Your Elevator Speech – An Important Marketing Tool

Do you have an “ Elevator  speech” memorized and ready to give at the drop of a hat? Or rather, at the drop of that innocent little question: “What do you do?”

You should, and it should be well-considered. In fact, this little 15 to 30 second speech is so important that it might serve you well to consult with a professional when writing it.

Did I say “writing it?” Yep, sure did. If you write it, practice it, and memorize it, you won’t be floundering around, stuttering, and falling over your words when the question is asked.

It took me a while to learn that lesson, and I’m embarrassed to recall some of the responses I gave to the question before I saw the light and made myself take a couple of hours to refine and memorize my response. You see, I prefer the written word. It allows me to look at what I said, reconsider, edit, change, add, and delete until I know it says what I mean.

Put me in front of a crowd with no script and I start to flounder. Unfortunately, I did the same when store clerks or people I met by chance asked the “What do you do” question. (I didn’t meet anyone in  elevators  – there are no  elevators  in this small town.)

Your career choice may be easy for people to understand, so if you say “I’m a Realtor” or “I’m a mechanic” or “I’m a hairdresser,” at least they will have some inkling of your general field of expertise. They just won’t know why they need to know you.

When you say “I’m a copywriter” they don’t. In fact, most people think that means that you help people gain copy rights to their written or recorded work – or maybe to their inventions. Even many small business people have never heard of a copywriter and have no idea about what we do.

So why is that brief speech so important? Because every casual contact you make is a potential client or customer. Because every contact you make carries the possibility of them telling someone else about your meeting. And you never know when someone will just be yearning to know someone like you.

If you don’t let them know who you are, and the benefits you offer, you’ll miss the opportunity.

So now, take the time to really think about what you do. What is the most important benefit that you give to your customers and clients? My mover friend in San Francisco says his is “Taking the stress out of life’s 3rd most stressful event.” Of course, when he answers that way, it opens the conversation so he can tell them that moving is said to be life’s 3rd most stressful event.

There’s something about what you do that is a true benefit to your customers. If you’re a hairdresser you might create hairstyles that bring out every woman’s beauty. If you’re a mechanic you keep people safe and prevent expensive breakdowns. If you’re a Realtor you help people achieve their dreams. If you’re a tutor you might awaken latent abilities and promote academic and life success.

Whatever it is, you need to phrase it clearly and briefly – because often you have only seconds in which to answer and capture someone’s attention – so you can hand them one of the cards that you just happen to have handy there in your pocket. (At least I hope you do!)

Writing postcard copy is tough because it’s brief. Writing your  elevator  speech is tough too, but just as worthy of your time and thought as the postcard you’ll send in the mail.

One last thing – be sure to smile when you deliver that speech. You want everyone to know that you are indeed happy to be providing that wonderful service!