Ok – Business Card and Elevator Speech in Use, Now What?
After careful planning and decision making on your part, you have implemented a clear Elevator Speech and got your “Snazzy” business cards in potential clients’ hands, now what?
This is what will make or break you. You have hit a few with your elevator speech and passed out your card left and right, so you have taken the first steps. The outcome of those hits is determined based on what you do to follow-up with the connections you’ve made.
Hitting the ball out of the park is timely and effective communication.
You want to follow up quickly after you’ve made a connection and piqued someone’s interest. Keep you and your business in the forefront of their thoughts. Doing so, within a day or two of your initial introduction, you set the groundwork to signing them as clients. You should include a Call-to-Action in that follow up.
What is a Call-to-Action and how do I present it to them?
Your call-to-action should be clear and provide steps to follow. Offering a link to a lead page for a course you offer; providing a strategy session to set up a service package to meet their needs; or sending them an assessment to see if you can effectively collaborate together are great ways to start.
You want to show them the benefit of your business, your services. Allow the value of your services or offer to shine through. Present yourself in a manner that shows your skills while offering potential clients’ a means to meet their needs. Do Not turn into the run-of-the-mill “Salesy” cliche.
The benefits met through using your service is the BEST way to gain clients.
By telling someone what you do, you simply offer a crap sales pitch. However, if you listen and learn how to meet their needs, you turn into a problem solver. BINGO – you have a client. You then continue to show them how your services meet their needs. This is not a once and done process. It is how you build value in your continued service. If you love what you do, then it will be a snap.
Do Not get sloppy – it will show.
Don’t start off with the gusto of gale strength winds to mill around and keep going like a gentle summer breeze. the gusto is what gets them to find you a worthwhile expense. Don’t reward that with the enthusiasm of a wet mop after they say yes. You have to live and do what your benefits present. You can’t say one thing to get them in the door and then not deliver. You will quickly lose clients and credibility if you don’t follow through on your word. Earning the trust and respect of new clients should keep you showing up day in and day out. Each day is a new opportunity to knock their socks off. It is not the time to slack off and get complacent thinking they will stay no matter what.
Remember, you are not the only person who is offering these services.
There is a reason they chose to work with you. Remind them of that reason every chance you get. Remind them why they should stick with you to keep growing their business and meet their needs.
If you have a great idea and aren’t sure of the next step – sign up for a free strategy session so we can discuss how to gain that next new client.
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!
Networking – a term a lot of people have come to despise while others can’t wait for the next event. Me, I am somewhere in between. Networking is great when it is done with people who possess the traits and skills I want to learn about or grow within myself. However, events with less than par attendees leave me drained and weary. Regardless, I do my best to make the most of all events I attend.
I have come to realize that Networking Preparedness is vital to success. Attend any event unprepared without marketing materials and you can come across as unorganized and unprofessional. Also, being able to summarize what you do and why it matters is a key component to success when networking.
I have come up with a Networking Preparedness Challenge that offers you the chance to create your own Networking B.O.B.
A Networking B.O.B. – it is a networking bug out bag. What is a bug out bag you ask? Well, it is a survival kit. So, I have created a Networking B.O.B. that contains everything you should have to be prepared at any time to network and build your business.
You never know where your next BIG client will turn up – maybe at that soccer game or band concert. Sitting at your local restaurant eating dinner, someone may overhear you comment about your business and BOOM, you have a discovery call scheduled. Whenever and wherever, you need to be prepared.
After watching numerous people fall short in this area, I learned early on how vital it is to be able to share your business at a moment’s notice. Be prepared at all times. Your grandma may have warned you to always wear clean underwear, but I’m sure your business-minded grandfather was sure to keep you on your toes about your business endeavors, regardless of where or for whom you worked. You may have gotten annoyed by both types of inquiries and recommendations, but both were coming from a place of love and concern.
You want your business to shine at all times. Make sure you can exemplify what you want your clients to learn from you. It doesn’t matter if you want to work with a number crunching auditor or the free-spirited artist, they will all take notice if you aren’t prepared.
Are you up for the Networking Preparedness Challenge? Let's find out!