Elevator Speech? Give it UP!

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Next to ‘public speaking’, what’s the next big ‘fear’ of most businesspeople?  If you guessed, “Answering the question, “So, what do you do . . . hmmm?”

Lately, I’ve grown weary of the ‘cute ‘n creative’ responses businesspeople tend to give.  Nothing wrong with ‘Elevator Speeches’.  But often, nothing very unique about them, either.

Cut To The Chase . . . But Engage, Too
Here’s a refreshing alternative.  State what you do as succinctly as possible but include a follow-up question that engages the other person’s mind and, hopefully, invites them to have a conversation with you as a result.

“I _______ for a living . . . Let me ask you a question . . .”
For example, “I repair foreign cars for a living . . .”  Then, ask a question that invites further conversation, “Let me ask you a question, do you own a foreign car?”  They’ll either say, “Yes” or “No”.  Either way, you have an opportunity!

(No) “Very common. A lot of people don’t.  And I bet you’d never consider owning one in the future either, right?”  “Oh, really?  Gee, why do you say that?”.

(Yes) “Congratulations. They’re not for everyone.  Tell me . . . in your opinion, what’s the best and the worst thing about owning a foreign car?”

Either way, you are providing the other person with a way to:

1) know something about you that was previously UN-known to them, and
2) use that ‘new’ information to help them have a meaningful conversation with you

This will produce much better results than a cute statement that leaves people wondering what it is you ‘really’ do and, more important, what you’d like them to do with you . . . next!

Be short and direct . . . and always ask an engaging question as well 

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