First let me tell you what NOT to do. Don’t talk about you, don’t talk about your products. In as short a statement as possible tell them the measurable results you deliver, and who you deliver them to. Then shut up.
Don’t try to tell them EVERYTHING in one breath. Tell them something that is so powerfully grabbing that they just have to ask you for more, and even then when you respond keep it short, keep them asking for more.
So, how do you do that?
Here is an exercise I do with all of my clients that usually changes not only how they present themselves, but often it goes so deep that it changes their vision of who and what they are as an entire business.
Take out a sheet of paper and create 4 columns. Consider this activity as brainstorming, a work in progress, that will continually change not only as you work your way through it this time, but should get you thinking so that you will continually come back to the worksheet to make the answers better and better over the next few weeks. So, for your first pass, don’t worry about getting “the perfect” answer, just get something down on paper to start the thinking process. You’ll come back later and make it better and better.
The first column, far left. Products, services and/or features.
- List your products, services and/or features down this column. For most people this has been what you have been telling the world that you do or sell. It’s going to change, believe me. List each and every one.
The 2nd column to the right. Benefits, why buy the product?
- For every item in the column to the left, directly across from each one write what the benefit of buying that product is. Think more in terms of bottom-line results. After you have written down why someone should buy the product ask yourself why someone would even want whatever it was you wrote down there. Keep asking your self why, why, why until you’ve gotten down to the real bottom-line of why someone should buy your product.
The 3rd column. Why buy the product from me?
- For most of my clients there is someone just like them on every street corner. Just imagine that you are standing on a street corner with hundreds of other people. They all are wearing the same clothes, same height, same skin color, same hair color. You’ll be lost in that crowd. Your job now is to find what makes you so different that you will be “the first” person seen when a stranger walks up to that crowd. And, eventually we’ll want people to come to THAT street corner looking for just you.
At this point, take your best shot as to why someone should want to buy from you. Again, this had better be about results that someone will get from YOU. Just get something down. Then ask yourself why would someone want this and keep asking why this over and over until you’ve gotten the right answer. After we’ve answered the question in the fourth column, you’ll probably come back and change this or make it even better.
Caution: Don’t make your advantage about price, that is a losing proposition under almost any condition, you’ve got to find something better than that. In fact that is likely to make you like most of the others on that street corner.
The 4th column. Measurable results.
- This is where the rubber meets the road and where you will find the most powerful statement for your marketing, and for your 30-second elevators speech. Looking back at the benefits of the product, and the advantages of working with you, turn both of them into measurable results (not activities…. RESULTS).
This is when I hear the grumbling from a client. “You mean I have to tell someone exactly what result they will get from buying my product? You’re asking for an awful lot. I just can’t guarantee the results people will get from buying the product. ”
Yes, this requires a commitment. A commitment to do exactly what you said you’d do. A commitment that many are not willing to commit to.
If you can’t come up with an answer, you’re in the wrong business. If you can, you will be the first person that anyone sees in that crowd on the street corner.
Consider the measurements and how you will present them. Write down some measurable results: average, maximum, minimum. You can state a fact that a customer typically gets _, or, you guarantee a minimum result of _, etc. The first part of this is stating very clearly what you have done, what you will do, or what you’ll guarantee.
Making your results measurable gives a very visual perceived value for what you do. People buy you or your product based on the value they perceive you will deliver, so help them find that value and make it so visual that they don’t have to guess. No one else on that street corner is doing that. They have been selling a product, a service, of if they have sold a benefit it has been vague. You will stand out, your sales will catapult.
It wouldn't hurt to go back to “Why buy the product?" and “Why buy it from me?" and revise it. Usually once I've forced a client to come up with those measurements, the benefits of the product, and even the benefits of working with them start changing. So, review, change, and go through it again. Get out there and use it. Over the next few weeks keep looking for the ideal measurement, and come back to revise over and over. It'll keep getting better.
When I give my 30-second introduction at a chamber event, or other meeting, I will have people run up to me after the meeting. “How do you do that?” “You can’t really do that…can you?” I even have people weeks later who see me around town run up to me to ask me about what I said.
My elevator speech is:
- About 80% of my small business clients double in 3-4 weeks. Would you like to double yours? I work with struggling businesses to help them stop struggling in weeks, and multiply their business. I take them by the hand to guide them through that maze of obstacles that have been holding them back, to help them find the breakthroughs that catapult them to unseen levels. What are your obstacles?
Don’t hesitate to play with what you say at networking events. Try it one way and watch the results. If you are a BNI member, or a chamber member, those are ideal places to try this out. Measure the results of your elevator speech by
- The noise level of the room after you say it
- How many people approach you after the meeting
- How many approach you whenever they see you in the future.
It will change your business in more ways than just this. You’ll probably change your vision about who you are or who you can become.
Alan Boyer, President/CEO of The Leader’s Perspective, LLC is considered one of the world’s leading breakthrough specialists. He has worked with some of the worlds largest companies, on projects in the multi-billion dollar area, and with single proprietor companies. He has worked on many hundreds of projects with companies that have resulted in multi-$100 million savings or gains. With over 35 years of business, quality, and process experience, he has catapulted businesses lightyears ahead in weeks. Some have doubled and some have jumped 10 times. He claims the key to that is:
- Helping the business owners/employees develop the business skills
- Helping them overcome the limitations and attitudes that they built between their ears (the self imposed limitations, I can’t, this won’t work for me, I’m different)
- By helping them find the breakthroughs in their business and thinking