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.
REEL THEM IN
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.
SERVE YOUR PROSPECT, DON’T SELL THEM
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.