An elevator spiel communicates several things: who you are, what your work is and what makes you unique. For maximum effectiveness when at business networking events, sales coaches advise a 30 and a 60 second version to do this. What most sales coaches don’t advise is that the focus must be on the customer, not on you. Focusing on the customer is actually more comfortable and natural for introverts, so even the most reluctant salesperson may want to adopt this model.
What is your focus?
Focus on the sale, the sale, the sale and the elevator will go down. Is your focus to help people with your product or service? Once you have said your name and optionally your company name, you want to immediately make statements about how your customers benefit. Yes; the company name is optional because really, unless you work for a major corporation like Apple, Anheuser Busch or the like, who cares? Keep the customer the main focus and state what type of customer you serve.
Lead with your customer’s benefit.
Business Networking International, BNI, taught me about the, “Did you know?” Principle. If you can include one, two or even, three, “Did you knows” that address pains or problems your customer has, this is the beginning of a powerful elevator pitch. Try inserting two, for example, “Did you know that many salespeople are reluctant to follow up with a prospect after the first contact? Did you know that 80% of salespeople give up on a prospect before they are ready to buy?” “Did you know’s” focus on a customers pain or problems, and more easily lead to a benefit statement without losing a prospect’s interest.
Get from pain to benefit before the elevator stops.
After the one, two or three of these, “Did you know’s,” now a salesperson’s elevator statement focuses on what you help your customers with. Continuing with this example, “What I do is help my clients identify their reluctance or procrastination. Then we set up a personal system so that their follow up is easy, doable and gets them more sales results.” Okay. You may be thinking, “My introduction is like this already.” You may very well talk about benefits. The suggestion that is going to make a positive leap in your networking connections is to talk only about benefits after you identified those one, two or three pain points.
Hold attention from floor to floor.
Consider your name, company and type of client you serve are on floor one; second floor are those one, two or three, “Did you know’s,” and the third floor contains the one, two or three benefits that your client gets from buying from you. Each part of your elevator pitch should stand on its own in any kind of environment.
And how is that different than the other 10 people here?
You may be at a networking event where there are other realtors, financial planners, coaches or whatever your profession may be. What makes you unique? No, not that tired, “We have customer service beyond expectations.” Geez. So many people say this. It’s overused and actually cliché. Ask some of your customers about what is it that attract them to you, then list all that you know which makes you unique. What makes me different as a business coach is that I work with introverts, shy and reluctant people and I am one - an introvert. Your uniqueness leads people to want to know more or know someone else who wants to meet you.
End your elevator ride with a remembrance.
End your introduction with a memorable statement. However, keep in mind your focus is still the customer. So, any tag lines or hooks that have the most appeal have the words, “for you,” or “your.” "That’s interesting. I think I need to talk with you.” Or even, “Wow! How do you do that?” is a type of response you want to get.
As you put all the pieces and each floor of the elevator pitch together, it’s important that both your 30 and 60 second versions roll of your tongue.
Then practice both versions until you own them; until you can say them easily even on an elevator ride. Then when your ‘elevator’ gets stuck, be ready for more conversation because anyone in the elevator with you will naturally ask, "That’s interesting. How do you do that?" Have your business cards ready and be ready to ask for someone else’s business card.