All entrepreneurs know how important it is to give a good elevator pitch (a 30-60 second description of what you do) that can enroll prospects into wanting to talk to you more). And yet most people freeze up when people ask them what they do.
If you want to succeed in giving a good elevator pitch, then there are 7 things that you can to to make it more engaging and several mistakes you need to avoid. So in this article, we’re going to discuss what those things are, how to avoid them , and what to do instead.
You are only 7 steps away from a good elevator speech!
Ever wondered why some people seem to effortlessly give an elevator speech while others feel tongue tied whenever someone asks them what they do.
When you give a 30-60 second speech about what you do, you are communicating on many levels. Your words and mannerisms tell people whether or not you are confident and passionate about what you do. The way you give your pitch tells people whether or not you are tuned in to them and what their problems are.
I used to give an elevator speech that was pretty bad in that it sounded like most other people’s in my field of work. It was all about me and what I did which is ineffective.
Then I came to realize through marketing gurus, that I was making the same mistakes as most consultants and coaches and it was robbing me of new clients who could have benefitted from my services. I started studying what successful people were doing.
And here’s what I realized: They get it! They use a whole different formula for crafting their elevator pitches and because of that, people understand what they have to offer and want to use their services.
So in this article, I’ll discuss the top 7 methods that you can take to excel in creating a good elevator speech.
Method #1: Keep it short and powerful
You might be wondering why this is essential. People stop listening after about 25-30 seconds. If you want to keep the conversation engaging, you need to stop and get them talking about themselves – even better if they are talking about the problem they have that you can help them solve.
So even if you have 60 seconds to speak, make the first 30 seconds be your message and use the second 30 seconds to give an example of what you do. See the next method.
Method #2 Make it About Them, Not About You
Don’t tell your listener about the 20 different things that you do – boring! They will have checked out after the first two or three while nodding politely. Instead speak in “benefits oriented language” or WIIFM – Whats in it for me? “I help people who love their work and are really good at it to bring more cash flwo and clients into their business so that they can enjoy their work again.” is about the client and much more interesting than “I do consulting, business coaching, life coaching, public speaking, etc.” which is all about me. Stick to the main benefit you provide.
Method #3 Remember Your goal.
Your goal is not to make a sale right then and there but to spark the person’s interest enogut to set up a to get a second meeting to discuss the possibility of working with you. So focus you elevator speech on the main benefit of the most common “entry level service” or “first sale” – the thing that most clients use you for first. Once they become a client, you can tell them all of the ohter services you provide.
Method #4: Use a story
Incorporate a powerful story into your elevator speech. I did this once a speed networking event where I only had about 30 seconds.
I gave one sentence about what I do, and then I told a story about how I helped a client in one of my groups to double her income. (I have helped others to do so but for the sake of a specific story, I chose one scenario). When I use this story, people’s eyebrows go up – they can relate to it more than if I just say “I do this, and I do that, and I do the other thing etc.”
Are you using the same method too? Probably not. Well I’m not surprised because I wasn’t doing so in the past as well. But once I started doing this, my elevator speeches changed drastically. And here’s why: People relate to stories and remember them. They want to know that you understand what they are going through. If you tell them about a client who was having a problem and how the person was feeling because of it, it shows that you are compassionate. Then when you tell them that you solved the client’s problem or helped the client solve it, and how solving it impacted the client, it shows that you are competent and that your services are worth investing in.
Method #5: Use The Following Formula To Engage Your Listener
Do you know how_many people________________________fill in the blank with the main problem your clients have)? Well, what I do is__________________________________( fill in the blank with the solution you provide. Don’t tell them how you provide it, unless they ask and even then, keep it brief.
Method #6 Combine a Head and Heart Benefit
People buy with their hearts and justify with their minds. So it really helps people to want to buy from you if your give them a combination of a hard benefit to appeal to their logic and a soft one to appeal to their emotions.
A hard benefit is one that gives strong results – ones that justify spending money. To say that my client was able to double her income shows that my services pay for themselves and it’s worth investing in. A soft benefit is a feeling benefit – this is the real reason that people buy. If I say that “in doubling her income Susie was able to be at peace and enjoy running her business again.” this is compelling to the person I am talking to who is stressed out all the time. It also shows that I understand and value her feelings.
Method #7: Be Specific
For some reason our minds love specificity. If you say “I sell residential and commercial real estate people may or may not be interested. After all, they know other real estate people who do the same.
But if you say something specific like “ I specialize in helping people who live in Manhattan who want to relocate to Northern New Jersey to find wonderful houses in great neighborhoods that they can easily afford.” That makes you an expert. Not only will the listener think of all the people she knows to see if anyone fits your client profile but you will be seen as the “go to” person for people in that situation.
I know that it’s scary to narrow down your focus. You may find that people ask you for related services anyway. Try it out for a while and compare your results to your regular elevator pitch. Once someone buys from you, you can tell them about additional services you provide.
If you want to succeed in creating a good elevator pitch, just follow some of the above tips. Practice it until it rolls off your tongue easily. As long as you do that, I’m sure you’ll reap the full benefits of the work you put in.
On the contrary, if you do not follow these methods, you will probably continue to get poor results.
I wish you all the best at giving a terrific elevator speech.