Thanks for the great article. Chris. I need to polish my elevator speech a bit and this is the perfect reminder of how important it really is. Cheers,marc
Your Experience Doesn’t Matter, Unless You Do This
Resting on your laurels is deadly. In this video blog post, I’ll help you to see how to make your experience matter to your listener, no matter what your experience level may be.
Your accomplishments and experience form the basis for your unique value proposition. What’s the best way to maximize your experience and get your listener to say, “Tell me more…” ?
An Elevator Pitch Story
I was meeting a new coaching client for the first time, a high-powered pharmaceutical sales rep. “Chris,” she said, “I’m so glad to meet you! I’ve heard a lot of great things about you. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
Wow! That question is the classic set-up for an elevator pitch. I thought to myself: Ah yes, this conversation is going to be an easy one.
“Well,” I said, “I’m the national elevator pitch champion.”
“That’s great!” she replied. “What’s an elevator pitch?”
Bombarding a listener with features and benefits or “why you’re the best” is a strategy from a bygone era. True, what you have to offer is an important part of your elevator speech. But, as I learned from my coaching client, being the best doesn’t mean diddly-squat if you can’t make it meaningful to your listener. There has to be something more than accomplishments, features and functions, if you want your message to matter.
In a traditional sales context, there are three ways to sell something:
- Features and Benefits: Here’s what it is, here’s what it does. Horsepower, processing speed, pixels and service. (Hopefully, you’ve picked the right features and benefits for your customer – otherwise, this shotgun approach could take a while to find something that matters to your listener).
- Comparison: we’re the biggest and the best, better than the other guys. We try harder, we are better. (It’s similar to meeting a beautiful woman and telling her that you’re interested because she’s prettier than your ex-girlfriend. Nice.) Sometimes comparisons aren’t the best approach.
- Resonance:Resonance means “a quality of evoking response”, according to Merriam Webster. The term is used to describe objects vibrating at the same frequency. In this aspect, resonance is a metaphor for two people sharing an idea or concept. This idea of resonance is central to creating agreement, and central to closing the sale.[line]
The New Elevator Pitch is about resonance.
By creating a new method of communication, we create new results. Our outcomes aren’t based on features or benefits, or our past accomplishments, or comparisons. The New Elevator Pitch is about resonance – a message that connects with your audience at a new level of meaning. If that sounds touchy-feely or somewhat less than concrete, here’s how you can know if your message creates resonance:
When you finish your elevator speech, what does your listener do?
Does your elevator speech inspire action? Does your listener say, “Tell me more…”?
If you want to go beyond impressive accomplishments and interesting features, consider how to create a message that matters to your listener. That’s what I call, “resonance”.
You’re invited to learn more about presentations, sales training and branding workshops – available now. Call 214.205.4662 and find out how to put the new elevator pitch to work for you.
Main image courtesy of photohome_uk, used under creative commons license. Some rights reserved.
It's hard to know what to share and what to save, in an elevator pitch. I'm not surprised at all that your elevator speech has gotten business for you! I believe the best way to know what goes and what stays is by focusing on your listener, and phrasing your message in terms of what it can do for your audience. Do you use that approach with your clients, Lois?
Great post! A compelling elevator speech is a ticket to success. I know that I get/have gotten business based on mine. Thanks for reminding us that sometimes we can say too much!! I tell my clients that they need to not only make it compelling, but use an economy of words doing so.