Yep, we’ve all been there. Someone comes up to you at a networking event and asks, “What do you do?” And you blurt out something boring then walk away feeling like you just wasted a great opportunity.
Because so many people struggle with the elevator speech, I invented a workshop called Create Your Brilliant Elevator Speech. In it, I coach people on how to get totally clear about the identity of their ideal customers – and how to get them to listen.
(You may notice I don’t use the phrase elevator pitch – are you throwing things at your prospects?)
Many of my clients, despite being at the top of their game, still struggle with their elevator speech. Why? Almost universally it’s because of the issues below.
4 Reasons You Struggle With Your Elevator Speech (and what to do about it)
- You underplay the unique value you bring to your ideal customer. Even if your product or service is readily available from other companies, only you do it exactly your way. So, instead of saying, “I’m a financial adviser,” say something like this, “I’m a financial advisor who works with attorneys who are 5-10 years away from retirement and are afraid they won’t be able to keep up their lifestyle after they stop practicing law.” See the difference? (Disclosure…I have a client who says just that in the elevator speech…and it works like a charm!”)
- You are good at explaining what you do, but you don’t explain why your ideal customer wants and needs your business. We all want to tell the world what we do – but we don’t always say to the world who we do it for, and why. Inject your ideal customer into your elevator speech so your listener(s) can visualize who you help and will refer you when that person comes around.
- You aren’t totally clear about who you need to attract – is it the final decision maker or is it a gatekeeper? Often I work with B2B businesses owners, who, when asked to describe their ideal customer, will spout details such as gross revenue, public vs. private, etc. Listen, people buy from people, right? The final decisionmaker may be someone you will never be able to get in front of. So, focus on who you can get in front of and what he or she wants more than anything in the world regarding what you have to offer – insert that into your elevator speech.
- You don’t clearly articulate why your company is a better choice than your competitors. Make a list of all the reasons why your ideal customer should hire you instead of your competitors. Then rank them from 1-5 (with five being the most valuable).
If you recognize yourself above, don’t feel bad! It’s normal. In fact, many of my clients work in marketing and branding – and they struggle with this stuff, too!
Although my elevator speech workshop is just a teeny weeny slice of the in-depth work I do with my private clients, it does provide an illuminating and empowering experience for the attendees – and for me, as well. I’m always blown away by their insights – so I thought I’d share some of them with you:
A Real Estate Agent: “This made me realize that my best clients are renters, new to the area, and ready to buy their first home here. I never saw that until now.”
An Interior Designer: “I thought my ideal clients were women. Boy, was I wrong! All my best clients are men, but I didn’t see it until now.”
The Owner of a Healthcare Company: “This made me realize that when people ask me what we do, I have been downplaying my company’s most valuable benefit (which is a part of our corporate name). Crazy!”
A Financial Advisor: “I have never thought about including my master’s degree in financial planning in my elevator speech until now. And it sets me apart. It was right in front of me, and I didn’t see it til now!”
I love sending an attendee out into the world with a big new dose of confidence – and I know it will lead to sales. It works! (check out some of the Google reviews here).
If you’re interested in attending an elevator speech workshop, email me for the schedule at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, thanks for reading!
Struggling to get clear about your ideal customer? Give me 30 mins and I’ll tell you something about your ideal customer that you never thought of before! Schedule below: