You’ve heard of Elevator Speeches – those short ‘blurbs’ we offer when someone says, “What do you do for a living?” It should be short enough that if you were on an elevator with someone, you could spit it out before the doors open. It should be meaningful enough that your listener hears and understands what you’re saying. And it should be intriguing enough that they want to know more. And that, as you know, is a tall order for something that lasts under 30 seconds.
Regardless if you’re sales prospecting, speaking, asking for money or simply networking, your audience makes up its mind about you in the first few minutes.
And because the time allotted to give an Elevator Speech is short and you’ve got to grab your prospect’s attention fast, every word counts. That’s why I’ve compiled the best 9 tips for making your Elevator Speech rock. You pick and choose which of these tips is right for you:
Don’t overload it with information. Instead, stick to 3 main points: What, why and how. The “What” of your Elevator Speech explains what you do in basic terms. Don’t get fancy here and don’t use technical terms. Saying, “We are a software company” works. Giving a 2 minute dissertation on base band cross platform scalable default configuration doesn’t. (BTW, I have no idea what I just said there.)
The “Why” of your Elevator Speech explains why you exist. What problem do you solve? What bad thing do you prevent or what good thing do you make possible? “We send kids to college who otherwise couldn’t go” works. “We make widgets because we love making widgets” doesn’t.
The “How” of your Elevator Speech is how you do what you do. Simple, right? How do you send kids to college who otherwise couldn’t go? By matching them with grants, loan programs and affordable colleges.
Here’s the ultimate test: If you gave your elevator speech to someone over 70 and someone else under 12, would they understand it? If not, try again.
Open your Elevator Speech with the name of your company and follow it with your products and services you provide. Don’t speak in generalisations – this is your chance to show how different you are. Assume your listener doesn’t know your area of business, so don’t use jargon and acronyms.
Next, outline why your product is needed and what problems it solves. This makes your business real to your listener and shows how it makes life easier or more productive for your customers. Practice your speech over and over again, and deliver it with confidence and enthusiasm.
To make your pitch persuasive, you’ll want to be clear, credible and compelling.
We’ve already covered being clear – if the average person who isn’t in your industry can easily understand what you’re saying, then you’re on the right track.
So how can you add to your credibility? It’s not by comparing your business to someone else’s – it’s by telling what your business has accomplished. Even if it’s that you’ve signed your first 2 clients or you’ve held your first class, state your achievements rather than trying to tear down any perceived competition.
To be compelling, your solution should represent a dramatic improvement in your niche. Being a dollar cheaper or 2% faster isn’t enough, but showing a 2x improvement may make anyone sit up and take notice.
Downloadable Quote Card: Here’s the ultimate test: If you gave your elevator speech to someone over 70 and someone else under 12, would they understand it? If not, try again.
Michael was working his Internet information business 60+ hours per week and making good money, but he had no time...