Last week I had a meeting with a very well-known motivational speaker. I had met him before at a seminar and interviewed him over the phone for a book, so I felt somewhat comfortable. While on the phone interview, I told him I wanted to write for him. He was surprisingly very open to it. As an idea guy, he was bursting with brilliance but short on staff. We discussed possibilities and soon I was set up with a project. Once I finished, I knew there were many others sitting in his office waiting to be sold. But he was so busy I couldn’t connect with him. So, I planned a shopping day near his office (an hour away from me) and asked if I could drop by. Fortunately, his schedule had an opening!
I had a little trouble navigating to the offices and was late, which I hate. He had lunch ready for us in a conference room where we could chat. After showing me around, he asked me to deliver my 30 second “elevator speech.” You know, how you would explain what you do to a stranger in 30 seconds or less.
I didn’t have one.
If you think my hair is red, you should have seen my entire face and neck. I turned a noticeably deep shade of scarlet. He looked dumbfounded. Fortunately, he was able to glean enough of what he needed through our conversation to figure out how I sell myself (obviously, not very well that day). I learned my lesson. I went home and wrote my elevator speech that night. I suggest you do the same. See my instructions below.
YOUR ELEVATOR SPEECH – STEP-BY-STEP
An “elevator speech” is a short synopsis of your business that can potentially get you clients. It shouldn’t take any longer to deliver than the time you would spend going between floors in an elevator – roughly 30 seconds. If you have an enticing opening, people often want to know more. Then you reel ‘em in.
When crafting your elevator speech, remember to include the “what’s in it for me” factor. They don’t really care what you do. They want to know what’s in it for them. How can you help them?
- Identify your target market at the beginning of your speech. Don’t be afraid to be narrow. Having a niche is preferable, as you probably already know. Everyone can’t be your client.
- Identify the problem you solve for your target market. This should provoke curiosity. “I help widget manufacturers who have a hard time increasing their sales.”
- Expound on how you solve that problem. What techniques do you use? What are some examples of your results for other clients? Know statistics about trends in their industry if possible.
- Separate yourself out from the pack. Why is your company different than the others? Why should they hire you?
- Practice, practice, practice saying it until it sounds natural. Otherwise you’ll SOUND like you’re selling and turn off the listener immediately.
Here’s mine. You’re welcome to use it as a template, but please don’t copy it word for word. It would be embarrassing to have my speech delivered back to me one day (though I would respect you for having one at all!)
“I work with entrepreneurs who are having trouble increasing their sales. So I woo their customers into buying by using persuasive language – I’m a copywriter. Since sales are all about relationships, I write copy that builds trust and loyalty to my clients by using the right words. I start by learning all about their business and competition. Then I don’t waste anybody’s time because, I know going in what works and what doesn’t. There are certain techniques and psychological factors that can dramatically increase sales. I know them.”
Author Resource -> Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999.