Goodbye Elevator Speech

by Carol Lynn Blood - Date: 2006-12-10 - Word Count: 614 Share This!

Recently, I spoke to a group of small business owners about the power of knowing your competitive advantage when marketing yourself and your organization.

It never seems to fail; someone raised their hand and asked about the elevator speech. I am here to tell you that if you are still utilizing the elevator speech premise, it is time for a change.

Granted, you still only have 20-30 seconds to make a strong impression. However, boring them to tears is not how you do it. Too often, the elevator speech creates the well-known Charlie Brown effect. In other words, you are talking and the other person is hearing, "wa-wa-wa-wa." There is nothing being said that sets you apart from anyone else.

You must remember that the best way to gain another professionals trust is to identify your similarities. You want to establish common ground. You do this by thinking of your introduction as a three-part process.

First, what is a common problem that your clients face? For example, "A lot of people have come to me and said, 'Bob, I can't seem to keep my office organized."This is a common dilemma. Unorganized people are always looking for help with this particular problem.

Secondly, you need a bridge sentence. "And you know what? That's where we can help." After your bridge sentence, take a brief pause to be sure you have their attention. It also builds suspense.

Thirdly, you need to solve the problem discussed in part one of your sentence. "Bob's Squad comes to your rescue by offering simple, affordable solutions for all of your organizing needs.

Be sure to use your first name when discussing the problem and the name of your business when resolving the problem. This helps to brand you and your organization into their memory.

By creating this common ground, people begin to listen and think about who they know that might need your help. It also creates a very effective opening for someone to ask, "Really? How do you do that?"

When you hear that question from the other person, you know that you are on the road to forming a beautiful relationship. As you walk away, they will remember who you are and what you do. You will not be one of those business cards that will be tossed aside once they get back to the office because they cannot remember whom it belongs to. You have made a lasting impression.

Do not make the mistake of overpowering the conversation. Answer the question briefly and than express an interest in their organization. Do not enter that conversation thinking, "What's in it for me?" Enter that relationship thinking, "I look forward to helping this person grow their business." You will find that networking is much easier and it will result in a stronger referral base because these contacts have grown to trust and like you. You have made a friend.

You have your introduction tweaked and are ready to go out and meet others. Before you leave your home or office, be sure to practice in the mirror. How do you look when you talk about your organization? Are you excited? Animated? When you are not enthusiastic about what you do for a living, others will find it hard to get excited about it as well. Check out your facial expressions and your body language. Be comfortable with the words that you say and know that a little passion goes a long way. Be memorable. Be remembered.

The elevator speech has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Make room for a more comprehensive introduction in your repertoire and know that when you are acutely aware of what sets you apart from others, you will always be able to create an interesting introduction.

Related Tags: marketing, branding, business, networking, public, relations, nebraska, carol, blood, urpr, bellevue, omaha

Carol Blood is President of U R P R. Her 20+ years of business experience. U R P R's programming is based on over twenty years experience of working with small businesses and area professionals. It was noted, through these relationships, that many people were struggling to find ways to take their businesses or careers to the next level of success. To read more articles, visit and sign up for the FREE bi-monthly newsletter.

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