An elevator pitch, elevator speech or elevator statement is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_pitch)
[About Cat Hartliebe] [Writer’s Stuff]
An elevator speech is one of the most crucial things in business. It’s a 90 second suggestion. By the time it’s over you either have the customer ready to buy or at least asking important questions, or you failed.
This is similar in nature to the 140 character tweet or the two minute infomercial. It came about when elevators first started. You have from the time a person gets on to the time they get off to persuade them to meet up later or buy from you right then and there.
Can you do it?
No one gets their pitch off right every single time. The world is filled with three types of people <when dealing with sales>. The first is the forever ‘no’s. This group will never be persuaded by any pitch no matter how good you are. “Cold calling” (strangers if want for a better word) puts a lot of people in the no group. (I don’t know you, I don’t want to know you, and I just want to continue on with my life.) People who are an always no are ones you need to ignore. It doesn’t matter what you’re pitching. A typical romance will never be marketed to a child. That’s an always no.
The second group is the ones you can make money off of; all you have to do is find them. They are the ‘yes’ group. They are looking for your product or service. This group makes sales seem easy. “I was looking for a new read, thank you.” Normally you don’t even need your elevator speech. They’ll ask you.
The ones you actually need your speech for are the maybe/I don’t know group. The book/product/service is something they may need or want, but still need a reason as to why to choose you versus someone else. The elevator speech is the key to getting these maybes into the yes group. In less than ninety seconds can you persuade them?
For book and product sales, this can be done anytime you meet someone or when you have the book/product handy (such as at meet and greets, conventions, faires, stores, etc.). If you do not have the book/product present to sell, have a bookmark with the title/pamphlet or a business card with your name. You cannot expect someone to remember the spelling of your name after a few minutes. It is far better to sell the product right away than hope they’ll search you up later.
For service selling it’s a bit different. Since there is no object, you cannot sell the object right then and there. This can be anyone from repairmen to lawyers. It’s a service, so the elevator pitch is even more important than with product selling. The key here is to always get their name and number. Then you can call them up later to set up an appointment at your office or place of choosing. Letting them have a business card helps, but most people do not call back. It’s a rare few who would <talk about yes people>. By initiating the second meeting, you are creating a second memory link in their mind. Notepad and pen are good, but registering them into your phone and doing a test call puts you in their phone bank. This will make things easier in the future.
Okay, okay, I went over the why, but not the how. Well, that’s going to depend on the product/service, and how you approach people. These speeches can start anywhere: on line at the supermarket, making coffee at the convenience store, looking at the same item, stuck at a long traffic light, etc. Even if you fail nine times out of ten, the tenth time will make a difference.
Create a ninety second speech. It won’t take long to create the first draft of it. Then try it on your friends, your family, or your S/O. Watch how interested they are throughout. Be wary of too many opening for questions. Watch for monologue-ing. This isn’t a play; monologues make people lose interest fast. Fix where you know there are problems. Then when you find yourself caught between random people, try it out.
What do you lose when you try?
<As a note, be wary of sounding like an advertisement. There is a big reason why some people talk to someone when buying a product. Be social. Be friendly. Be human.>