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Frequently Asked Questions From Small Message, Big Impact

Posted April 26, 2011 by Terri Sjodin in Public Speaking, Sales Presentations, Small Message Big Impact, The Elevator Speech, Training and Development

The questions and comments you are about to read in the next few posts are real. The names of individuals have been omitted because I respect their privacy, but I am confident you can benefit from the answers and share in the learning nonetheless.

Some of these FAQs are concerns and comments I hear in the field, including simple mistakes that are easy to correct, but if they are left uncorrected, they can undermine an elevator speech, stand in the way of the magic of the Elevator Speech Effect, and create roadblocks on the path to achieving your goals. I hope this helps!

Q: I have this little voice in my head that is screaming: “I have been in this business a very long time. I can just walk into a situation and wing it. Why do I need an elevator speech?”

A: I have great respect for those who have worked in their profession for years. There is significance and credibility that comes with having extensive background and experience in any industry. That said, I just cannot imagine anyone undervaluing the importance of continued growth, and preparation for different situations at all levels of experience. When I heard this question, it made me think of people who have reached the top of their fields through sheer discipline and practice. People like guitarist Eric Clapton, women’s soccer pioneer Michelle Akers, cyclist Lance Armstrong, Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep, NFL receiver Jerry Rice and world-class tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. I also thought of Tiger Woods, (let’s set his personal challenges to the side) who is on track to be the winningest golfer in history. He has been in the business of professional golf (and quite successfully) for a long time, and yet he still walks the course before every tournament and is said to put in more practice and prep time than almost any other golfer on the circuit today. Clearly, with all of his tenure, experience, and winning track record, Tiger could wing it. At this point in their careers, all of these professionals could wing it. But they don’t. I trust that it is their commitment to continued practice, evolution of their skills and preparation that keep them consistent champions.

Q: Everyone goes after the “Big Fish.” How can I possibly beat out the seasoned pros to get in the door and land the major clients?

A: You do it one at a time. Begin by making a list of your dream clients and doing your homework on each one individually, finding the best approach for each person.Sometimes you have to really get creative to find a way in.

Q: I think it is important to have a lot of information in my elevator speech, but you say we need to be more persuasive. If we give them enough good information, won’t our listeners be more willing to buy?

A: Yes and no. Yes, it is important to have quality information to support the points in your case. But, no, not a lot, and if you end up doing an information dump and you don’t craft intriguing points in the body of your message, your elevator speech could end up sounding far too informative versus persuasive, and it will be a challenge to intrigue the listener enough to get them to want to book the next appointment time with you.

Still have questions? Stay tuned for the next installment of my FAQs blog series.


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