Insights – An Elevator Speech That Opens Doors

People are busy, distracted and suspicious about anything that feels like a sales pitch. So how do you make the most of those moments when you have a prospect in close proximity and a minute or less to generate interest in your business?

Surprisingly, the answer is to have a speech prepared … a very succinct speech that doesn’t sound like one at all. Here are some pointers on how you can pull it off.

Practice For Precision. You don’t have time to take the long way home. Your pitch should be short and snappy, something you rehearse carefully and present with precision. While practice makes perfect, you don’t want to sound overly staged. Keep it conversational and eliminate anything that comes across as canned or formal.

Narrow Your Focus. Don’t try to cram too much into the short timeframe you have. It will either create information overload in your prospect or cause you to rush and muddle your message. Keep it simple and focus on a couple of key points and you’ll have a better chance to engage, provoke and intrigue before the clock runs out.

Begin With The Benefit. People want to know what’s in it for them, so why not lead with that information? Instead of saying “I’m a financial planner” someone in that profession could say “I help people grow their savings and retire worry free.” It’s a shift in focus from the product or service to the rewarding benefit it brings.

Gauge Reaction. Like a standup comedian testing jokes in front of a live audience, the reaction you get from your elevator speech experiences is invaluable. If certain messages make people perk up and show interest, that’s your A-material. If other messages cause a furrowed brow or frown, you’ve missed the mark. Pay attention, make adjustments, and go forward with a stronger, prospect-approved pitch.

While some take it literally, the term “elevator speech” is just a metaphor for those briefer occasions when you have a chance to say who you are and what you do. Unless someone asks, don’t ambush him or her with an unsolicited sales spiel that ends as awkwardly as it begins.

Hone your pitch for all it’s worth, then let it flow in any environment where potential customers are found. It could open doors that lead to opportunities beyond the range of any elevator.

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