Using an Elevator Speech
The elevator speech is a simple, concise tool you can use to start conversations. It’s extremely helpful when networking, especially at social gatherings. Maybe you’ve heard the term “elevator speech” but haven’t actually developed one for yourself. The brief video, below, provides some information about the idea, it’s primary objective, and how you can use it to open the door to new clients.
I gave another CLE at the Louisville Bar Association focused on helping attorneys to grow their practices. The presentation was titled: Selling 101 – Proven Methods to Increase Your Client Base. One of the topics focused on the importance of an elevator speech.
The concept is simple. Assume you and another person are on an elevator. As the doors close, the person asks, “So, what do you do?” You know there’s only a brief moment to explain it, but you have to do it in a way that engages the person. Your elevator speech should be a concise description. Most importantly, however, it should elicit a follow up question such as, “That’s interesting, how to you do that?” or “Hmmm, what kind of clients to you have?”
Remember, you don’t have a lot of time, so finding a way to stand out – or to become “memorable” – opens the door to a potential new client. A quick exchanging of business cards, maybe a request to grab coffee, or some other way to begin a conversation is full of potential.
An elevator speech can be extremely effective a social events. You don’t want to aggressively “work the room,” but a few extended conversations may lead to important business relationships down the road. Always keep in mind that your next lead may be someone this person knows (e.g. a colleague, family member, etc.).
I usually recommend that you practice your elevator speech until it’s clear and consistent. Once you have it down, try it out on some friends to see if it makes sense. If your description is so vague that it confused the person, you can refine it. Better to have some “test runs” before you actually use it with someone you don’t know.
The below video is an excerpt from my recent CLE presentation. I hope you’ll find it helpful as you continue to grow your client base. An elevator speech is just the beginning. For more information on business development for your law firm or small business, feel free to read the other posts on my blog. If you have specific questions, please contact me on my cell phone at (502) 208-9639. I’d be happy to arrange on opportunity to meet with you.