Do you have an elevator speech?

You need to be able too win over prospects in 118 seconds – 8 seconds to hook them and 110 seconds to reel them in according to Jeffrey Hayzlett.  In the April, 2012 edition of Success Magazine Hayzlett describes how to structure your speech.

In the First 8 Seconds:

The most important time – it’s the headline for your speech. He suggests something like …

In less than 2 minutes may I explain how (I, my company or my service) could double the profitability of your business?”.

Or something like that.  NOT  …

“My name is Bill,  I work with ABC Accountants and I’d like to work with your business because I think I can help you.”

After the opening, get into the guts of your speech …

Convey the real you:  Don’t tell them who you work for, tell them about your passion and what you’re great at. For example,

For 15 years I have been privileged to live my passion for helping firms like yours achieve amazing results, I just LOVE this work and I have a feeling your firm would be a perfect fit for what I do.


“I used to work with XYZ Accountants, I was in their business development division, but they downsized so now I’m with ABC and they are much better because they have offices in 5 states and employ 400 people and I’m in their Sydney office, on the 26th floor of the Centerpoint building which has reat views of the harbor,  we moved into 3 years ago after we merged with LMN Corp and I want to help you” ….. Do you get the message?

Describe what your business offers: Explain why your company is the best in the game at what you do.  For example,

For 25 years we’ve only worked with SMEs in [be as specific as you can] industries and our focus is exclusively on increasing shareholder value. The methodologies we use to do this are time-tested and for the “right clients, will always get results.”


“My firm is a full service firm offering tax consulting and compliance, compilations & reviews, audits, business advisory services blah, blah.”  You may as well say “our firm is like every other accounting firm in the world, now what are you looking for?”

Explain the promise you will deliver on: Talk objectively, not vaguely, about outcomes.  For example,  Don’t say “we help businesses like yours improve their bottom line.”

Rather, say  something like …

When you think about it there are just 4 ways to grow any business.  They are, improve your gross margin, sell more to your existing customers, attract more customers of the type you want and improve the efficiency and/or effectiveness of your business processes.  Typically, after reviewing your business financials, we’re able to identify at least 10 initiatives that will work on one or more of these growth drivers and consequently, increase your bottom line by at least 100% and the value of your business by a multiple of that.  If we can’t see that potential, we don’t work with you….. when would it be convenient for us to take the next step?

Or you might say,

Our goal is simple, we look to help you achieve at least a 10 times return on your investment with us and it will cost you nothing to give us permission to explore that possibility with you….. when would it be convenient for us to take the next step?

Time invested in scripting your speech and then practicing it in the mirror, and on friends, is probably the most important sales and marketing investment you’ll ever make.  You need put a lot of effort into scripting the “speech” so that it represents the real you and what “turns you on” as a practitioner – what I’m saying here is that you must really want to do what you’re pitching in the elevator; it’s impossible to fool people in 118 seconds. Your enthusiasm is contagious and that will inevitably lead to the other party wanting to go to the next step so make sure there is a next step and that’s it’s not just one ut of the elvator!

Practice by presenting it in the mirror and with friends or colleagues.  Remember also, the way you present yourself, your body language, the tone of your voice, your eye contact all contribute to the confidence you convey and THAT is what you’re really selling at the end of the day.

Practice often, fail a few times, get up and try again.  I’m asking you to give yourself the same courtesy you gave to your children (if this applies to you) when they were learning to walk …. I assume that was as long as they needed to master it!  When you master this simple process everything else will fall into place.

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