Guest post by Mark Silver, Heart of Business.
A lot of blood, sweat, and tears goes into crafting your ‘elevator speech’ (I hate that term). You’ve probably agonized over it, striving to catch just the right tone and wording. Finally, you’re (hopefully) finished.
For the final blessing, you turn to your friends and colleagues, and test it out. They respond:
“That’s great! I love it. Go for it.”
They’ve just killed you with kindness
Are they lying? No, they aren’t. They sincerely like it. The problem is, they aren’t your clients. Or, worse yet, they might be potentially clients, even if they are friends or colleagues, but you’d never know it.
So, what’s going on?
The true purpose of the so-called ‘elevator speech’
Your 30-second shpiel is not meant to win you a client. It’s not meant to sell your program, or anything else you sell.
The only thing your marketing ‘tagline’ if you will is supposed to do is help the person who hears it decide if they want to walk into your store or not. It’s just a window display that helps them decide: “Is this something I’m interested in, or do I know someone who might be?”
That’s it. It doesn’t have to do such heavy lifting. In fact, 30 seconds is way too long. One or two sentences is plenty. Because once you’ve spoken them, they’ll know immediately if they have ‘the response’ or not.
The only response that counts
The only response that counts is if someone can either say, “That’s me!” or if immediately, without having to think about it or be prompted in any way, faces or names of people they know jump into their mind.
“I help women who are struggling with chronic illness and still want to contribute in the world.” Immediately, I’m seeing the faces of women I know who fit this.
“We help people in business for themselves, who got into business to make a difference, but really, really need to make a profit.” “You do? My buddy Tim needs to talk to you.”
When a client of ours landed on the right message, she tested it out on friends, and they didn’t say: “Oh, I like that.” They said: “Wow, I didn’t know that’s what you were doing. Can you help me?”
THAT’s the response you’re looking for.
Oh, there might be one other response.
The other response: “That’s nice.”
Sheer indifference will be what comes up for people who aren’t interested, and who don’t know anyone else who is. Which is absolutely fine.
You can walk past an automotive speciality shop, and if you’re into cars, you get drawn towards the open door like a magnet. But if you’re not, you might not even notice that store is there.
It’s not necessary that your message wow people, or even be that remarkable. It just needs to be clear enough to call someone’s name, so the right people can say: “That’s me – I want to talk to you about this.”
While it’s not super easy to come up with the right tagline or elevator speech, you don’t have to make it harder on yourself by chasing the wrong people’s opinions.
How to Say What You Do (In One Compelling Sentence)
No matter who you test it with, it can still be a challenge to come up with your answer to ‘What do you do?’ Say too much, or the wrong thing, and eyes glaze over.
Why shouldn’t you feel clear and confident when you say what you do? And why shouldn’t it be compelling enough to have people coming towards you?
Well, you should be, and it should be. There are misunderstandings about what it needs to do, and how to put one together
We’ve taught our particular approach for years within the context of larger programs. Now we’re going to be releasing the teachings in a fun, zippy, yet still spiritually-profound class.
You can check out the first lesson here: How to Say What You Do Free Lesson
Mark Silver is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and designated Master Teacher in his Sufi spiritual lineage. He heads up the team at Heart of Business, Inc, and has worked with thousands of clients over the last ten years, many of them in the holistic and healing arts. He’s been known to geek out on esoteric Sufi spirituality.
© Mark Silver 2012
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