Elevator Speech II: The Two Components

November 30, 2015


Last time, we talked about the first part of an elevator speech, the TECHNIQUE of delivery. Today, we are going to take a look at the next major part of an elevator speech, the TWO COMPONENTS.

There are two main COMPONENTS in a good elevator speech, the RATIONALE and the UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP). The rationale is the “why?” Why is the customer interested in what you have to offer? What pain point are you alleviating for them? For the cardboard box maker we used as an example in our last post, his or her elevator speech indicates that he/she is offering the most affordable options to business owners…and what business owner is not concerned with costs? If you don’t recall, the first part of the speech went something like this…

“We’re Boxes R Us.  We provide businesses the most affordable options for designing and manufacturing their packaging and shipping materials.”

By offering “the most affordable options,” our friendly box maker is connecting to the potential customer’s pain point.  Oftentimes, outside costs can be the most important factor the owner has to wrestle with; therefore, cost is the pain point being addressed. However, our box maker may find that his customers are more often concerned with durability of packaging, or even timing of delivery for packaging materials. If this is the case, our box maker should tailor his/her elevator speech to that pain point, for example, the speech might go something like this…”Hi, I’m Kelly Smith with Boxes R Us, we provide businesses with affordable packaging products that keep their integrity through shipping and all-weather deliveries, and we specialize in quick turnaround.” Any business owner who requires packaging will probably relate very easily to these two factors and identify them as concerns or pain points. Regardless of the industry, your elevator speech should do its best to identify one of the main problems that your customer faces with regards to your product or service type, and then hit it head on.

In addition to the RATIONALE, the UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP) is the second important component of the elevator speech that can set you apart from your competitors. A USP is what differentiates you from anybody else in your industry. For example, any awards you have won, or if you were the first and oldest business of your type in the area, or any technology that sets you apart, your unique experience, etc. For example, let’s keep working on our friendly box maker’s speech. Here are a few examples using each of the above mentioned features…

”Hi, I’m Kelly Smith with Boxes R Us, we provide businesses with affordable packaging products that keep their structural integrity through shipping and all-weather deliveries, and we specialize in quick turnaround. We recently won the Box Industry Union award for customer service and are on track to do it again this year.”

In just a few seconds, our box maker has conveyed a wealth of important and influential information to the potential customer. Everything from addressing the pain points the customer may be feeling (rationale), to letting them know that their level of customer service is second to none (USP).

Or for a different USP based on technology, the speech might finish off like this; ”…we specialize in quick turnaround. We just installed the only BoxMaster2000 in the western United States so our production efficiency and array of products has increased exponentially.”

Again, potential customers are now aware that you’re a thriving company that’s using the latest in technology, and using proprietary equipment that nobody else has…definitely a USP.

So, in summary, make sure that your elevator speech contains the two main components, RATIONALE and a good USP. It may take some time, research, and brainstorming to figure out what your two components are, but the time put in will be well worth the sales results. The elements that make up and inform your elevator speech are oftentimes the FOUNDATION of your marketing messaging overall. If you put the time and effort into figuring out what these elements are, it provides you with the words, phrasing, and content you need to be prepared to market your business in any situation, from an elevator, to a party, to the copy in your television commercial or print ads. Use the development of your elevator speech as the impetus to explore your foundational marketing elements. Not only will it help you talk about, pitch, and market your business overall, but your elevator speech will have you winning customers before the doors open at the next floor.

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