You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression
Your Guide to Creating and Effective Elevator Speech
from the 1 sentence HUB statement, to the 30 Second Intro, to the 60 Second Commercial!
You’ve been there… that moment when you‘re asked, “What do you do?” For a split second the excitement pulses through you and you think “THERE IT IS! It’s MY opportunity to talk about my business!!!”…and then it happens… you freeze responding with a nervous giggle or blurt out something that sounds like you just spoke in a different language? The polite response is usually something like, “Oh that’s nice” end of conversation. Networking & referral chance blown! SO what do you do? You consciously create (and practice!) a series of responses that can be used in a variety of different circumstances. When you have a prepared elevator speech you come across more confident and professional when you meet new people who might be interested in your services.
An elevator speech is the quick statement you would offer someone in an elevator who asks “What do you do?” The term “Elevator Speech” was coined because your time in an elevator is limited so your message needs to be short and to the point or about the amount of time the ride in an elevator takes. The goal is not to gather leads or sell something on the spot, but instead to start a business relationship. That begins with a conversation. It is important to have a mindset of “how can I serve you,” not “what can I sell you.” Remember you are beginning to build a relationship here.
You can use this DAILY to find clients and referrals while you are out an about ANYWHERE! It should be second nature and roll off your tongue with ease. You can be your own walking marketing tool!
Before you begin to create, do a little reflection (make some lists):
- Center yourself – Take some deep breaths… then find your confidence. CONFIDENCE will make or break you during 30 second intros! Get excited!
- What is your passion? What are you excited about offering? Make a list of your strengths, adjectives that describe you or your services. What do you want your potential client to feel? What do you want to solve or represent?
- Who is your target market? What does your ideal client look like? It’s crucial to be specific here. Having a ʹgenericʹ elevator pitch is almost certain to fail, so be specific as to who your target audience is.
- Know Yourself and what you have to offer – Before you can convince anyone of what you have to offer them, you need to know exactly what it is you are excited about. You need to define precisely what you are offering, what problems you can solve and what benefits you bring.
Next up: make a HUB statement – Hottest Undeniable Benefit
Your HUB statement is one succinct, distinctive and compelling sentence that allows people to immediately grasp who you work with, on what, and the benefits resulting. This sentence should not mention your actual position or what you do in most cases. By recognizing your hottest undeniable benefit, you will hone in on what you do for your customers. The best HUB Statements appeal to people’s feelings. What benefit do you offer that appeals to people’s feelings the most?
People want to know what you can do for THEM… they don’t really care how long you’ve been in business or want to listen to some techno jargon from your field. They want a clear concise answer to “what do you do” (and more importantly – what’s in it for me).
Let’s get creating…
First you want to choose the “who”? Remember, you are not trying to market to EVERYONE… who is your target market? Be specific! Pick a group you have knowledge about and a passion for. Remember your HUB statement is NOT intended to be an all-inclusive that limits you to work with only THAT type of client. You are using this for marketing purposes… if you try to market to everyone you’ll be too generic and people will lose interest before you finish the sentence.
Second, think of a specific challenge that particular group faces. This is the “what”. Make it something specific AND compelling! What problem can you or your services solve for them?
Finally, think of a few words that describe your undeniable benefit – the unique talent or skill that you will use to support the target market. This is the “how”. How will you solve their problem?
Simple but dynamic words and phrases will come across more clearly and professional. The sentence structure is often something like this, “I work with (who) _________ to (what) __________ by providing (how) _______________.
Write a few sentences down on paper… Let it settle and sit… walk away from it then go back to it, cut out the unimportant words and make it powerful! There you have it! A concise, one sentence HUB statement!
Now that you have a rockin’ HUB statement, broaden it into a 30 second intro. On most people’s 1st attempt you will actually create your 60 second commercial. This can include website or how to contact you, etc. You can then cut out extra words or sentences to make your 30 second intro from your 60 second or vice versa… if you create a 30 second intro add more description etc. to make it 60 seconds.
Begin your 30 second intro by stating your name and company name.
Next give your HUB statement!
Finally restate using different words about what you offer and the benefits of doing business with you. Try to stay away from lingo that someone outside your industry wouldn’t understand. You are trying to be captivating and inviting. Intriguing the listener to want to know more about what you can do for them and what your business has to offer them. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU! Keep the focus on what’s in it for THEM. How will you solve a problem THEY have. But you can express why you are unique, what makes you stand out from the crowd.
Some choose to conclude with “a good referral for me would be_______” and others end by restating your name and company name or website. It really depends on your audience in the moment. You have to go with what FEELS good to you. You certainly don’t want to feel awkward when saying it.
Other helpful points:
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! Did I mention you must practice?
- If you have the opportunity to give a 60 second commercial and you are “done” before the time is up… STOP TALKING! It’s better to give a short and sweet intro than to ramble on.
- If speaking to someone who is clearly NOT your target market or ideal client… Turn it into a referral request… What would be a good referral for you?
- Don’t be TOO catchy or cutsie… you want to be memorable and referable… but too over the top will turn people off.
- WORK ON YOUR HANDSHAKE! Seriously! NO ONE likes a limp handshake!
- Don’t be so serious. Have fun! Be approachable, welcoming & exciting.
- Make an impression! Make a connection! Be memorable!
- Your HUB statement, 30 second Intro and 60 second commercial should be revisited OFTEN. You must keep it fresh and you must change it up for different needs. Every business grows and changes, and your introduction needs to grow and change with it.
- Content is important, but delivery makes all the difference. Find your confidence!
- Adjust the pitch to the person who is listening. Tailor what you say to who is in front of you.
I’d love to hear what you come up with! Send me a message or post a comment. If you need help why not request your sample session or if you are already a client, bring it up at our next coaching appointment!