But to make networking pay off you need to know what to say when the conversation turns to”…. and what do YOU do (for a living)?”
When this question comes up, you have only a small amount of time to communicate who you are and what you do (in order to grab the other person’s attention and generate a positive response).
The Big Mistake
The most common mistake women make when asked “what do you do” is to talk too much about OURSELVES. It’s so easy to launch into a detailed explanation of your company, or share all the interesting facts and science related to your products.
(When you have something unique and valuable, it’s hard to not get carried away!)
You may find yourself saying something like “Well…. I’m a wellness consultant with XYZ company and we’ve been in business for 30 years and we have a line of bionic products featuring the latest in nuclear science that keeps anti-aging radicals at bay… (blah blah blah)….” If you’re like me, and have made this mistake many times – you can pretty much predict how others will respond.
They stare blankly (like a deer in headlights), take your business card, make some polite excuse and then wander off. The real crime is that they leave with no real understanding of what you do and, more importantly, what you can DO FOR THEM.
If you really want to grab people’s attention – in a way that’s going to lead to new sales and business for you – you need to focus your conversations on other people (not yourself); the easiest way to do this is with a well crafted “elevator speech.”
You’ve likely heard the term before; if not, an elevator speech is a short, compelling message you share with a prospect during a brief encounter (such as going up a few floors in an elevator) to communicate what you do in a way that will generate some positive interest – and leads to a next step (exchanging your business cards at the very least, or another chance to connect and have a more detailed discussion).
What Should I Say?
The best way to format a compelling “elevator speech” is to keep it simple, and focus as much as possible on “what’s important to the other person” vs talking about yourself.
This is not the time to give your new friend an hour long presentation about your business. You want to position “what you do” in a way so that other people can easily “get the value” and recognize how your products or business can help them.
Here are a few examples you can use to start crafting your own killer elevator speech:
I help ___________________ (your prospect) ________________ (achieve benefit or result you know is important to them).
For Example: I help moms to make a great income working from home. I help small business owners to boost their monthly income with an extra source of revenue. I help baby boomers to feel healthy and have tons of energy.
A slightly more complex elevator speech focuses on both the IMMEDIATE benefit and LONG TERM benefit of your product/business. The long term benefit captures the overall feeling or experience that the prospect ultimately wants.
I help ________________ (your prospect) to ________________ (get this result/benefit) so they can ________________ (have this experience or feeling, what they REALLY want).
For Example: I help moms to make a great income working from home so they can spend more time with their kids during the most important years. I help small business owners to boost their monthly income with an extra revenue source so they can retire early and spend more time on the golf course. I help baby boomers to be healthy and have tons of energy so they can feel fabulous and really enjoy their retirement years to the fullest.
Sample Three: Another variation of the elevator speech communicates what people AVOID by using your product/business. Many people will do more to avoid pain than gain pleasure. This approach grabs attention and motivates people to take action.
I help ________________ (your prospect) to _______________ (get this result) so they don’t have to ________________ (feel this pain/or deal with this problem).
For Example: I help moms to make a great income working from home so they don’t have to feel guilty about missing out on time with their kids. I help small business owners to boost their monthly income so they can sleep better at night, knowing they don’t have to worry about their retirement fund. I help baby boomers to feel healthy and have tons of energy so they don’t miss out on the fun retirement years they’ve worked so hard for.
Write It Down
Using the above examples as a guide, write your own elevator speech.
Be sure that it: ….Focuses on your PROSPECT (not you) ….Communicates clearly what you can do FOR THEM (results, benefits, experiences, feelings) ….Shows what you help them AVOID (pain, problems, costs, etc.) ….Focuses on WHY (they should use your product or join your business) over WHAT (what’s involved, the details, logistics, etc.).
“Why” connects people to their emotions. It provides them with reasons and motivation to buy your product or take action.
“What” focuses on information and logic, such as the features of your product or business. (“What” can be interesting but it won’t motivate people to take action in the same way that “why” does).
The most important aspect of creating an elevator speech is to MEMORIZE IT.
There’s no point in writing a killer elevator speech if you don’t have it memorized and ready to go. And be sure to practice it—at home, with your kids, on your friends, on your pets (any captive audience will do)
Whether you’re in an elevator, on a play ground, or at a business association meeting, you can use your “elevator speech” to grab people’s attention – and turn a brief meeting into a coffee date or phone call where you’ll have more time to share about your products and business and transform “casual connections” into new customers and business partners.
Consistency is KEY!
Your 30 second Elevator Speech will get better the more you use it. You’ll refine it as you go by learning what people respond positively to.
Practice a little every day. Little actions over time add up to big results! We’ll talk next about how improving just a little each day can add up to big results!
If you’d like to learn more about how you can become better at anything more quickly than you can ever imagine, check out this great resource.