Can you quickly and clearly describe how your services can be helpful to someone in 30 seconds or less? Do you have an “elevator speech?” Thirty seconds is about the time you have to speak with someone when riding with someone in an elevator. If you are ignoring your elevator mate or are filling this time with trivial small talk, you may be missing some great business opportunities. The ability to make a very simple pitch to someone whose audience you will have for only a very short amount of time can make or break your business.
Oh, by the way, you don’t necessarily have to be in an elevator to use an elevator speech. We are not condoning that you stalk people by following them into elevators so that you can pitch your ideas and they can’t get away. (Hmmm, well, maybe.) The real point of this lesson is to develop and practice a concise and confident discourse on how your services can be helpful to someone.
Pop quiz: You have just run into someone who you would like to do business with. Why should they be interested in you? Describe what you do and why you are the best massage therapist ever. You have 30 seconds… go!
How’d you do? Did you skip that part? Did you freeze? Are you crystal clear with who you are and what you do?
What an elevator speech is not:
“Oh, hello. I am a massage therapist. I work at a very luxurious spa. You look like you are stressed out. Here is my card. Why don’t you give me a call to book a service.”
Granted, if you ask enough times, you may actually run into someone who books a service, but this is probably not the best way to go about building a clientele.
What might work better:
“Hey, excuse me. I noticed that you are having trouble lifting your right arm over your head. You know, I have a client who I recently treated had the same complaints. He tried several therapies, none of which were very helpful and he was considering going for a surgery. His doctor gave an okay to try therapeutic massage and after five sessions his range of motion had substantially increased. After ten sessions, he was no longer even contemplating surgery. I know I can help you too. Have you ever considered medical massage services to help you with your shoulder condition? Oh, look, that’s my floor. So sorry, I have to run, I have an appointment that I must get to, but let me offer you my contact information. I would to happy to help you.”
Ka ching! Not only have you have gained a client but perhaps even more importantly this poor guy in the elevator has had his prayers answered by finding you! Okay, of course, if you say something like this, mean it. You do need to have the skills to be able to do what you are promising. Change the script to describe what it is that you are good at.
Elements of an elevator speech:
Who is your target market? What kind of client are you trying to get? Do you specialize in working with clients with sports injuries? Do you have a lot of experience working with prenatal clients or in doing hot stone massage? Have you had a lot of success helping clients with knee injuries? The more you know who your ideal client is, the more successful you will be at creating a connection.
How well do you know yourself and your business? What techniques do you specialize in? What specific services do you prefer to offer? What makes you good at what you do? What documented successes do you have? How can you help your targeted client? What sets you apart from all of the rest?
You might be surprised that the simple act of thinking this through and taking the time to write it out might help to clarify (for yourself) the type of work that you are really passionate about and the type of client who you are best suited to serve. Not being clear these details this could be a factor that is holding you back from having a successful practice.
Craft your elevator speech. Start with an outline. Write down a couple of adjectives that describe you and the type of services you are offering? How can you help your potential client? What makes you stand apart from your competition? What action do you want your prospective client to take next? Make the time to sit down and hand write out a short speech and practice it a couple of times. Go back and cut out any unnecessary words. Re-write and re-read your speech a couple more times until it becomes natural and unscripted.
Practice your pitch. You have your speech written out. Now use it. Practice on a pet. Then try a co-worker or a family member. When you are ready, set up an easy situation. Take the opportunity to chat up a friend of a friend or your bank teller. Once you get going on talking about who you are, what you do and how you can be in service to others, it will become easier and easier. You are a natural born salesperson!
Your elevator speech will likely change from conversation to conversation, but having a clear, concise plan of how to make a quick business pitch will undoubtedly give you the confidence to be able to see a need, offer a solution and set yourself up to be the expert to serve that need.