focusing on the needs of smaller businesses, and helping identify with the prospect. This empathetic elevator pitch conveys an understanding of a specific target market, namely small businesses, even though the market is horizontal and the agency provides all types of coverage.
If your agency has not spent sufficient time creating and rehearsing an elevator pitch, there’s no time like the present. Write down your pitches and practice them in your next sales meeting with your producers (insurance agents). Granted, the insurance agency producer is the person with the greatest opportunity to deliver this pitch. However, everyone in your agency should learn the final pitch. After all, you never know when someone from your agency will bump into in an important prospect in an elevator, stairwell, coffee shop or other abbreviated meeting venue. By the way, if any of the above pitches sound similar to your agency it is a coincidence, at 7:15am this morning, I quickly composed these. Then again, it’s up to you to refine and tweak your elevator pitch to differentiate your agency for others. Simply adding a city, like Natick, MA for example, will change the pitch, adding an element of local service and support to your industry expertise, further differentiating your insurance agency elevator pitch. Once properly vetted, your pitch should become a fundamental component of your insurance agency marketing plan.