Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Public Speaking: What Is Your Elevator Speech?

You're in an elevator and in walks the meeting planner you've been trying to reach for a year. You've got 15 seconds to make an impression. What do you say...

"Hi, my name is Stan Smith, I'm a professional speaker." or "Hi, I'm Shirley Jones, I'm a Sales Trainer." or "Hi, my name is Elizabeth Gonzalez, and I'm a success coach."

How far do you think any of these statements will take you?

Do they continue the conversation? Do they get you an appointment? Do they get you any business? NO! NO!! NO!!!

The reason these statements don't get you a response - or any business - is because they're focused on you. What you do. Not what's of interest - or benefit - to the customer.

So What! When you can say "SO WHAT!" after a statement, it's not a benefit. And that's why you're not getting anywhere.

Question: What's the most popular radio station in the US? Answer: WII-FM - WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME!!!

As an alternative, Stan could say: "Hi, my name is Stan Smith, I work with companies helping them improve their customer service. Do you have a quick moment to chat, or may I give you a call at your office."

Shirley could say: "Hi, I'm Shirley Jones, and I work with companies that want to improve their people's performance so they can close more sales and make more money. Do you have a moment?"

Elizabeth could say: "Hi, my name is Elizabeth Gonzalez, I work with companies helping their employees set their priorities and stay focused, so they can grow their business and become more profitable and successful. Do you have a moment?"

BENEFIT STATEMENTS I call these statements BENEFIT STATEMENTS for they focus on the benefits that you offer to your client/customer, as opposed to focusing on what it is you do.

Let me give you another example. This is the bio from one of my books.

Jeffrey J. Mayer is one of the country's foremost authorities on time and business management, [SO WHAT!] and is the author of many best-selling books. [SO WHAT!] He has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, People magazine, and many other publications. [SO WHAT!]

For years I've used that bio and I wondered why I never got any phone calls.

Today it reads a bit differently: Jeffrey Mayer helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals manage their time, set their priorities, and stay focused so they can achieve their goals, grow their business, and be more successful.

And here's another example. A client of mine who does programs on how to find referrals says: "I help sales people learn how to find qualified prospects so they can grow their business and make more money."

A client in the health care industry now says: "My programs help doctors manage their practices better so they can provide better patient care."

If you want to grow your business and get ahead, you've got to have a great Elevator Speech.

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