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I'm A Second-Story Man

By Mike McDaniel
Posted Saturday, January 29, 2005

Can you say who you are and what you do in two sentences or less?

If someone should ask (in an elevator, get it?) what do you do? You should be able to recite the answer as fast as Robin Williams comes up with a quick one liner.

Robin Williams can do it because he has rehearsed every line. He is just waiting for the opportunity to bring up another fully rehearsed blurb. There is no "ad-lib" from Robin, he has carefully worked out every retort to be very funny.

Your elevator speech should be delivered completely rehearsed, no thinking to it, when you get the question: "What do you do?"..

We're not talking labels here, or vague references.

"I'm in Hardware"
"I'm a Plumber"
"I sell life insurance and used cars".
"I'm a consultant "
"My company sells printing presses"
Or the worst of all "I'm in sales"

They all say what you do, but what they say is all about you. It should be all about them. It should describe how you add value. It should describe the benefits. Most of all, it should stimulate conversation!!!

Your well-rehearsed elevator speech should, in two sentences or less, explain what you do (benefits) not what you are (title). Every person in business should have an Elevator Speech. Your elevator speech should encourage conversation and get them thinking.

When you say what you do, what you say should get the response "Oh? Tell me more.." Even if you are talking to a person you KNOW will NEVER be a customer, do it anyway. That person may know someone who COULD be a customer. You can't tell, so treat them all as prospects and give it your best shot.

Think about what you do and the benefits you provide customers, or think about what you sell and the benefits. Remember, every business situation the customer wants to know, "What's In It For Me?".

With a little practice you can make your elevator speech so compelling they have to ask. Answering the "What do you Do?" question with "I sell the best extension ladders made in America!" might get a yawn in response. But give it a little twist and you have a winner.

"I'm a second story man and my ladder hasn't let me down yet!"

"Oh? Tell me more"

"My extension ladders help people get off the ground safely to do jobs as much as 45 feet in the air. Our ladders have extra wide steps on every other tread. Do you use ladders in your business?"

POW! Business connection made.

As easily as you can respond to "What's your name?", you should be able to recite your elevator speech, and be able to follow up with several clarifying sentences. After that salesmanship takes over and off you go.

Craft your Elevator Speech so the other person can't say:

"That's nice, but I'm not interested"

"We already have one of those"

Think benefits. Work to get the "Oh? Tell me more" response. And do it in two sentences or less.

For more about business, get my article "Voice Mail Can Be Your Buddy" MailTo:VoiceMail@BigIdeasGroup.com

About the Author
©2005 BIG Mike McDaniel All Rights Reserved Mike@BIGIdeasGroup.com BIG Mike is a Professional Speaker and Small Business Consultant with over 30 years experience, (http://BIGIdeasGroup.com)

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