It’s always interesting giving my own, or listening to someone else’s elevator speech. Now, I don’t profess to be an expert on the topic. However, I will say that observation and experience are great teachers.
Inevitably, I end up in a room full of professionals who are there to evaluate me and my business. Great. This is where I need to stand up and be beautiful for less than three minutes, after going after someone with the linguistics abilities of Senator Barack Obama.
What do I say?
According to many people I have worked with, I am to memorize this speech that is about 30 seconds long. Well, that never reached the top of my priority list, although I did write something out.
This went through numerous revisions, always saying what I wanted to say, but not in a way that people would “get it”.
Great…a useless moment in time.
However…not useless. I learned a few things along the way:
1) don’t write it to yourself. Write it so your fifth grader could understand it.
2) don’t write it out and memorize it. Use bullet points that you need to cover.
3) don’t make it sound memorized or like a commercial. People do business with people they like and trust.
4) don’t get caught up in rhetoric. Tell them who, what, when, where and why (5 W’s – scary thought, huh?) and get done.
5) don’t make it sound like you are throwing up at them. People don’t like to be spewed on.
6) don’t get wrapped up in your company. People want to know why they might want to meet you, personally. Besides, you might get fired. Go for the relationship.
7) don’t act as though you are about to pass out into your chair when you are done.
8) don’t forget to smile
9) don’t forget to make strong, confident eye contact
10) don’t forget to pass out your business cards or refer to it, often. If you can squeeze an offer in there, all the better.
Your elevator speech is going to be your first informal conversation with someone. Believe me when I tell you that the relationship is as important, if not more important that the sale. Be clear, act with integrity, and you may have built yourself a better mousetrap.