You jump in an elevator and hit the button for your floor. Someone jumps in along side of you. As the doors close, he asks what you do.

As the elevator quickly climbs to your floor, you know you only have a few seconds to describe your business. What would you say? What is the most important thing about what you do that would make this person say “WOW”? What would make him want to get to know more about your business and invite you into his office for coffee?

Yep, that’s the premise behind an elevator speech. Its putting together words in a magical way that will allow you to quickly and effectively say what you do AND gather attention from the party you are speaking with.

Maybe you’ve heard of the concept of the 30 second elevator pitch. But have you ever truly thought about what you say in the first 30 seconds you meet with someone? Can you quickly motivate them to want more? Or are you more of a rambler?

An elevator pitch is more important today than ever. Not only is it important to make a good first impression, people have less time and more on their minds than ever. Meaning you have a small window to make a good first impression … or lose it forever.

If you have a networking function coming up, or just want to have your elevator speech in place for your next meeting, here are a few things to consider as you are creating it.

Write down what you do

As quickly as you can, write down what you do. Now write it again, only from a different perspective. Do it again. And again. Try writing it 15 to 20 different ways, all without editing. Don’t think about it, just write it from different perspectives. The goal is to get as many ideas as you can down on paper.

Write a short story

Now its time to look at what you do through the eyes of your clients. Tell a story of how you worked with a client, what you do for your clients, and how they feel about you. The key is to paint a picture with words. If you have several stories that come to mind, write all of them down. Again, no editing. Just write for the time being.

Write down goals and objectives

What are your goals and objectives when out meeting new people? Are you looking for sales? Are you trying to find prospects? Are you looking for referral sources? Or something else? Write down every reason you can think of for being out talking with people and helping them understand more about your business.

Write down action statements

What is it going to take to put your goals and objectives into action? Spend a few minutes writing 10 to 20 action statements associated with your goal.

Let it sit

Head back to work and put your notes aside for awhile. Come back to it later in the day, or give it a day or two break. Approach it next with a fresh mind and new ideas.

Pull out the good stuff

Sit down in a quiet space and read through everything you created. Highlight or circle anything that jumps out at you. Look for phrases that hook you, powerful phrases, and words that visually describe what you do.

Put together the best words and phrases

As you look at your list, certain phrases and words will automatically fit together. You’re not looking for one elevator pitch, but rather a handful of them for different situations. Start writing them out, concentrating on making them as powerful as possible.

Dress rehearsal

The only way to find out if your new pitches work is to practice them. Start by saying them out load and see if they make sense to you. Then run them by a friend, employee or family member. Then move onto networking functions. Concentrate on where the questions lie, and use feedback to help you refine.

Continue to improve

Over time, you’ll find some things work better than others. Use feedback to help you refine and make your message more clear and impactful. And never be afraid to start the whole process over, especially as you change your target market, goals, or your clients’ needs change.

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