Marie’s musings…

I just attended the most amazing event, NCET’s Entrepreneur’s Expo!  It was all day Friday with over 100 participating business owners and 1,000 people attending.  I love these events as they allow me to connect with good friends and prospective clients.  However, each year I also leave these types of shows thinking that I’m going to create a list of suggestions for expo and trade-show participants.  Some of the people seem a little uncomfortable introducing themselves, their businesses and their products; so they sit behind their table all day pretending that they aren’t there.

Introducing oneself isn’t easy for naturally shy people.  Believe it or not, when I first began leading workshops for Western Nevada College, I was so shy that I drove around the night before trying to figure out how to get mugged so that I wouldn’t have to speak the next day.  Once I realized that I could focus on helping people with my knowledge and expertise, the shyness left.  For good?  For most of the time…I still get butterflies when speaking to a group of 500 like I did in February.  So… practice in advance.  When people ask you what you and your business offer, have an answer.  Check here for some great ideas to create your introduction!

What is an Elevator Speech?

The Elevator Pitch

When you are given the opportunity to briefly describe what you and your business have to offer potential clients – Will You Be Prepared ?

You’re sitting in a room with 30 other business entrepreneurs. Each of you has one minute to introduce yourself to the group. You are number 25 to speak. Will anyone listen? What can you do or say to catch your peer’s attention, be memorable, and have them approach you for business? Most importantly, what can you do to get every business in the room wanting what you have (so you can go to fewer networking meetings and can get back to running your business)?

The good news is you don’t have to be a poet, a writer, or a great speaker to attract attention and desire. All you need to do is put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes for a minute. What is it about your business, your products and services, and you that would interest a potential buyer? Why should they care? Why should they stop what they’re doing in their busy life and listen to you? What is the benefit that you provide for them?  It’s easier to answer than it sounds. Here’s a formula to help you along.

I help “my ideal client” “get a certain result” through “my products or services.”

Let’s fill in these three blanks by using some examples:

  • I help “young families” “find their first home” by “providing mortgage lending services.”
  • I help “people with broken pipes” “keep their homes dry” through my “plumbing services.”
  • I “protect families” “from financial disaster in times of crises” by providing “insurance services.”
  • I help “women who want to have beautiful hair” “keep their hair healthy and vibrant” with “my all-natural, organic hair salon services.”

Now fill in the blanks for your business. You may have to try a couple variations until you hit on the perfect one for you. But this formula beats saying “I’m a hairdresser,” “I’m a plumber,” or “I’m a mortgage lender.”

This is a great start to your elevator speech, but just a start. Now add a second sentence that describes a project you just completed for another client similar to the potential one you’re talking with.

“For example, I just closed on a home last week with a mom, dad, the cutest 4-year-old twins, and a yorkie. They got a great rate, and their payment is low enough so they can afford to start saving for the kids’ college right away.”

One more sentence and you’re done. This one’s your call to action. What do you want interested prospects to do, and how can they sample your products at a low risk to them?

“I have a free report, “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Your First House.” If you’d like a copy, I will be glad to email you the details.”  Get their business card.

“I offer a free risk analysis so you can see if you have any major risk exposures. To set up an appointment I will get you setup free of charge.”

Put all three parts together and you have a very nice elevator speech.

“I help young families find their first house by providing mortgage lending services. For example, I just closed on a home last week with a mom, dad, the cutest 4-year-old twins, and a yorkie. They got a great rate, and their payment is low enough so they can afford to start saving for the kids’ college right away. I have a free report “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Your First House.” If you’d like a copy I will be glad to email you the details.”

Don’t be surprised at the flood of business cards that will come your way when you put this in action at your future networking meetings.

By the way…

“We help busy and growing business owners take care of their accounting so they can make wise decisions. For instance, we just conducted a systems analysis and training for a manufacturing firm that needs regular and accurate financials.  We have a special free report Seven Key Steps to Run Your Business Profitably! and will be glad to email you a copy.”  Let us know.

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