Do you have an elevator speech? How do you answer the question, “What do you do?” It’s been said you only have 30 seconds to impress your sales prospects and customers. Actually, it could be even less! If you’re selling products and services it’s critically important that you can answer the question – what do you do.
Most salespeople don’t have one and that’s why you need one.
An elevator, prepared in advance, speech is a compelling statement about you, your products and the services you provide that grabs attention and creates curiosity in the time it takes for a short ride in an elevator.
The origins of an elevator, prepared in advance, speech literally come from a chance encounter in an elevator knowing there’s only a brief amount of time to deliver a message that’s both unique and intriguing.
The point is you meet new people every day. You never know when the next business opportunity will present itself, so having a prepared elevator speech that’s ready to go on a moment’s notice is crucial.
Think about it, even in a job interview you’re usually asked, “Tell me about yourself,” and what do you usually do? Spout off in chronological order the jobs that you have held. Boring! Bland! Benign!
If you’re in sales you want to set yourself apart from the competition and creating an effective and powerful introduction is one way to do it.
Let’s say that Susan owns a hairdressing Salon. She finds herself waiting in a line at the post office and to pass the time she strikes up a conversation with those standing near her.
She’s asked, “What do you do for a living,” and her normal response was “I own a hairdressing salon,” which pretty much says it all – just not in a creative way.
Imagine now that she responds, “I own a hairdressing salon and our stylists make our customers more attractive everyday.” Okay, that is certainly an attention-getting statement, isn’t it?
The people in line now want to know more about Susan and her Salon as a result of her short elevator speech.
They want to know how it is that Susan makes people more attractive because deep down they are wondering whether Susan and her stylists can make them more attractive as well.
That’s an example of an elevator speech. People are always clamoring to know, “What’s in it for me,” and you have 30 seconds to sell yourself or your product in such a way that your sales prospects want to know more.
So how do you create an elevator speech
It’s not too difficult, but it does take time to get it right.
Start off by making a list. Write out exactly what the product or service is. Now make a list of all of the benefits a buyer of your product or service will receive.
Your list of benefits is the centerpiece of your powerful introduction.
For example – “I’m a sales representative with over 20 years of experience in environmental services.” Your sales prospect is probably thinking, so what?
What is your value proposition? How does your 20 years of environmental services experience help your sales prospect? What if you added this phrase: “My specialized training and advanced degrees allow me to quickly identify the red flags I spot during on-site inspections.”
Ah, now I understand why I should learn more about these environmental services.
You may need to create different versions of your elevator speech based on the business you’re in. Think about the types of people who you interact with on a daily basis and develop different versions if it makes sense to do so.
Just make sure it’s professional, polished and conversational.
Remember that practice makes perfect. Your elevator speech should be spoken flawlessly.
Here’s a sales tip
Record yourself so you can hear how you’ll sound to others. This will allow you to make the adjustments to make your elevator speech sound more conversational and spontaneous. Go here for even more sales tips.
The best elevator speech I ever heard was created by a president of public relations firm. It went like this. “Our business is to make your business unforgettable.”
You want your elevator speech to be “Unforgettable.”