Elevator Speech: How to Develop Yours

Two business women in office corridor, portrait

Every businessperson today should have an elevator speech, including a virtual assistant. The elevator speech tells others you are speaking to exactly what you do in 30 seconds or less.  Social networking is an essential skill that every Virtual Assistant needs to learn. Fortunately, today with the advent of terrific webinar technology and social media you can network both online and offline.

Make the Most of Meeting People

The business card and a good elevator speech are still two of the best tools you have for promoting yourself and your VA business.  We meet people all the time and have the chance to introduce ourselves. The more we practice doing this, the easier it becomes. And a polished presentation will be more memorable than one where you stammer out what you do and then either go silent or keep on talking like a babbling brook.

Know Like Trust Factor

When you craft an elevator speech and practice it, so that you don’t sound like you’ve memorized a speech from high school, you’ll sound natural and have a variation ready for anyone you meet. That’s because people do business with people they like. This is called the know, like trust factor. Whether you work online or offline who you know matters.

Who You Know Not What You Know

This is key because studies show that up to 70% of jobs are filled through the ‘hidden network’, that is personal contacts and recommendations.  If you’ve ever hired anyone because of a friend, neighbor or family member told you about them and what a good experience they had, you will get an idea of how important the hidden network and ‘word of mouth’ advertising cab be.

How to Develop an Effective Elevator Speech

Now that you know how important an effective elevator speech is, it’s time to develop one yourself.

Who are you?

Introduce yourself and don’t forget a firm handshake and a smile in person. If online, introduce yourself and remember to use emojis to be clear.

What do you do?

Summarize in a few words what you do, but not in relation to yourself. Instead, describe what you can do for any client who hires you. For example, you don’t organize a calendar. Instead, you free up your client’s time for them.

Who do you do it for?

It’s imperative that you also understand who you do this for. Who do you free up time for? This is very important to mention in your elevator speech.

Offer an Example

Give an example of the kinds of solutions you offer which will connect with them. If you know that they are your ideal client, hopefully, you knew you’d run into them and you’ve studied their business. Then you can give a concrete example of what you’d do for them if they hired you. But, don’t give it all away.

What is your unique selling point?

Your unique selling point, or USP, answers their unspoken question, “Why should I hire YOU instead of anyone else?” Knowing what makes you best, from their viewpoint, will make your elevator speech very intriguing to them.

Remember the Call to Action

If you’re in person, give them a business card. If you’re talking to them online give them a link to your website and ask them to sign up for your email list. Tell them a good reason to do it such as a free checklist they can use right now to solve one of their immediate problems.

Don’t Talk Too Much

Listen for clues as to their pain points, that is, issues they need to solve. Ask a lot of open-ended questions so that they spend most of their time talking instead of you. If you are careful your elevator speech will turn into a fruitful conversation.

Follow Up Like a Pro

If anyone contacts you after your elevator speech or proposed something then and there that they want to learn more, be ready to follow up in a prompt manner. Don’t take too much time from meeting to following up even if they don’t personally contact you. Send them a note, a copy of an article, or something that they’d like to see that would be of interest to them.

A Sample Elevator Speech

Hi, I’m Mary. I work as a virtual assistant specializing in creating and running websites and blogs using WordPress. Every modern business needs a website, but not everyone knows how to create one that will drive a lot of traffic and profits. I’ve been building successful sites that bring in real results since 2007. Here’s my card. If you or anyone you know needs a site or wants to get better results with their blog, feel free to contact me.

Most business owners will want traffic and profits, so these are two power words that will usually make most people sit up and take notice.

If you meet someone who already has a WordPress site or blog, you could say:

I can also add exciting features to the usual WordPress sites to make them stand out, like an auction site, discussion board, membership features and more.

Practice Gets More Clients

Once you have crafted your elevator speech, practice delivering it until it is second nature. You don’t want it to sound like a speech. In fact, the phrase “elevator speech” is unfortunate. Because it isn’t a speech. It’s more like developing a series of potential answers to the question, “what do you do?” for each person who asks. You want your answer to feel natural and sound natural and not like you’re a used car salesman who has memorized every fact about a new car he wants to sell. You want to have a real conversation with the people you meet on and offline.

What do you think about Elevator Speeches? Love them? Hate Them? Let me know your thoughts below.

Hey, can I please take one minute of your time to tell you about something exciting I’m doing. Some of you know how nervous I am in public. I have a disease called agoraphobia with high anxiety. But I’m working on getting out of it by going to live events and speaking at live events.

With that in mind, I’m going to be speaking on the 14th at VA Networking’s Online VA Conference for VA Virtuosos. I’m going to be talking about How to Get Your Spouse on Board with Your VA Business.  I have a lot of thoughts about this and some funny stories to share from my over 20 years’ experience being a VA. A lot of other amazing people will be speaking too and you can get your ticket to this event inexpensively. Please sign up and come see me and everyone else.

Click Here to Learn More About the Online Virtual Assistant Conference Starting Soon.






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