Everyone needs a simple and compelling way to explain what they do. It’s the key to successfully prospecting networking events, chance meetings and parties for new business.
The concept is simple: communicate what you do in the time it takes to ride an elevator from ground level until the door opens and you have to leave.
You have about 1–2 minutes to leave an impression powerful enough to get someone to continue the conversation after exiting.
Here is the typical wrong way:
Hi, my name is Sophia S and I am an Independent Distributor of LipSense. We sell lipstick that is long-lasting (up to 18 hours), smudge-proof and water-proof. Do you want to buy any lipsticks?
This pitch does nothing to compel people to engage further, only to continue the conversation in hopes that they’d want to buy what you are offering.
A powerful elevator pitch, however, communicates a compelling value proposition hat attracts customers predisposed to buy. It can help you efficiently weed through a large group, stopping only for meaningful conversations with real potential customers.
Here is a step-by-step process on how it’s done:
Step 1–Connect with Empathy
Create a specific pain statement for the customers you want. You really only want to talk to people who are willing to pay for the problem you solve. Otherwise you are wasting your time and effort. For example:
You know how sometimes when you take the time to put on make-up in the morning, it’d be smudged by noon? Then, if you are suddenly thrown into a last minute lunch meeting and say you are able to apply some lipstick, it looks great, that is, until it migrates from your lips to the rim of your Shiraz? Ew.
If the person hearing this don’t get it or know someone who would, they can answer no and you can move on, having wasted less than 20 seconds. But if this is a something others can relate to, you’ll be able to witness their face drop as they identify painfully with the scenario. Now you immediately look smart and empathetic as they affirm that the picture you painted is terrible and frustrating. You have gained their attention.
Step 2–Offer an Objective Solution
So now they are listening and they just got vulnerable. No need to put them on the defensive. They are thinking you might be pretty smart and insightful. Don’t prove them wrong by trying to close just yet. Continue showing them how smart you are by offering up an objective solution to their issues. Begin with the entrepreneurial mantra: Wouldn’t it be great…? For example:
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a company that could design a make-up line that is long lasting for the whole day and stays on until you take them off?
If people don’t respond positively to this statement then they weren’t really connecting in Step 1 and you can dump the conversation having only wasted 30 seconds total. Those who connect should be now hanging on every word and nodding their heads, thankful that someone finally gets their frustration.
Step 3–Provide Differentiation
Now they are 90% there. The best way to close is by explaining why only you are the best to provide the solution they need. You have to ready a couple of points that truly differentiate you from your competition. Note that “Experience” or “Great Customer Service” won’t make you stand out since all of your competitors claim the same even if it’s not true. A true differentiator is something your competitor can’t do or won’t do without great effort or expense. Here’s the finish:
My company, LipSense by SeneGence, created an original, patented and proprietary formulation of cosmetics that stay on until you take them off. We are one of the few cosmetics company out there that prioritize the importance of combining beauty and technology to design healthy and natural products that are actually good for your skin!
Perhaps I could send you a link to my Facebook group or a some information from my blog?
If they say no, you only wasted 1 minute. If they say yes, you have succeeded in starting a conversation that may lead to business. The last line is incredibly important because it gives you permission to get their email and pursue a relationship. Even if you are just starting out and don’t have much content yet, it’s important to collect some compelling content like white papers, videos or blog posts ready to email and support your pitch as promised. That way you won’t have to carry a ton of collateral into every elevator.