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Elevator Speech

I have been re-reading the thread on elevator speeches, and while I participated in this thread, it occurred to me that I have never once used an elevator speech in the real world.

So let's have at it: Who out there uses these things? Let's find out. Here's a poll. - by RainMaker
Since my poll only got 1 day on "today's posts" instead of its 2-day shake (and it's currently a 3-way tie!!), I'm bumping it back onto the posting board. Sorry Jeff. You can remove it if that is not permitted. - by RainMaker
RainMaker, what is your real world response when someone asks you what you do? - by AZBroker
RainMaker, what is your real world response when someone asks you what you do?
AZ, I don't find myself using my elevator speech because it sounds too much like a commercial--artificial and insincere. - by RainMaker
Do you use it successfully, AZ? Would you share yours and how it works for you? - by RainMaker
What is an elevator speech?? - by camsmom
When someone asks me what I do for a living my standard reply is, "I work with people who want to buy or sell real estate." It seems to work just fine. ;sm - by AZBroker
Thanks RainMaker. I'm not familiar with all these terms. I'm sure I can learn a lot from ya'll. I actually don't have an "elevator speech", but I comment on the jewelry or clothes someone is wearing to get an opening to mention my business and I give them a business card. The only thing is I don't feel comfortable asking for phone numbers because I'm afraid they'll think I'm going to be a pushy salesperson. I think one of the main reasons for my success is that I don't push a sale, but sometimes I feel like I'm losing business because I didn't get a phone number to follow up with someone! Of course the best sales are from customers that keep my card and call me. I guess since I am thinking about going into shops now to sell wholesale or consignment (I haven't decided which) I need a "Unique Selling Proposition"(see. I'm already learning!). Is there somewhere that I could see some examples? - by camsmom
When someone asks me what I do for a living my standard reply is, "I work with people who want to buy or sell real estate." It seems to work just fine. ;sm
AZ, this brings you different results than if you said: "I'm a realtor"?



I enjoyed the exercise of creating my elevator speech because it helped me to focus on my primary benefits, but I see it as just that...a mental exercise. Here is what I think is wrong with the elevator speech: No one cares about what I do, really. If they ask, they are mostly being polite OR they are in sales, too, and have already read Bob Burg's book: Enless Referrals where they have learned to talk LESS about themselves and re-direct the conversation to the OTHER person.

Do you know what I a say when someone asks? I say "Website marketing" which is grossly overgeneralized, but people know what websites are, so they get the gist. I am not going to try to cram a need/benefit statement into one sentence to try to grab someone's attention--when in reality they are probably only half listening, anyway. I think this is too much, too soon.

I gloss over what I do and instantly ask a question about them. NOW they're interested in having a conversation.

The more experience I get out in the field, the more I realize: SALES IS ALL ABOUT LISTENING, NOT SELLING. - by RainMaker
Here is what I think is wrong with the elevator speech: No one cares about what I do, really.
:yi Yikes! IMO, an attitude that reflects those thoughts will poison a sales career. - by Agent Smith
:yi Yikes! IMO, an attitude that reflects those thoughts will poison a sales career.
To pretend otherwise is naive.

I'll have my next of kin send you an invitation to my funeral, if you are correct. It'll be in the mail (just like the check). - by RainMaker
I have had a real revelation lately. I have read much about technique and closing, etc. Let me say, that selling is a skill that can be honed, but mostly I don't use any of it. I live by one rule: Give them what they want--and do it honestly. Everything I say or do is filtered through that rule and selling becomes easy. Most people are so leary of salemen because they are terrified they will somehow be manipulated and sold "a bag of goods."

Here are a couple examples of how I mold to them:
  • I know they want to know how much it will cost, so the FIRST thing I do is tell them how much is costs BEFORE I even sell the benefits. (shocking, I know).
  • Here's my fancy close: "So, what d'ya think?" And then they tell me.
  • My business card states: "no bull--just results...or you money back."
  • They tell me they're in a hurry... I say: "Do you want the 5-minute bottom line version or do you want me to come back?" I don't care if I wasted gas and time if I have to come back because they remember it later. I am the one who is easy to work with, gets to the point, and gives them what they want. (After my 5-minute bottom line version, I had a guy tell me to come back next week when he gets back in town for the check and order.)
I'd write a book about it, but it would be the world's shortest book. - by RainMaker
I have had a real revelation lately. I have read much about technique and closing, etc. Let me say, that selling is a skill that can be honed, but mostly I don't use any of it. I live by one rule: Give them what they want--and do it honestly. Everything I say or do is filtered through that rule and selling becomes easy. Most people are so leary of salemen because they are terrified they will somehow be manipulated and sold "a bag of goods."

Here are a couple examples of how I mold to them:
  • I know they want to know how much it will cost, so the FIRST thing I do is tell them how much is costs BEFORE I even sell the benefits. (shocking, I know).
  • Here's my fancy close: "So, what d'ya think?" And then they tell me.
  • My business card states: "no bull--just results...or you money back."
  • They tell me they're in a hurry... I say: "Do you want the 5-minute bottom line version or do you want me to come back?" I don't care if I wasted gas and time if I have to come back because they remember it later. I am the one who is easy to work with, gets to the point, and gives them what they want. (After my 5-minute bottom line version, I had a guy tell me to come back next week when he gets back in town for the check and order.)
I'd write a book about it, but it would be the world's shortest book.
RM, your post is the most powerful, streetsmart, and savvy post on selling that I have ever read on a forum--or for that matter, anywhere else.

You'll get resistance to your thoughts--as you already have--but be assured that there are perhaps hundreds of members here, who don't post, but who can take what you have shared right to the bank. - by Gary Boye
To pretend otherwise is naive.
Does this mean that you are of the opinion that holding the belief "no one cares about what I do" does not have a negative impact on your sales career? - by Agent Smith
Does this mean that you are of the opinion that holding the belief "no one cares about what I do" does not have a negative impact on your sales career?
Yes, Agent Smith. That is exactly what I am saying.

That is not to say they NEVER care what I do (or they would probably never buy). What I am saying is they don't care what I do at introduction--when they first meet me--so I don't waste my breath trying to tell them.

They only care what you do as it relates to them. You cannot know what you do as it relates to them, until you find out more about them. When I first meet prospects, I talk as little about myself and my product as possible. I listen and I learn what they want--then I make sure my product delivers what they want and I sell it to them.

If it DOESN'T deliver what they want, I don't waste my time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Instead, I give them my honest opinion: "This doesn't seem to really line up with what you are looking for right now...." Then I ask for a referral--the next best thing to a sale.

If you want to see strangers go to bat for you, see how they react when they watch a saleman NOT try to sell them their goods. I flip an unproductive meeting into a new possiblity as I walk away from a sale that never would have worked anyway. - by RainMaker
What I am saying is they don't care what I do at introduction--when they first meet me--so I don't waste my breath trying to tell them.
That sounds a little better.

I listen and I learn what they want--then I make sure my product delivers what they want and I sell it to them.
That's interesting. How do you "sell it to them"?

Then I ask for a referral--the next best thing to a sale.
Other members have asked about how to word such a request. What has been the most poductive wording for such a request in your experience?

If you want to see strangers go to bat for you, see how they react when they watch a saleman NOT try to sell them their goods.
Can you give an example of this from your own experience... a stranger going to bat for you because you didn't try to sell them your goods? - by Agent Smith
Agent Smith: Perhaps you forgot the context of my original statement: Here is what I think is wrong with the elevator speech: No one cares about what I do, really.

An elevator speech is used AT INTRODUCTION. That is the whole point of it.

I don't "sell" it to them, I "offer" it to them and they take it because it is what they want/need.

They become instantly "endeared" to me (not literally, but for lack of better term) when they see I do not want to sell my product to them if it is not right for them. They can usually see the value of it for OTHERS--even if it is not right for them. I close by thanking them, and almost as an afterthought, I say something like: "I'm sorry our program isn't quite right for you. It is a great program and I have many subscribers who get great results from it and have been with me for years. It particularly works well for business that ____[brief description]______. Can you think of any who owns a business who could take advantage of our program and might like to learn more about it?"

They always take a minute and think. They give me a name or two (some even offer suggestions of businesses they think would be good--even if they don't know them personally) or they say "Gee, I really can't think of anyone." I thank them and leave. - by RainMaker
Agent Smith: Perhaps you forgot the context of my original statement: Here is what I think is wrong with the elevator speech: No one cares about what I do, really.

An elevator speech is used AT INTRODUCTION. That is the whole point of it.

I don't "sell" it to them, I "offer" it to them and they take it because it is what they want/need.

They become instantly "endeared" to me (not literally, but for lack of better term) when they see I do not want to sell my product to them if it is not right for them. They can usually see the value of it for OTHERS--even if it is not right for them. I close by thanking them, and almost as an afterthought, I say something like: "I'm sorry our program isn't quite right for you. It is a great program and I have many subscribers who get great results from it and have been with me for years. It particularly works well for business that ____[brief description]______. Can you think of any who owns a business who could take advantage of our program and might like to learn more about it?"

They always take a minute and think. They give me a name or two (some even offer suggestions of businesses they think would be good--even if they don't know them personally) or they say "Gee, I really can't think of anyone." I thank them and leave.
Good luck with that Rainmaker. ;sm - by Agent Smith
Good luck with that Rainmaker. ;sm
Thanks. It is working very well for me. What do you sell, Agent Smith? (If you shared that when you first started posting, I've forgotten--sorry.) - by RainMaker
I need a "Unique Selling Proposition"(see. I'm already learning!). Is there somewhere that I could see some examples?
Camsmom, I see 6 people (so far) have made it known that they are using their elevator speech with great success. Perhaps some will step up to the plate and share their successful lines. Those would make fine examples since they are already tested and deemed successful.

I recall reading a post by Guerilla Marketer where he gave a "template" to follow in another thread, but real-life examples would probably be even more helpful.

I would like to hear them, also. I have an open mind. Maybe someone can share a specific story or experience where they have used their elevator speech and it was the catalyst to a sale, and I will reconsider my position on the topic. I don't claim to "know it all," I only ask questions and share what I have learned from my own experiences. - by RainMaker
AZ, this brings you different results than if you said: "I'm a realtor"?
First, in my life I choose not to say "I AM" this or that. Second, most people have a preconceived idea of what a "Realtor" is/does and I choose not to be labeled so quickly.

The more experience I get out in the field, the more I realize: SALES IS ALL ABOUT LISTENING, NOT SELLING.
I would say that listening is of primary importance in selling but I would not say that sales is all about listening. - by AZBroker
First, in my life I choose not to say "I AM" this or that. Second, most people have a preconceived idea of what a "Realtor" is/does and I choose not to be labeled so quickly.

I would say that listening is of primary importance in selling but I would not say that sales is all about listening.
I would never try to claim what other people think. To ME, a realtor is a person who works with people who want to buy and sell real estate. When I meet someone for the first time, I am lucky if I remember their name. I do not put much thought into the symantics of their self description.

YOU do not have to say that sales is all about listening. I will clarify my statement for you. FOR ME, sales is all about listening. I do not claim to be any kind of expert. It is only my opinion. The first half of my statement was that it was based on my experience out in the field. It is still only an opinion--mine.

But here is a fact: Once I built my presenation around this belief, I started walking out with orders and checks. That is why I shared it. Maybe others (possibly you?) can benefit from what I have discovered. I do not have time to study method extensively. When I have a "light bulb" moment, I like to share it with the board because I have benefitted from others sharing on this board.

It is up to you to decide if there is any merit to it, AZ. - by RainMaker
When I meet someone for the first time, I am lucky if I remember their name. I do not put much thought into the symantics of their self description.
The semantics of self-description are of more importance to the person giving the description.

YOU do not have to say that sales is all about listening. I will clarify my statement for you. FOR ME, sales is all about listening.
Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, including me. If you believe that sales or even selling for that matter is all about listening good luck with that. - by AZBroker
Thanks, AZ.

I consider luck to play a very small role in sales success. - by RainMaker
Maybe I should play the lottery, today. A lot of people are "wishing me luck. ";st - by RainMaker
According to the article on Elevator Speeches, the purpose of the elevator speech is supposed to make the recipient say: "That sounds really interesting, tell me more."

...so I am assuming at least 8 people experience that kind of response from their elevator speech when they use on people or they would not be voting that they use it with great success.

I am clearly in the minority, here. Convince me, someone. Won't someone share some actual examples from their real life in sales and move out of the hypothetical? If someone is using it with great success, they should be able to rattle off examples without giving it any thought--if the benefit were clear. The litmus test is in the above paragraph: "That sounds really interesting, tell me more."

I have always been free-flowing with my examples from real life--even my most embarrassing--(including my type-o about incontinence that I inadvertently sent in an email to a client by mistake and standing in front of a microphrone to sing and shaking like Charlie Brown in front of the Little Red-Haired Girl.) I'm an open book. Surely someone can share something to help me see their perspective in a non-vague way. - by RainMaker
I am clearly in the minority, here.
RM, the minority is where you want to stay in selling. It is the minority that achieves real success in sales, realizes the promises of the profession, and separates from the pack. They don't tell you so in the glossy brochures, but the majority of people in sales struggle and flounder. That's the way it should be. If authentic sales professionals were a dime a dozen, the rewards wouldn't be worth it.

I think what your asking for is polite--tongue in cheek, but you don't need anybody to "convince" you off the track you're on--even if it was possible for anybody to do so.

I don't think you need the encouragement of my words any more than you need somebody to wish you "luck". But I can't help admiring your attitude towards a profession that you are bound to reach great heights in. I doubt that you'll let anybody or anything discourage you. - by Gary Boye
What do you sell, Agent Smith? (If you shared that when you first started posting, I've forgotten--sorry.)
I purchase and resale distressed properties. Typically, residential real estate but more and more often light commercial. - by Agent Smith
I am clearly in the minority, here. Convince me, someone.
What are you wanting to be convinced of? - by SalesGuy
What are you wanting to be convinced of?
...that elevator speeches are an effective sales tool/technique. - by RainMaker
...that elevator speeches are an effective sales tool/technique.
What is your criteria for deciding whether or not an elevator speech is an effective sales tool/technique? - by SalesGuy
Did you take the poll, Saleguy? If you decided you "use it with great success," then you tell me, please. According to what I've read, using to prompt interest from a stranger who could buy your product or service, would constitute success. Do you use it with that result? - by RainMaker
Did you take the poll, Saleguy?
I have not voted in your poll.

According to what I've read, using to prompt interest from a stranger who could buy your product or service, would constitute success.
Is that your criteria too? - by SalesGuy
Got a better one? I don't have personal criteria, because I don't use it. I don't use it because I feel stupid saying it. It is unnatural to me, and that does not suit my style. Also, I don't say it because I don't believe people really WANT that much info when they first meet me.

The purpose of my poll was to see if I was alone in my feeling on this topic. Based on my poll, apparently many people do use it and feel it is an effective sales tool. SOMEONE voted for it. I want THEM to step forward and share some insight or give some examples FROM THEIR EXPERIENCE. They must have some criteria for voting positively. - by RainMaker
I just voted... "I'm afraid of elevators, but am currently working on my flight of stairs speech." ;bg - by SalesGuy
I just voted... "I'm afraid of elevators, but am currently working on my flight of stairs speech." ;bg
I knew there would be at least one....:re

Very non-committal, Salesguy--but that is fair. It's the people who are all claiming to use it "with great success" but won't share their "great success" stories that are bugging me at the moment.

Here is what I am looking for:
I have a sales tool that I use "with great success." Dollar store screwdrivers. I mail them out to my target prospects before I call them for an appointment. How do I know they are a "great success?" Here's why: The goal of the screwdrivers is to break the ice and get enough attention to get the prospect on the phone. Here are some of the comments I have received during my initial call following the mailing:
  • "I don't remember anything I got in the mail last week, but I remember those screwdrivers."
  • "Hey...it's the screwdriver lady."
  • "Oh yeah, thanks for the screwdrivers.."
  • "Yes, I remember those screwdriviers...I gotta say, they got my attention."
  • "Yes, I remember the screwdrivers. Why did you send them to me again?"
  • "I'm sorry, I'm not interested, but thanks for the screwdrivers. I'm really sorry."
  • "We had a good laugh in the kitchen about those screwdrivers."
  • "I was wondering what kind of person would expect me to buy something because they sent me some screwdrivers."
Not every comment was positive, but EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM REMEMBERED THE STUPID SCREWDRIVERS AND TOOK MY CALL. It is one of the most effective sales tools (silly as it may be) that I have ever used. It gets me in the door and that translates into sales.

If I spent 10 more minutes, I could probably think of 20 other statements made to me about the screwdrivers. When something is successful, it is not difficult to articulate. That is why I cannot figure out why 10 people use the elevator speech with great success and why they are not clamoring to post stories about how their elevator speech prompted conversation with strangers about their business (which is the goal of the elevator speech and would indicate "great success").

There is a difference between blindly using something ...and using something with great success. - by RainMaker
It's the people who are all claiming to use it "with great success" but won't share their "great success" stories that are bugging me at the moment.
Bugging you? ;bl

You want someone to "convince" you that elevator speeches are effective and because nobody is "clamouring" to tell their story you have a problem? Cry me a river. ;cr

This thread stinks. ;thd - by Frankie
Bugging you? ;bl

You want someone to "convince" you that elevator speeches are effective and because nobody is "clamouring" to tell their story you have a problem? Cry me a river. ;cr

This thread stinks. ;thd
I don't really want to be "convinced," Frankie. I know every technique is not well suited for everyone or every situation. I am on a very serious quest to master sales. There is a huge pile of work out there with a gazillion theories and techniques from every guru under the sun. Frankly, I am tired of wading through it all, trying to shake loose the things that really work in real life...from the "exercises" that sound good in theory, take up time, and don't make a hill of beans in the real world. To me, the elevator speech is one of those things, and yet...people are voting that it works for them. So I say to myself: "What am I missing?"

Last time I checked, the purpose of this forum is for salespeople to share with other salespeople, to swap experiences, and learn from each other. You have not contributed to this forum since last August. Rather than making a rare appearance to criticize me for prodding, why don't you share something that will make this thread "stink" less.

Alternately, there is an option to "unsubscribe" to the thread at the top. Use it. - by RainMaker
As the others have already posted, "Good luck with that." - by Frankie
Well, this is about all the fun I can stand on this topic. Thank you to those who participated in the poll. For all of you who are quietly enjoying your successful elevator speeches, but won't take the time to share it on the board, I have 4 words for you: Good luck with that. - by RainMaker
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