You finally get the chance to meet that really big prospect at a networking event and you know you've got a tiny window of opportunity to connect with him to make your introduction. You manage to approach him to introduce yourself, and he says, "Nice to meet you...and what do you do?" If you are like many of us, you launch into some spontaneous rambling about your products or services in an unimpressive and in a not very memorable way. And you know you've blown it when Mr. Big smiles weakly and says, "Nice meeting you as he walks away. I'ts then that you realize you have just missed a big chance to advance the relationship to get his business. What could you have done differently to maximize those precious seconds to make a compelling impression?
What it takes is a well-crafted "Elevator Speech"
An elevator speech is a brief description of what you do and who you do it for, like a personal commercial.
Most people will state what they do, but they don't describe how they help customers improve the quality of their businesses or their lives. They don't mention how they add value or include any benefits. And most importantly, they don't make the other person want to continue the conversation. If you can keep the conversation going, you are on your way to advancing the relationship that will ultimately lead to doing more business.
So exactly how do you craft a dazzling elevator speech?
Let's start with the timing: It should be of the length that you could share with someone in an elevator on a short ride.
There are many different strategies on this, but studies show shorter is better.
7 to 9 seconds will do it, and some are up to 30 seconds, but remember the shorter it is the easier it is to remember! Every word counts and the crafting of the message is clearly is critical.
Let's share a few steps to get you started:
Step #1 - Take out a piece of paper and simply write down all the services you provide for your customers. Think about how you help them save time, money, improve productivity,
Step #2 - Brainstorm why people choose to do business with you. We all know there are many different providers, but list what makes your customers want to continue to do business with you and what do YOU do to make them raving fans
Step #3 - Write out what you do in such a way that it encourages more conversation. As an example: Instead of saying, "I sell real estate", you might say, "I specialize in helping people get the most for their money when they buy or sell properties."
Step #4 - Break the statement down - Tell us what you do and then tell us how the customer derives the benefits from working with you. As an example for a financial planner you might say, "Hi, my name is Carol and I help families save money SO THAT their kids can go to college and they can still enjoy their retirement."Or, " I help people build wealth by managing their money SO THAT it works better for them."
Step #5 - You must write out your elevator speech. It becomes you and it must roll smoothly and be spontaneously delivered. It must be easily understood which means, you must...
Step #6 - Practice, Practice and Practice!
It may be something you continually tweak until it sounds just right!
After you've been able to open the door at an encounter or event meeting using your elevator speech your next step is to continue to advance the relationship by asking questions about what they do. Get as much information as you can, and then use this powerful script:
"Mr. Big, it's been delightful meeting you. I'd like to see if I know anyone in my database that might be a good prospect for your business...How can I best refer you?
This sentence alone will make you stand out, and allow you to discover what this person needs and wants really are, so you can determine if they are a fit for what you sell!
Get their interests, ideas and information, and here's a critically important step:
Your follow up is critical, so whatever you promise to do or send...do it! Your elevator speech can work for you hundreds of ways and hundreds of times in a day!
Here's several ways you can use it,
After a meeting, be sure to follow up with a personal note, or send your new prospect a book or information about something you've discussed at your meeting. This will help them remember you and the event and make it easier to get an appointment when you call.
Using a well crafted elevator speech to introduce yourself and what you do becomes effortless, fun and highly productive. And if you really want to maximize your business opportunities, invest in designing an elevator speech that takes you to the top!