You do have an elevator speech, don’t you?
If not, now is the time to write it and say it so many times that it doesn’t sound at all rehearsed.
In case you haven’t heard that term before – your elevator speech is something you can say in the time it takes to go between floors in an elevator. In other words, it’s short. Perhaps 30 seconds or less. You say it in answer to “What do you do?”
You might be tempted to say “I sell real estate.” Or, if you’re an investor, you might say “I buy houses.” Neither one is a good answer. It really doesn’t tell much, and isn’t likely to result in a follow-up question.
Some people answer with a sales pitch. That’s not so good either. If you start in with a sales pitch you’ll just make people wish they hadn’t asked.
What do I mean by an “effective” elevator speech?
That’s one that conveys what you do in a manner that causes people who may need what you offer, or are simply interested, to ask more questions. They might ask for your card – or your contact information for their phone.
How can you make your elevator speech effective?
You can make your elevator speech effective by revealing things like what, where, and why. For instance: “I help estate executors sell homes in probate in the greater Mytown area.” Or perhaps “I help first time buyers in South Mytown find homes that suit both their lifestyles and their budgets.”
Then add something about the why. That might include the satisfaction you get from helping them or the pleasure you find in meeting new people. It could be whatever motivates you to serve these specific clients.
Whatever you say, frame it to show the benefit you bring to your clients plus your enthusiasm for doing so.
What if you don’t have a niche?
Then show the value of your position as a generalist.
For example: “I’m a real estate agent (Or Realtor, as the case may be) working in Mytown. I help homeowners sell for the highest dollar in the least amount of time. I love the creative challenge of marketing to make people eager to view my listings, so we get more and better offers.” And/Or… “I help home buyers in Mytown find a house they’ll love that fits within their budgets. I love the challenge of helping people find that just right house, and I get to meet a lot of interesting people.”
Mention some part of the work you really love, so you’ll stand out as more than “just another real estate sales person.”
If you don’t clarify what you do, some people will misunderstand.
When I first started copywriting I had just “retired” from 19 years as first a real estate agent, and then broker/owner of my own company. When I ran into people in the grocery store they’d ask what I was doing now. The first few times I said “Copywriting” no one understood. Some wanted me to help them copyright a song or a book!
Now I say “I write marketing copy for real estate agents all over the country to help them gain more clients and make more money.” Some look at me in wonder, saying “You mean people PAY you to write?” They’ve never heard of such craziness. Well – that doesn’t happen here. Agents in this small town don’t send prospecting letters and don’t have their own websites. They let the staff in the newspaper office write their ads.
So – if you just say you sell real estate, they’ll label you with whatever image of a real estate sales person is in their own heads.
Keep your elevator speech short!
Depending upon which Internet site you visit, you’ll learn that people speak between 70 and 85 words in 30 seconds. What I say is only 23 words, which takes about 10 seconds. You may want to say a bit more, but I wouldn’t advise going over 30 seconds.
If you begin to get long-winded, people will tune you out.
Step 2 in making your elevator speech effective…
Instead of trying to keep the focus on you and what you do – ask the other person what they do. Listen to the answer. Ask questions. If you might be able to refer someone to them, or if you’re interested yourself, ask for a card.
The most effective way to make people think you’re interesting and a brilliant conversationalist is to let them do most of the talking.
Best practice courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net