An elevator statement is a short concise and compelling statement about you or your business that can be delivered in the time it takes for an imaginary elevator ride. It's your one chance to make a first impression, be memorable, open a door and build a relationship. You have to say what you do in a way that is immediately understood and if you want more business, interests people enough to want to learn more. It's the one statement that will close or open a door. Once that door is closed, it's hard to recover from it. First impressions stick. That's a lot of pressure for a few words, huh? Here's the sniff test any elevator statement should be able to pass with flying colors: 1) Does your mom understand it?
2) Does it prompt questions?
3) Is it generating you leads?
4) One sentence, 20 words or less.
5) 15-30 seconds.
Let's visit the third one. I was recently at a leadership breakfast engaged in some introductions between a small group of professionals. One man introduced himself as a CFO at a well known accounting firm and as a board member of a community group. The other person introduced themselves as a consultant. The last person said "Yeah, I say that too but we're all in the same boat just looking for jobs." For him, and likely for a lot of folks, consulting was a nice way to say 'job search'. The consultant's elevator statement essentially amounted to using a generic label to describe himself and that label was perceived as a cover up by someone else. Had he been more specific, i.e. said, "Companies hire me to train their employees how to use software to save them time, be better organized and more productive" he probably would not have gotten that response. You can pick an elevator statement that cuts right to the chase, i.e. "I am a graphic designer specializing in logos" or you can stand out and use a statement that projects confidence and provokes interest in your product or service, i.e. "I'm hired to help employees be happier, more efficient, productive and get 5 hours of free time each week."
Whatever you choose, be clear, concise and memorable. Now go forth and mingle!
Keep it classy,