Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Elevator Speeches for Fun and Profit

How to Make More Money with Less Time and Effort
by David Krock, President, Krock Business Development
Copyright (C) 2005 All Rights Reserved.

"So, what do you do?"

When you meet someone on an elevator, how do you answer that question? You've got about 10 seconds to make an impression before the thing hits the ground floor.

What do you say?

Utter a single "I'm an attorney" or "I buy houses", and the other person is free to decide what that means, using their own pre-judgements. When they do, who takes control over your marketing message? That's right, THEY do. That won't garner you new business.

What if I told you that, in 10 seconds, you could grab the attention of the person who needs your service most? What if you could control the conversation from word 1? Would that save you a TON of time at that next networking mixer?

It's simply a matter of thought and preparation. Here are 4 easy steps to building a great "elevator speech":

1. Start with a question that triggers a problem.

Take the single biggest problem your product or service solves, and turn it into a "You know how..?" question. Example: "You know how most new businesses fail in the first year?"

2. Wait for an acknowledgement.

This usually comes as a nod or a verbal agreement. If you get a "what do you mean?", you'll have the opportunity to elaborate, but this is usually because you've not articulated the problem well enough, or worse, that person doesn't really see it as a problem! Go back and re-craft your opening question until you get a nod the first time out.

3. Solve the problem.

Example: "You know how most new businesses fail in the first year? Well, I help business owners not only beat those odds, but make more profits on less and less of their own sweat each year after."

4. Shut up.

Believe me, the person who can benefit from what you do will ask to hear more. They may even add their own anecdotes, etc. If you've got a likely candidate for your solution, they won't let themselves go quietly into the night. If they aren't a candidate, you've wasted no more than 10 seconds of your time. No muss, no fuss, no cleanup.

Crafting an elevator speech is part of developing an overall Unique Selling Proposition (USP for short). Your USP is the thing that sets your business apart from the rest, the benefits you can give that your competitors can't.

More on USP's very soon.