Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Elevator Speech


Recently I had the opportunity to give a totally unrehearsed elevator speech to a inquisitive person while riding up to see another client. He saw a brochure that I was carrying and it piqued his interest. The conversation went like this…….”So, what does the Xi stand for in Xi Safety?” Without an ‘er’ or an ‘ah’ I immediately launched into my hook, replying, ” I help people and companies make the right choice when they arrive at a crossroad.” And then I stopped talking. After I delivered my hook it’s important to simply be quiet. You need to give the listener time to contemplate what you just said, get inquisitive, and want to know more. When they ask, “what do you mean,” they’ve invested in the conversation giving you permission to give them more details. Without the silence the hook won’t work.


Once his interest was shown, I didn’t jump on him with some boring sales pitch. I eased into the next part of the Elevator Speech with what I like to call the reel. I began to tell him how we do what Xi does, but didnt give away the movie. No good mystery movie starts out with, “the butler did it.” The movie keeps you in suspense until you’re dying to know. You want to do this too. A hook/reel combination like this will normally lead to the question, “what do you mean.” Now you’ve earned the right to give them details.

I went into slightly more detail regarding his query, “what does the Xi stand for in Xi Safety?” I was able to quickly describe that the “I” represents a person or a corporate entity and that the “X” represents a crossroad where both arrive at. Their decision, whether as managers who represent the Incorporate Entity or the Individual Worker will determine the safety culture of the company depending on what road they take. At Xi Safety, we help them make the correct path choice.

It turned out he was a project director for a midsized alternative energy company and asked for a card exchange, the brochure and stated he wanted to discuss what I had just elaborated on with his project team. I will follow up next week.


If YOU’VE DEVELOPED a good hook and reel you should now have them securely in a conversation. However, ALWAYS the mindset of “how can I serve you,” not “what can I sell you.” Remain focused on your listener’s needs, not on your needs. The more you give, the more you’ll receive.


What do traffic lights and gas masks have in common?


Not many folks have ever heard of Garrett Augustus Morgan even though most of us frequently usually use the latest version of one of his inventions many times a day.
Garrett A. Morgan

Garrett August Morgan, born March 24, 1877, the son of a slave invented and in 1923 patented the first intersection traffic signal that had the added feature that it could be manufactured cheaply. The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional stop position. This “third position” halted traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross streets more safely. His hand-cranked semaphore traffic management device was in use throughout North America until all manual traffic signals were replaced by the automatic red, yellow, and green-light traffic signals currently used around the world.

Morgan never went beyond elementary school. He did later hire a tutor to work with him on English grammar. This is most interesting because Cowboy Safety and other versions of 21st century safety depend heavily on the proper use of language.

Garrett Augustus Morgan photo On October 13, 1914 Morgan got a patent for his “safety helmet” as he called it. It was designed to filter out smoke and cool incoming air. The problem he addressed was that of firemen in Cleveland, where he lived at the time, being overcome by smoke. A test of his product came on July 24, 1916 when a tunnel explosion trapped 32 workers 200 feet underground. Rescuers went in and did not come out. Morgan and his brother went in and brought out many survivors.

Fire departments around the country purchased the device. Refined versions have had important roles in military combat. It was used by the U.S. Army in World War I to protect soldiers from chlorine gas fumes.

Morgan developed many other safety products. It was something that he felt compelled to do.

He was the founder of the Cleveland Call newspaper.

Morgan died on August 27, 1963.

courtesy of cowboy safety



Xi Safety has helped many smaller companies attain their HSE Designations in Alberta and continue to provide complimentary HSE services where needed to associations and groups.