I’ve always disliked the “elevator speech” concept for a normal business. I’m comfortable with the concept as it relates to people pitching a business idea to investors, potential partners, etc.
But, the elevator speech as it stands typically sounds to much like a scripted blurb, which isn’t how you want to engage with your prospects and customers.
I’ve written about the “pitch” before, but didn’t take the full step of decrying the misuse of the elevator speech.
Instead, I like to have a flexible framework of material that I’ve considered that focuses upon who I serve and what I help them do and customize it during each conversation.
Most of us have heard the elevator pitch before. You meet somebody and are still evaluating how much you want to engage with them when they launch into a paragraph or more of a prepared pitch that they think is a great introduction to them and their business.
While the elevator pitch may be well crafted and informative, it probably isn’t focused on me or my situation or needs. Mostly when I hear them my eyes glaze over. It rarely leads to anything more informative than a business card thrust at me.
Instead, learn more about the person you’re talking to and work your introduction into the conversation fluidly and genuinely. Hear what they are looking for and what their challenges might be.
If they aren’t forthcoming, then you can lead with a “I help xxxxxx do xxxxx.” This sounds easy, but you’ll need to give it quite a bit of thought. Knowing what value you bring to your clients can be a challenge to articulate in its most root version. Who your ideal customers are can also be hard to define, mostly because we want to be as broad as possible and not rule any customers out.
You’ll rule some people out with your introduction, but you’ll attract the right prospects for your company and the connection will have a much greater chance of being a productive one.
Remember that even if our customers are businesses, its people that are the buyers. Don’t fall into the “one size fits all” version of introducing your business.