What's your 30 second elevator speech

Writing the elevator speech

How to make an elevator

If someone turns to you and asks, "So what do you do for a living?" What are you saying? Ideally, you have a sophisticated, intriguing answer that takes seconds to say and that makes your listener think, "Tell me more!" This little speech is called an elevator speech or elevator pitch and is a great lead generation tool for any salesperson.

Your elevator speech should briefly answer five questions: who, what, where, when and why.

For example, let's say you sell insurance. You want to work in the following answer types:

Who are you / your company? Your answer could be, "We are a life insurer."
What do you do for your clients? This should be a benefit phrase like "We'll give you security and peace of mind."
Where can you find customers? Talk about your ideal customer, for example "families with young children".
When / in which area is your company better than your competitors? It's your USP like, "We have the best customer reviews in the state for our industry."
Why should I care? Here you can name a problem that your product solves, for example: "Our product ensures that grieving families do not have to face financial problems."

Once you have the basic components of your elevator pitch you can string them together in an effective, not too verbose, fashion. Ideally, your final answer should be between 25 and 35 words and not take longer than 15 seconds.

Using the example above as a starting point, the final elevator speech might sound like this:

"ABC Life offers insurance products that give parents peace of mind because we take good care of our customers and know that their children will be looked after if something happens to them."

You can also tailor your speech to suit your target audience.

When speaking to someone who is not a parent, you can use that part of your answer to something like "... give husbands (or wives) peace of mind because their spouses ..." or so on. When speaking to someone in your industry, you can throw in the technical words and acronyms, but always have a non-technical version to memorize for a layperson.

Lift parking spaces are not only valid for the sale of your company's products and services. You can make similar speeches that will help in many areas of your life. For example, you can create a job search response that focuses on your talents and achievements, or create a networking pitch that focuses on how well you are attracting leads.

Whatever the specific goal you're trying to achieve, a good elevator pitch will let people know more. When you rattle your elevator speech and get the answer, "Really? Go ahead," or "How does it work?" You did a good job. Now you have the chance to say: "Why didn't we take the time to get to know each other better? Do you have time on Thursday at 2:30 am?" Suddenly you found an appointment purely based on your 15-second speech.

You can even meet with the rest of your sales team and create a "group" pitch.

When the entire sales team uses the same introductory response, customers and prospects get a consistent feel. You can't read it like a telemarketer reading from a script, or your speech is likely to fail. Keep practicing until it sounds nice and natural. If a phrase sounds embarrassing or just plain wrong, try digging up your thesaurus and see if a word or two makes your elevator speech sound more like something you would say in everyday life.