Improve your networking skills to capture new business
The Elevator Speech
If you have participated in a networking group, joined a BNI or barter group, or play an active role in your local business chamber, you most likely know the importance of the Elevator Speech (I'll use "ES" for simplicity). In this time of social distancing, you may not have too many opportunities for striking up a conversation in an actual elevator or checkout lane; however, it is likely that you are spending oodles of time on video conference calls.
Your ES may change over time; however, I highly recommend that you incorporate a speech script in your Brand Guide. You and your team will use this script to look and sound sharp when it's time to introduce yourself on a conference call, and you'll always have a clear, well-practiced statement whenever someone asks, "What do you do?"
How often have you heard a friend or colleague say, "Gee, I didn't know you did that!" What may seem obvious to you, is not always plain for the general public. In this way, the process of creating an ES can be very revealing. You have 30 seconds or less to express WHO you are, WHAT you offer, WHY you're in business, and HOW your products or services can improve the lives of your customers or clients.
Practice Makes Perfect
The first rules for your Elevator Speech are: Prepare and Practice. Your ES must be clear and succinct, and delivered with confidence. People who try to "wing it," often leave something out, stumble over their phrasing, or bore their audience with too much information. The habit of Wingin' It is one of the biggest hurdles I try to correct with my marketing consulting clients. Although it takes some convincing, my clients unanimously agree that this exercise works miracles to:
Build call confidence
Avoid self-deprecating statements or asides
Prevent rambling, and overusing "Ah" or "Um"