When someone ask you what you do, they want to hear you say; “Doctor, pizza delivery guy, construction worker, police officer, hotel manager”.. that sort of thing. If you go on and on, trying to be impressive, it’s falling on deaf ears. You just want to say a benefit that you deliver. Make it quick. Then give a qualification that makes you sound selective. It must sound like you are very matter of fact. There can be no enthusiasm, no selling. I say it like I would say, “Would you pass the salt?”
Here’s mine. Someone says, “What do you do?” “I create quality leads and sales for businesses, that already have a website”. And then I shut up. They either say, “That’s nice” or they ask, “How do you do that?” If the later, I say “Do you own a business that people can find online?” (Yes) “Do you ever have customers tell you that they found you online?” (Yes) “Would you like more of them?” (Yeah, I sure would) “Well, I’m not sure we’re a perfect match, but we can find out in a few minutes. Do you have a card?”….. and we get off the elevator.
Am I telling you that I’ve said exactly that, on an elevator, and they went on to be a client? Yes, that’s what I’m telling you. And I say the same thing at trade shows, community meetings, and business mixers. At no time, if they don’t ask you, “how do you do that?” or, “how does that work?” do you ask to talk further. You either just stop talking, or change the subject. For example; ‘” What do you do for a living?” “I create quality leads and sales for businesses that already have a website. What time is it?” I want them to say, “Wait. Why do they need a website to talk to you?” or, “How do you get them sales?”. I want them to chase me a little.
Years ago, when I was selling vacuum cleaners in people’s homes I would get asked, “What do you do?” For several years, I would just say, “I’m in sales”. But that didn’t tell them anything. Eventually, I decided to start saying, “I sell quality vacuum cleaners, by appointment only”. And usually, they would say, “That’s nice, do you know what time it is?”. But about once every 100 times, I told that to someone, they would say, “Really? We’re looking for a good vacuum cleaner. Tell me about yours”. And I’ve sold maybe a dozen expensive vacuums every year just by changing how I answer, “What do you do for a living?”
How to craft the perfect “elevator talk”
First, be very brief. Ten seconds maybe. The first half is what your customers want. The second half is a “conversational limitation”. So the elevator talk is; (Result my clients want) and then (A limitation that spurs conversation) Remember? “I create quality leads and sales, for businesses that already have a website” And then they may ask, “Why do we need to already have a website?” and I say, “Are you the owner of the company?” (Yes), “Do you have a website?” (Yes), “Would you like everyone going on line to be able to find it?” (Yes) “Maybe we should talk. Do you have a card? I’ll call you in a few days to ask a few more questions to see if we are a match. OK?” I use the same thing at conferences, local mixers, and yes, elevators.
You should be able to adapt this approach to any offer you have.