The creation of a value-added proposition — or elevator pitch — can be much more significant than it may look at first glance. Once you understand the power of this set of words to attract customers, equip sales people, and shape operations, you will realize that this can be a "bet the business on this” strategic initiative.

Get it wrong, and your organization's very survival may be in jeopardy. Get it right, and it can provide fuel for your growth for the foreseeable future.

So, it ought to be treated as a major strategic initiative in your organization, and given the allotment of resources that accompany such efforts.

Gather your best people for a brainstorming session. Capture the output, and bring it to a more analytical group to refine. Put it in the hands of your best communicators to create the three versions mentioned above.

Then, test it before you commit to it. Put it in the hands of some sales people and gather their comments. Float it by some of your customers whose honest opinion you expect. Run it through the search engine optimization folks.

Refine it until you are ready to live with it.

Then, publish a short, four-to-eight word version in every conceivable place. On business cards, letterhead, voice mail messages, web sites, email signatures, etc.

Bring the sales people in, require they memorize a 30-word version of the pitch, and train them in persuasively presenting it. Lots of role-play and practice here. Do the same with anyone who has regular customer contact.

Finally, publish a longer, one-page version. Make it into a hard copy leave-behind for the sales force. Publish it on your web site. Hand it to every vendor.

Distribute it to everyone who has an interest.

Then, watch as it begins to flow into every aspect of your business, stimulating and shaping your growth.

Dave Kahle is one of the world's leading sales authorities. He's written twelve books, presented in 47 states and eleven countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine, His book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been recognized by three international entities as "one of the five best English language business books.” Check out his latest book, The Heart of a Christian Sales Person.” For more information, visit www.davekahle.com