I have talked to people interested in seeing what it takes to become a Virtual Assistant and something I’ve heard over and over is, “I am just…” or “I just do…”. This is the wrong approach when brainstorming a business idea.
You are so much more than “just” anything - You are a Master, an Expert.
You have mastery and experience in some service skill - whether it is mailings or letter writing or customer service - you are GREAT at something. Don’t sell yourself short. Be honest about what you have mastered. Being an expert in a service will provide you with the tools necessary to help others and build your service-based business.
Undermining your skills is not an endearing quality revered by others. It comes across as though you lack the confidence it takes to be a success. You want to portray yourself with the confidence to lead others looking for help with your services. You aren’t out to be led but show that you have the capabilities to complete the work and take responsibility for the successful results.
Lately, I have read and witnessed strong discussion on the value of elevator pitches/speeches. While they can be overused; spewed; and hurt businesses in some instances, I do think they have a place in the marketing of your business. It is all in the delivery, both how and when.
Do you have one? Do you know what it is? Do you spew when you shouldn’t? All valid questions you should take the time to answer and then implement your new found knowledge. An elevator speech has a place in building your business, your brand.
What is it?
The purpose of an elevator speech is to build excitement and anticipation around your brand/your business. It is not just a method to avoid those awkward moments when you don’t know what to say or how to approach someone. It is more of a response to an open-ended question about what you do and how you help others. It should be a form of sharing, not pitching. Therefore, I don’t call them pitches, but rather speeches.
Do you spew when you shouldn’t?
Elevator speeches are for when you are introducing people to your business, not for when someone already knows what you do and how you do it. It is not a means to build upon an existing relationship, but rather open the possibility of building new relationships. You wouldn’t approach someone you’ve worked with or someone who has been present since you started your business with your elevator pitch unless they are helping you perfect it.
Networking events are great to share and perfect your elevator speech, but at the same time, can be overused and repetitive. When there is a room full of people all doing the same thing, you need to stand out. What about your elevator speech makes you unique? Depending upon the circumstances of the interaction, it may be worthwhile to specialize your message based upon the venue.
The goal is to motivate people to learn more about your business or choose to work with you. It is not to just throw a bunch of useless statements to your audience without a clear message or intent for the listener. You want to provide detail, but also answer questions, and leave the listener looking for more, or increasing their interest. You should explain how your business meets a need with concrete action steps and results.
Confidence is Key to Successful Delivery!
Having a solid elevator speech is great, but the success is in the delivery. If you aren’t confident about your message or comfortable sharing it, you will flop. The goal is to own your speech and truly believe in your message.
You should know your speech inside and out. There should be no doubt about what you are saying or the words you use to deliver the message. This quick blurb doesn’t offer the time or recourse for “Ummm” or stuttering. You should be able to recite it forward, backward, or be able to pick up at any point therein. Someone may interrupt your delivery. You want to be able to pick up and continue the value you are providing. You might have to adjust your overall delivery based upon what types of questions the listener asks. Maybe they want more detail or information on a specific project or task you complete. You need to be prepared to expand upon your information. When someone asks for more detail, then your elevator speech worked – AWESOME!
You wouldn’t be where you are unless you were excited and invested in yourself, your business – let that shine through when you talk about it. Be confident that you are delivering a product or service that matters and is valuable. By showing that you value yourself, you show others that they should value you as well.
How Do I Build My Elevator Speech?
Identify Your Goal
What do you want people to take away from you? Do you want to pitch an idea or product, or simply explain your business?
Explain What You Do
What solutions does your business or service offer? Remember to focus on what you want the listener to remember about you and your business. You want to portray that goal with excitement and positive energy.
Communicate Your Unique Offer
Why should someone consider working with you or opting to learn more about a service or product you offer? What makes it unique and intriguing.
Engage the Listener with a Question
End your speech with a question that leaves the listener looking for more information. Make it an open-ended question that leads to further interaction. Just be sure you can answer any questions thoughtfully and with relevant info.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you feel comfortable with the elevator speech you’ve created, the next step is to perfect your delivery. The written word is great, but if you can’t deliver it with confidence and enthusiasm, then it will flop. You need to practice it, know it and be able to effectively use it and expand upon it. So, connect with your accountability partner, mentor, coach, significant other, bff, family or Me to work out all the kinks and own it. Make it part of you, part of what makes your business STAND OUT from the rest.
Use the mini-workbook to work through the process and if you need more guidance or want further direction, reach out to me!