Hello! How are you? So what do you do?
The clock has started. I’ve just met you and within those first several seconds have formed an opinion of your success, your income, your education, etc.
Studies show that the average American has a nine second attention span (about the same as a goldfish) and, in reality, doesn’t care what you do or who you are. It’s not that we’re horrible people; we just don’t have the time. We’re too busy thinking about everything we need to do: our jobs, the bills piling up on the kitchen table, our parents’ health, what’s for dinner, who’s picking the children up after school, the holidays are coming, etc. But since we’re polite, we ask and we try to listen.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, it to get our attention so that we are focused on you and your business. You have between 20 and 30 seconds max. Can you do it?
A 20-30 second verbal message is also called an “elevator speech”. Studies show that you use your elevator speech 22 more times than you use your printed business card. Yet how much time, effort and energy did you spend in preparing your printed business card as opposed to your oral one?
People prefer to do business with people – not with nameless, faceless entities. When you have a chance to be face-to-face with your target audience, you want to have a verbal message that grabs their attention and doesn’t let go. You want them asking questions about you and your business because they HAVE to know more.
Take the following:
1. “Hi, I’m a business coach and I help small businesses get bigger.”
2. “Hi, I teach business owners the seven secrets to attracting wealth and skyrocketing their sales, so they can spend more time doing what they love.”
Which grabs your attention more?
The first is very matter-of-fact, more educational. The second on the other hand hints of something more – a secret, actually SEVEN secrets. Among the things we love most are:
We are a numbers-oriented society. Everything is how much or how many. “How old are you?” “What does she weigh?” “What is your salary?” “The Top Ten” of this or that list. Take a look at magazine covers the next time you’re out shopping and you’ll realize how much we love numbers and numbered lists.
And then there are the secrets. From childhood, we’ve all heard the taunt “I have a secret, I have a secret and you don’t know it.” It’s ingrained in us. We not only want to know the secret. . . we need to.
The first half of the message addresses a basic need – wealth. Now take a look at the second half of the message “so they can spend more time doing what they love.”
The second half addresses “time” – everyone wants more time to do what they WANT to do, not what they HAVE to do. The first message spoke of helping “small businesses get bigger” – that’s great IF they want to get bigger, IF they are ready to get bigger. If a business owner is in “overwhelm”, as most unfortunately are, the last thing he/she may want is to “get bigger” and you will have lost them.
Always remember that people view everything through a “WIIFM” filter – What’s In It For Me? In crafting your elevator speech, you want them to hear, understand and even feel what you can do FOR THEM. Address their basic needs right up front and they will be anxiously awaiting the follow-up. Now it’s your job to keep them interested. Go get ‘em!