An elevator speech is a short verbal snippet that clearly and memorably introduces you. It highlights your uniqueness and focuses on the benefits you provide. Imagine … you step onto an elevator and there is a lone occupant waiting to travel with you to another floor. You are together for less than a minute, but long enough to make polite conversation.
What you don’t know is this person is your ideal client. She has a problem you can solve. She cuts through the awkward silence and says, “I see you’re attending the networking event as well. What do you do?” Here it is! Your chance to make an impression and secure a new client. After a short stammer, you answer with, “I’m a coach and a copywriter. I hold a Master’s in Business Administration and have been running my own home-based business for ten years.”
With only a few seconds left, the elevator doors open. She politely responds with a smile, then steps off the elevator, gone … forever. After you finish banging your head against the button panel, you realize you not only blew it, but you now have an indentation of the twenty-first floor button on your forehead. What if instead you had answered with: “I help women entrepreneurs get more clients than they know what to do with and triple their profits in six months.” If she were your target client, do you think the second response would have sparked her interest and kept her on that elevator a little bit longer?
We all ask ourselves, “What’s in it for me?” when engaged in any type of communication, whether written or spoken. You want to take something of value from a conversation, learn something new, create a certain feeling, or receive information that will help you solve a problem or meet a need. If you spend the first 30 seconds labeling yourself and listing your credentials, or going into a technical spiel of your product or service, you will be met with nothing more than a big fat yawn, a glazed-over look or even worse, “Excuse me, I have to make a call” and a quick exit. Take the time to develop a benefit-rich, passionate elevator speech that will engage your listeners to want to hear more.
Write down a list of benefits your clients/customers receive from working with you or buying from you, and use those words and phrases in your benefit statement. There’s no need to label you self. Labels don’t provide the benefits the listener is looking for. Once you have your elevator speech developed, practice it over and over until it’s as natural as stating your name. You’ll be able to use it at networking events, in telephone conversation, when leaving voice mail messages, in any type of written communication, and yes, especially in the elevator!