The classic elevator speech is used in brief, informal business encounters, like the fifteen-minute conversation at an association meeting or the late-Friday conversation between two delayed travelers in an airline club lounge. It’s also useful at a lunch a colleague is hosting for you and one of her clients as an informal first step to cross selling your services. I have previously described this kind of elevator speech in an earlier posting (Elevator Speeches).
It should be clear:
- I am a lawyer.
- I am an accountant.
- I am a structural engineer.
It should use concrete, simple language:
- I am a lawyer. I specialize in family law.
- I am an accountant. Specifically, I am a tax accountant.
- I am a structural engineer. I deal mostly with cases where structures have failed.
It should be memorable:
- I am a lawyer. I specialize in family law. Many of my clients have children or other dependents who will need taking care of long after the client will be able to provide it. I help make sure that care is put in place.
- I am an accountant. Specifically, I am a tax accountant. And I work with smaller companies for whom workers comp and other taxes are a significant cash drain. I help them make sure that they aren’t paying any more than they are required to. My clients in your industry include Antimacassar, Inc. and Necessary Needlepoint.
- I am a structural engineer. I deal mostly with cases where structures have failed. I specialize in figuring out why buildings or bridges fell down. In this city, we have worked on the collapse of the spectator stands at Run Off Raceway.
(For more, see our category on elevator speeches.)