Advice:Using formulas for your elevator speech

By , published on 17th December 2010

One of the two most common questions people will ask you in any social or business situations is ‘what do you do?’ It stumps most people. For some reason people struggle to sum up nicely what they actually do for a living. You’re good at telling people who you are, because that’s simply the job title on your business card. Here are some examples…

  • I’m a financial adviser
  • I work for XYZ Bank
  • I’m an accountant
  • I’m an executive coach.

There are two problems with answers like this:

  1. You give people the chance to judge you based on everyone else they’ve ever met with that description.
  2. You don’t give people a strong sense of how you help and add value.

As a result, you lose out on an opportunity to not only do business with that audience, but with everyone else in their network. You make it difficult for others to sell you and articulate your value proposition on your behalf.

Recently, I came across a great article in a speaking publication that described using a formula to help you when you struggle to put into words what you do for a living. Developing a formula for what you do can not only help you articulate who you are and what you do, it will also cause you to add in a unique branding element to your business.

One of the most famous formulas is E=mc2. This evokes certain memories, emotions and thoughts. And that’s what you want your introduction to do. You want people to react, think and feel particular things when you say what you do.

Now before you think that this might not apply to you, consider that even if you don’t use it to introduce yourself, it’s still an excellent guide or template for the words you actually say.

Here are a few examples that tell stories and give room to expand and explain.

K + A = G + R

This is from a consultant who drives home the idea that knowledge in itself is not enough to bring about change. However, Knowledge plus Action will bring about Growth plus Results.

W = SA + SB + SC

This is a banking one that signifies that Wealth equals Sound Advice plus Secure Banking plus Solid Communication.

My formula is R2xVxL=S, which explains my TRIP System®. Relationships x Reputation x Value x Leverage Success.

You can see how I would go on to describe that in a number of ways that essentially would show people that when I work with their people, I show them how to leverage their relationships and their reputations to create value and ultimately wealth and profits for their business. 

In short, it’s relationship and reputation marketing. And when I don’t actually say the formula out loud, I’m mindful of it as I introduce myself. It keeps me on message!
These formulas can become a part of your brand, your message and your UVP (Unique Value Proposition). They can help you address the Tyranny Of Choice:

When I need what you do, why should I choose you, above and beyond all of my other choices?

You only get one shot to introduce yourself to somebody for the first time! You’ve got to get it right! And the best resource is the brand new Elevator Speech Bible. It’s the latest, biggest and most powerful Bible yet, with 120 tips and scripts to help you craft, deliver and leverage your introductions in an array of situations. So what do you do?

Rob’s Quick Tips

Using formulas to help articulate what you do (either to yourself or others) is a really powerful way of delivering your Elevator Speech. There are many benefits:

  1. It’s memorable. That means there is an excellent chance you’ll create an impact and be remembered for doing something different. it doesn’t even have to be mathematical!
  2. It’s simple. That means it’s easy to convey and easy to understand. You turn the complex into the simple. There is also less to remember and get stressed about.
  3. It’s interesting. That means you’re not like everyone else who comes out with similar introductions and similar messages.
  4. It’s challenging. It makes you think what you really do and how you do it. It gives you a brand that you can live up to and make your own. It also makes you authentic (unless you’re picking a formula out of thin air that really doesn’t describe you).
  5. It’s viral. That means it’s easier to get others talking about you meaningfully and with enthusiasm. That’s great for referrals and word of mouth marketing!
  6. It’s consistent. That means you bring reliability and credibility to your introductions, and that means TRUST!

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Rob Brown

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown is one of the UK's leading authorities on business networking and referrals. He is an inspirational conference speaker and author of over 40 publications, including Amazon best-seller How To Build Your Reputation and the free ebook: 'The 13 Commandments of Turning Relationships Into Profits'

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