Share This Page

Powered by CoalaWeb

 


 


Deprecated: Non-static method JApplicationSite::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/theexecu/public_html/templates/gk_cloudhost/lib/framework/helper.layout.php on line 149

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplicationCms::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/theexecu/public_html/libraries/cms/application/site.php on line 250

Create an irresistible “Elevator Speech”

Jill Konrath’s career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. Jill is a frequent speaker at sales conferences and kick-off meetings. Sharing her fresh sales strategies, she helps salespeople to speed up new customer acquisition and win bigger contracts.   www.jillkonrath.com Jill Konrath’s career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. Jill is a frequent speaker at sales conferences and kick-off meetings. Sharing her fresh sales strategies, she helps salespeople to speed up new customer acquisition and win bigger contracts. www.jillkonrath.com

“So What Do You Do?”

Now that’s a million dollar question! If you answer it correctly, the thick walls protect in the inner sanctums of big companies come tumbling down and the red carpet is rolled out for you. Answer it incorrectly and you get stuck on the outside, envious of those who managed to get in and wondering why no one wants to meet with you.

Everyday you meet people who could use your products or services or who know others who could benefit from what you do. But unless you tell them what you do in a clear, concise and compelling manner, these relationships go nowhere.

That’s why you need an elevator speech – a short description of your business that enables  prospective buyers to know who you work with and what value you bring to the relationship. An elevator speech conveys these marketing messages in a manner that literally attracts the right customers to you.

In today’s fast-paced world, the average person is bombarded with thousands of marketing messages from multiple mediums every single day. Advertising is everywhere – television, radio, road signs, email, banner ads, direct mail, clothing, pens, newspapers and magazines. These pervasive, and often intrusive methods of capturing attention have created a backlash; most people don’t even noticethem anymore.

To break through all this marketing clutter, it’s imperative to have an enticing elevator speech that speaks directly to the needs of your customers. And, it has to roll off your tongue easily, naturally and conversationally.

Many people intuitively know this, but still struggle with how to respond.

Synopsis

An ‘elevator speech’ is a short description of your business that enables prospective buyers to know who you work with and what value you bring to the relationship.

It’s imperative to have an enticing elevator speech that speaks directly to the needs of your customers. Placing yourself in the same category as your biggest competitors makes you a commodity.

People much prefer to work with specialists. Thus, rambling on in the hope that something you say piques your prospect’s interest would undoubtedly back-fire.

Do not try too hard to impress your prospects with your own importance; most people don’t like the implications of intellectual superiority or elitism. They’re intimidated by the big words and won’t ask questions that might make them look stupid.

Every seller should seek to become an ‘Attractor’ with an enticing elevator speech that will invite and stimulate further discussion.

The success of your elevator speech depends on your ability to craft a message that offers a strong promise of benefits to your target market. A really good one immediately differentiates you from your competitors.

Classic Elevator Speeches

Let’s take a look at the classic elevator speeches people give to the “What do you do?” question. This will help you understand why you may not be attracting as many customers as you’d like.

The Minimizer

Most people are Minimizers. They position themselves by either their title or by their products/ services. Minimizers’ elevator speeches are brief and factual. Knowing their elevator speech needs to be short, they give the most concise response possible. They really dislike “puffery” and bragging too.

Here are some common Minimizer

responses to the big question:

• “I sell software.”

• “I’m a consultant.”

• “I’m a mortgage broker.”

• “I’m self-employed.”

What’s wrong with the Minimizer’s elevator speech? When you lead with your title, most people immediately assume they know what you do. As a consequence, they’re typically not too interested in learning more. Plus, many jobs have really negative connotations. When you position yourself by the products or services you sell, you immediately put yourself into the same category as your competitors. How many other web designers are there? How about printing salespeople? Marketing communications companies? IT specialists?

Placing yourself in the same category as your biggest competitors makes you a commodity. If someone needs what you do, they immediately want to know how much you charge or what your price is. No matter what you say, you’re in trouble! Buyers automatically compare your price tag to other suppliers – even though they don’t know why you may be a better value, more productive or more capable.

The Rambler

Much as I dearly love most Ramblers, they do drive me (and most everyone else) crazy. As you can imagine, Ramblers babble on-and- on, seemingly unaware of their affect on prospective buyers. Based on my observations, there are two types of Ramblers.

Floundering-For-My-Niche Ramblers

These Ramblers lack a clear target market and value proposition. In response to the “What do you do?” question, their elevator speech usually sounds like this:

“I do a lot of things. I’ve done lots of sales training in the past. But lately lots of my customers have been asking me to do facilitation. I’m really good at helping companies launch new products.

“Sometimes I write their marketing copy; sometimes I do PR. It really doesn’t matter. I like doing both – and I’m good at both. I’m doing this neat project right now for a client – it’s mapping the various futures for their markets so I’m into strategy development too.”

The floundering Ramblers share everything they can do – hoping that something they say piques your interest. They don’t want to close down any opportunity to generate revenue. Unfortunately, their elevator speech has just the opposite affect. People much prefer to work with specialists. Also, what these Ramblers don’t know is that their elevator speech projects a sense of desperation and ‘lost-ness’ that’s unattractive to most all buyers.

I-Love-My-Subject Ramblers

Ask these Ramblers what they do and you’ll wish you never had. Typically they’re highly involved with their products or processes – and really love them. When they start talking, they don’t want to stop.

Here’s how their elevator speech

might sound:

“We do process re-engineering with the various department, divisions, business units and subsidiaries from organizations as well as the numerous contractors that provide products and services that go into the development of your own branded and unbranded products. We initially start by doing a comprehensive assessment of the multiple groups involved in the process, covering questions such as …”

Boring! While these Ramblers are certainly specialists, they say so much that you don’t know what’s important or relevant in their elevator speech. And the

last thing you want to do is ask them another question because they may bore you to tears.

The Impresser

The Impresser wants to set himself apart – no, above – others. Their elevator speech sounds like this:

“I work with only the best companies in the industry. Elite Enterprises and SNOB are my biggest customers. I work

closely with their CEO, Terry Gucci. I’m sure you’ve heard of her. We handle their COQS financial systems, specifically in the rearbitration of the micro-funding

from their international and intergalactic commercial markets.”

Impressed? You should be, because the Impresser goes to great lengths to ensure you understand just how important he is.

High-falluting words and industry specific acronyms fill his elevator speech. Also, you’ll hear lots of name-dropping; well known people and top-notch companies are part of the repertoire.

The trouble with the Impresser’s elevator speech is that it’s off putting. Most people don’t like the implications of intellectual superiority or elitism. They’re intimidated by the big words and won’t ask questions that might make them look stupid. Again, another elevator speech which doesn’t deliver results.

The Attractor

The Attractor’s elevator speech is magnetic to the right listeners because it’s focused on their needs, issues and concerns. Here are several examples:

• “I work with people who are struggling to sell their products or services into large corporate accounts.”

• “I help small businesses win big contracts with large corporate customers.”

• “I help technology companies who struggle launching important new products into the market and want to improve their time-to-profitability.”

These are some of the different elevator speeches I have used. Each one of them has been successful for me. They all invite and stimulate further discussion – which is exactly what I want!

Every seller should seek to become an Attractor with an enticing elevator speech that puts you in front of the right people who are mostinterested in what you offer.

Conclusion:

Guidelines for Writing

The success of your elevator speech depends on your ability to craft a message that offers a strong promise of benefits to your target market. A really good one immediately differentiates you from your competitors.

Customer-attracting elevator speeches must convey TWO main ideas. They must specifically define your target customer. AND, they must help prospective customers understand the value they can receive from your product or service.

Follow these guidelines to create your personal elevator speech. Talk Results, Not Products or Process

Customers don’t care what you do. They don’t care how you do it. But they do care deeply about their business. They’ll be extremely interested if you can do things such as:

• Solve a pressing problem.

• Improve operational efficiency

• Eliminate bottlenecks.

• Increase sales or cut costs.

• Enhance customer loyalty.

• Open new markets.

This is the most important thing to remember as you develop your own elevator speech. Focus on what the customer gets – the outcomes – not on what you do.

Keep it Short, Simple an Concise

One to two sentences is the maximum you should use. If you feel you absolutely must say more, you haven’t determined the true value you provide. Or, you love your product or process so much you feel compelled to describe it in all its glorious detail. Don’t. Limit yourself to just one or two outcomes. If you say more, you dilute your message and confuse your potential customers.

Contrary to what you may think, the more narrowly you describe what you do, the broader your appeal will be. Conversely, the more broadly you describe what you do, the less attractive your proposition is. People want specialists. Short and sweet makes a winner. If you can say your elevator speech (correctly) in less than ten seconds you’re doing well.

Clearly Identify Your

Target Market

Do you work with certain industries such as technology companies or professional services firms? If so, include it in your elevator speech. Do you work with certain types of people such as executives, salespeople, plant managers, or accountants? If so, spell it out.

Whoever hears your elevator speech should know exactly what kind of businesses or people you work with. Remember, your elevator speech doesn’t have to attract everyone – just those who might be able to use your products or services.

Make Sure It’s Conversational

An elevator speech is not an ad or a slogan or a tagline, so avoid words you wouldn’t normally use if you were talking to people. You don’t need to sound “catchy.” Remember, when you’re talking to people you use lots of contractions. You don’t say “are not”, you say “aren’t” in everyday conversation.

 

 

 

Last modified onFriday, 10 April 2015 09:50

Contact us

Telephone

+356 2010 7775

Editorial: editor@the-executive.biz

Advertising: sales@the-executive.biz