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Jun 10, 2014

The Elevator Speech: A Small Message that Packs a Punch

Elevator (ˈe-lə-ˌvā-tər) Speech (ˈspēch)
Definition: A very concise “teaser” of your life that is laced with clues on who you are and what you do in order to generate enough interest and intrigue that others will want to know more about what you do, all in the time it takes to ride an elevator—say, 30 seconds to 2 minutes!

Now that you know what an Elevator Speech is, here are 6 tips for mastering it.

1. The intro: observe, care, & cater
Gone are the days of meticulously developing one single elevator speech that will presumably cover every situation. Rote messages are comparable to receiving an email from some prince in a mysterious village that wants to share his riches with you.  You didn’t sign up for his email, but it came any way, out of the blue, without any consideration.

So before you plow ahead with your in-person spam and blurt out a prepared message, you must always assume that the person you are talking to is tuned in to WIIFM (What’s in It For Me?). So make it about them and focus in on their needs.

  • First, observe… their dress, their eyes, their facial expression, what their holding…etc. What’s unique about them?
  • Second, care… about them. As you are observing them do so without judgment or scrutiny. In order for this to work, you have to care. Besides, the person next to you—with layers peeled away—is really not all that different from you.
  • Third, cater… your first question. After you have consciously done the first two steps, you should be able to easily tailor your question toward the individual. Here are some examples: “That’s a nice suit, what do you do for a living?” “Looks like you are headed to the gym; where do you go?”

This first step is all about being interested.

2. The segue: start with an interesting opening line
Listen intently to the person's response to your lead question. Their response is part of their story, part of their experience, part of who they are. Empower that connection by listening and responding. 

And, don’t be surprised if the same question you asked boomerangs back to you. When this happens, it’s time to tell your story, and all the best stories in history begin with an interesting, if not intriguing, opening line. Check these out, for example:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. — Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… — A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
 

Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago…. — Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. — The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

So, what’s your opening line? What’s the beginning of your story? Here are some possible examples: “You know, I work for the kind of company where everybody is rewarded for their contributions and not their title.” “I spend my time helping others earn an extra $500 a month by becoming sharers and givers.” “I love working out just as much as I love mixing up a delicious protein shake afterward for recovery.”

3. The unadorned: keep it simple & remove bloated sentences
However you begin or end, remember to keep it simple. The ease of what you do, what your life is like, and where you are now needs to sound seamless.

Use words and phrases that elicit interest from your prospect, and not words that mean something to you—given you are already a MonaVie distributor! Don’t dive into Active vs. Qualified jargon or use complex direct selling terminology that will confuse the person.

Simplify your message and confidently broadcast how fun and easy MonaVie can be. And much like you began, you will want to end with an intriguing cliff hanger to prompt a response. 

“I spend my time helping others earn an extra $500 a month or more by becoming sharers and givers. It’s truly been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Plus, the products we share are incredible. I started doing it part time two years ago, and I’ve never looked back. It’s something that has given me the opportunity to pursue my passion and have extra time to spend with my family.”

4. The call to action: presenting the next steps
If you have an intriguing opening line and hook, the person you are talking to might naturally begin asking you questions. This is ideal, because you will know by their questions that your elevator speech has done its job at piquing their interest and you can naturally move toward setting up a meeting. 

But if the person you are talking to doesn’t respond by asking questions, you can insert a clear and concise call-to-action question at the end.

Example: “You’re no different from me, and I’ll bet this is something you can do and excel at as well. Can I call or email you tonight with more information?” Or, “Will you come to a free meeting with me tomorrow to learn more and taste the product?

Because time is tight, your goal is to meet them again under more favorable circumstances. A crowded subway or elevator is not the place to outline everything. 

5. The technique: practice, record, & repeat
Nothing can be more powerful than watching yourself in action. Professional athletes watch tapes of themselves in order to improve the fine intricacies of their golf swing, pitching motion, swimming stroke, or overall timing. Hollywood stars do the same thing to make sure their facial expressions and movements fit the character they're portraying. 

You need to do the same. Create a real-life situation and set up your phone or camera and record yourself giving your elevator speech to a friend or spouse. Then replay the recording to watch yourself in action and visually see what you may need to improve upon.

  • Do you talk too much with your hands?
  • Do you avoid making eye contact?
  • Do you tend to sway back and forth when you talk?
  • Do you sound overly excited vs. passionate?
  • Do you sound monotone?

To polish it up even more, get feedback by asking your upline to hear your speech. They may be able to offer some amazing tweaks.

Then practice it again and again and again, until you feel confident and comfortable. Notice that we didn’t say “until your speech is perfected.” Truth be told, you will always feel a little bit nervous when approaching a complete stranger, and authenticity will actually go a longer way than an absolutely perfect speech. But as you practice your speech, this will become easier and more comfortable.

Just don’t get hung up on being perfect, because once you get the basics down, you can work on changing it up and adapting it to different situations and personality types. You want to get to the point where you can begin practicing emotional, humorous, serious, casual, or hurried approaches.

6. The waiter: serve the rest of the "tables"
Finally, remember that just because you are practiced and polished, it doesn't mean everyone will automatically be drawn in and say Yes. Some people will still say No, and that's okay. Learn what you need to learn from the experience and get ready to reach out to the next person.

The main thing is to not take rejection personally, which is so easy to say. Personal rejection is one of the toughest things to experience, and some rejections are harder to swallow than others. Dealing with rejection is an ongoing task. However, accepting a No is merely part of the process for finding those who say Yes.

Think of yourself as a waiter offering coffee to customers throughout an entire restaurant. Some customers will say "no, thanks" or "I have plenty" or even, "Ugh. I hate coffee!" But the waiter doesn't stop serving the rest of the customers, because three people said No. They continue to offer the coffee, searching for those who would like to have what they are offering.  

And that's pretty similar to what you are doing. By using your elevator speech, you are providing the person with enough information so they can see if what you are offering is right for them and for their life at that particular time. If the answer is No, then don't be afraid to approach the next "table."

In fact, you can do as new White Diamonds Lance and Tracey Smith suggest and invite those who say No to follow your success over the next year or two. As they see you in action, their opinion could very well change!

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