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with your small business!

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"Elevator:  Going Up!"

by Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"™

(c) 2001, A Few Good People, Inc.

The other day I was in a pizza place and struck up a conversation with the owner. He mentioned that he had a home business in addition to that restaurant and it was doing very well.

"Great! Tell me about it!"

He proceeded, for the next five minutes, to explain. It was on the Internet. Doctors and lawyers are doing this as a side business and are doing very, very well. He said "It's a sort of mall on the Internet, you should check it out." He gave me the web address and then he had to tend to a customer.

I had no idea what he did.

Can you explain your business clearly to a complete stranger in 20 seconds or less? Can you do it in such a way that, if they are in a position to use your product or service they will want to know more? If not, you have some work to do!

Whenever and wherever you go you will meet potential customers, and you may not have much time to talk to them. If you cannot clearly explain your business in a very short time, you could lose an opportunity to interest someone in what you do; someone that would be a good prospect if they knew.

This is commonly referred-to as an "elevator speech". Why? Because if you got on an elevator with someone and, on the way up, they asked, "What do you do?" you would only have a few seconds to tell them before one of you reached your floor.

You cannot possibly tell your entire business story in such a short time, but that is not the objective. The objective is to break it down to its most essential elements, and get them to ask for more.

Several years ago I went to a high school reunion (never mind which one!) and saw a friend that I hadn't seen since graduation. I asked him what he did for a living. He said "I fix bones!" (It was pretty noisy and I thought he said, "I fix phones", but that's another story.) That grabbed my interest, so I asked him to tell me exactly what that meant and he explained that he was an orthopedic surgeon, he had his own practice, was chief of orthopedic surgery at a major local hospital, and that he specialized in foot disorders. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom! He grabbed me with the "elevator speech" (in this case, just three words) and then, once he had my interest, took more time to tell me the details. Perfect!
Work on your elevator speech. Practice it out loud when you are alone; it will get better the more times you say it. Then, when those big potential customers come along, you'll be ready to hook 'em and reel 'em in!

What's my elevator speech? I thought you'd never ask...

"I help people make more money and have more fun with their small or home based businesses."

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