Is Your Elevator Speech Worth the Ride?

You know the drill. You should be able to say what you do and why your service or business is valuable in a punchy line that you can deliver to a captive audience in the time it takes to ride up several floors in an elevator.

But does anyone actually pay attention or want to hear your elevator speech?

Is that soundbite format really effective, anyway?

According to marketing guru Michael Port, the answer is a resounding NO.

I was recently listening to a great Authority Rules webinar with Port and Sonia Simone, and Port made an observation that grabbed my attention.

No One Likes Elevator Speeches
He said if you ask a roomful of people whether they like to give or hear elevator speeches, most people will keep their hands in their laps.

What convinces a potential client to take you seriously, says Port, is a natural, organic conversation about your work and why it has value to your target market. In other words, have a thoughtful talk about how you help a specific group of people to meet a particular need—what you help them to accomplish and why it’s important to them.

Have a Real Conversation About Who You Serve and How
This kind of meaningful conversation involves serious thought about who you can serve, what energizes you to do your best, and what your clients feel is the real value of your work. It requires you to go beyond just saying what you do, to understanding how you make your clients feel, how you truly enable them, and what you stand for.

The webinar also included this quote by Port:

“You are in the business of serving other people as you stand in the service of your destiny and express yourself through your work.”

I have a copy of that quote stuck to my computer, and I think about it often as I shape my own consulting practice.

I don’t know about you, but I’m much more comfortable having a meaningful conversation about my work than delivering a glib elevator speech.

And if the person you’re talking to is genuinely interested, chances are he or she will be glad to hear more.



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