Name Your BIG Idea

Tell An Elevator Speech With A Hook

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Your elevator speech is everything, get it right

How do you respond when someone asks you about your business? Do you have something interesting to say? Does your story have a "hook" that makes people ask more questions? Does your story make prospects want to meet with you? Is your story consistent or do you change it every time someone asks you about your business?

This brief description of your business is called, of course, your elevator speech. It is extremely important that you have a good elevator speech, but very few entrepreneurs have mastered it. That's because they don't know how to define their business, especially in contrast to their competition. Because they do so many different things, it is hard for them to choose something specific to say. Or they haven't figured out what is unique about their business, so their story is generic and boring. As a result, they don't get to first base with their prospects. That's why you need to package an elevator speech that makes prospects want to meet with you.

To create a packaged elevator speech, you need to work through the previous concepts in this series. You need to have these ingredients: a clear target audience, a BIG idea, and a brand name for your BIG Idea. A good elevator speech also needs to be short, interesting, and designed to get people to ask you more questions about your business. As such, it should be interesting, but not confusing. But it shouldn't give away the whole story either. You want people to say: "That's very interesting. Tell me more."

A packaged elevator speech has four sentences (I will use my elevator speech as an example).

Sentence 1 (The Category): The first sentence must explain what generic industry or product/service category you are in. For example, my first sentence is: I have a coaching company for entrepreneurs. In your case, you might say: I am a financial advisor or I have a computer software company. You say this generic sentence so people won't be confused.

Sentence 2 (The Brand Name): The second sentence introduces the brand name of your BIG Idea. For example, my second sentence is: I created The BIG Idea Adventure. You might say: I created The Confident Future Program, or I provide The Country Kitchen Experience.

Sentence 3 (The Explanation): The third sentence explains your BIG Idea and the Peak Benefit. For example, my third sentence is: The program helps you make more money by branding and packaging a BIG Idea. Notice that the third sentence incorporates the two key words in my brand name, Big and Idea. This is important because it explains the brand name. It is also important because it gets people to ask more questions like: So how does the program work? and What do you mean by a BIG Idea?

Sentence 4 (The BIG Problem): Here you introduce the name of the big problem you are trying to help them solve. For example, I say that I help people solve The Penguin Problem. Typically, they ask: What's The Penguin Problem which hooks them in.

One last tip: Your elevator speech should lead to a step beyond the elevator. Perhaps it is a meeting at your office or a coffee at Starbucks. The key point is that your elevator speech should end with a call to action to take the conversation and relationship further.

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