An elevator speech should be something engaging yet mysterious. It’s your sixty to ninety second infomercial about your company, or in some cases yourself. This might be your vision, mission, or purpose statement used creatively. Creativity is the key word, because it has to tell a little about your company but leaving the person asking for more.
To begin, review your vision, mission, and purpose and see if you can create an engaging summary. You want to give someone enough to make them ask more questions about the company by drawing them in with the introduction. This is just storytelling. Many times the story doesn’t relate to what you actually do but why you do it. For example, as an architectural firm, the elevator speech might go something like this:
“Our people design spaces with the owner and end user in mind through collaboration and communication. Design inspiration comes through learning about the client and what their goals for their business entail. Our team listens to their needs and responds accordingly. It’s never about us, it’s always about them.”
Wow! Now that is powerful. As the person receiving this message, you are intrigued and curious about what and how they do this. The questions will start flying, which gives you the opportunity to give them more information.
On the other hand, make sure you ask them questions about their firms too. This topic, Networking 101, is discussed in another blog post that you can find here.
Once you’ve crafted this wonderful message, it must now be permeated throughout the organization. This is the most challenging piece of the puzzle, and can really only be successful with upper management’s support and diligence. Expectations and training must be set up with the employees which include why this is important for them to be involved, how to deliver the message, and the actual role playing.
An elevator speech gets more difficult as your organization grows, because you must get every employee singing the same song. Challenges of writing one, implementing, and permeating it throughout the organization are reasons that stop companies from taking action. Imagine if everyone in your company told customers and prospects the same story. That would be pretty impactful and create marketing people equal to the number of employees.
Make sure management is on board with the direction of the elevator speech because they are your biggest advocate to implementation. Once the employees become confident in delivering this, you’ll have a consistent process across the board. At yearly company-wide meetings, incorporate a reminder or update into the meeting. Also, as new employees join the team, incorporate the elevator speech into their onboarding process. Elevator speeches can be extremely effective when properly planned and implemented. Engage everyone in the process and it could be your differentiator for your firm.
Remember, though, it doesn’t happen overnight and it must be well thought out and planned. Communication both internally and externally can really set your firm part. Your elevator speech is just one piece of that puzzle. Make it impactful!