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Crafting a compelling elevator speech

Your elevator speech is a verbal business card or billboard

by Leah Grant  |  4763 views  |  0 comments  |      Rate this now! 

Your elevator speech is a verbal business card or billboard.  In order for it to be effective it must be compelling.  You want it to draw in the prospect yet leave them wanting to know more.

It is one sentence, two at the most, and serves as your benefit statement.  Your elevator speech needs to be just what its name implies, short enough to share on an elevator ride. It should provide clear, jargon-free information about who you are, what you do and what's in it for the prospect.

Craft your elevator speech when you have a crystal clear picture of your business.  Simply stating your industry and title is too vague.  You must be able to articulate the main problem your specific type or business focus solves for your target market.

You must also know your target market and what motivates them.  For example, when I was networking with financial planners, I tested a few elevator speeches to see which got the best response. The one that worked well was "I partner with new financial planners who want to blow their numbers out of the water." The one that flopped was "I coach financial planners so that they can effectively market themselves."

The latter describes what I actually do with them, but that language is not as appealing to them as the other statement because they tend to be competitive and driven to win.


What to include in your elevator speech:

1.) Your name. Oddly, some people forget to put their name in their elevator speech.  You are promoting yourself, so be sure to state your full name clearly.

2.) Whom you work with or who your product is for. Identify your target market.  Being this specific won't eliminate buyers, it will make it easier for people to refer you business.

3.) What's the benefit they get if they buy what you're offering. You can state either the end result or share the problem that you solve.

4.) What is your product or service. Most elevator speeches work well without mentioning the actual product or service, because most of the time people buy the benefit.  Sometimes it is necessary to include.  If it is, do so without going into detail or listing the features of what you offer.  Come up with a succinct and attractive way to state what you sell.

What not to include in your elevator speech:

1.) Your title. In most cases your title doesn't tell people much about what you do.  It wastes words and time.  If they are interested, they can see it on your business card.

2.) Pricing. Never include what you charge in your elevator speech, but do be prepared to discuss your fees if asked.

3.) Features. Features are not benefits, but many professionals confuse the two.  Features are things the product or service has; a new car's features might include anti-lock brakes, a lighted mirror on the sun visor and six cup holders.  The features may provide benefits, such as safety or comfort.  In your elevator speech, focus on the benefits.

About the Author

New Business Mentor Leah Grant publishes Startup Success, a weekly ezine. If you're thinking about starting a new business or are in the early phases of entrepreneurship, subscribe now for tips, articles and resources at http://www.leahgrant.com

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