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An Elevator Speech Is Marketing, Not Sales

elevator speechI’m always reading articles where people say “lose the elevator speech.” Obviously I don’t agree, and I think people who say that have missed the point of the elevator speech.

1. You’re rarely going to give it in an elevator. There, you’re more likely to have a conversation, although if you wrote a good elevator speech, you’ve already got a good answer to the question, “What do you do?”

2. An elevator speech is a marketing tool, not a sales tool. People mix those up all the time, so let me elaborate for a moment.

Marketing is getting the word out about who you are and what you do. Marketing makes people say, “That sounds interesting. Tell me more.” Sales is actually selling to someone who knows what you do and why they might want to buy it.

30 seconds is good for increasing awareness and exposure but terrible for selling, unless your elevator speech involves chocolate. We don’t need to be sold on chocolate. If we want it, we’ll buy it from you.

But most of you aren’t selling chocolate. For the rest of you, think about your elevator speech as a marketing message, not a sales message, and you’ll do a lot better with it.

Then you’ll know to ignore all those articles telling you to lose the elevator speech.

Image credit: Flickr user Sancho McCann under a Creative Commons license