Today I discovered speed networking which was happening at a local trade show here in Brighton. Basically, you are delivering your elevator speech to 7 groups of 5 people in a row. Then, someone else takes it in turns to move around the groups. It’s exhausting. 🙂
This was an excellent lesson in watching others and refining my own elevator speech. Funnily enough, the principles of copywriting apply exactly to this situation, where in effect you are trying to:
- Capture the attention of your ideal client
- Engage them
- Encourage them to want to find out more
I had a blast and as someone who is more used to writing the words than talking them, it was a fantastic experience.
I also noted what didn’t appear to work so well, and what did work well both from my experience and watching others, so here are my tips for you:
Focus on the Customer: Tell people who you help and how in the first sentence
If you hear a rapid succession of elevator pitches in a row, your mind gets fuzzy, so the simpler the introduction the better. Avoid putting the emphasis on you and your company, but instead on the people you help and how you do it. For example:
- We provide printing services for businesses who want to be more environmentally conscious
- We provide upmarket events for people who are new to the area and want to meet more people
Benefits: Don’t bore with features solve problems with passion
There were some great examples of people who knew exactly what pain they solved for their customer, and you could tell how passionate they were about doing it. They gave great tasters of their service with lines like:
- We provide affordable life-like floral displays that never wilt, making your reception area, foyer or shop look impeccable without taking up your time to look after them
- We will conduct free back checks for your employees to help improve health, performance and morale at your business
Details: Give them the vital information…
This might differ depending on the event, but I saw a lot of people who were interested in:
- Whether business offered fixed fees or hourly rates
- What the average customer spend was
- Where companies were based and how they operated (e.g. home / office / on site / online)
Those were the tips I picked up today, and I noticed how similar they are to copywriting. In fact, take a strong elevator pitch, transcribe it and you have the makings of an opening paragraph on your website.
Like I say though, it was my first time speed networking so I’d love to hear other people’s experiences or tips!
Glenda Shawley says
Sensible advice as always Amy. One thing I’ve found quite useful at similar events is the copywriting trick of opening with a problem based question. Not many people do it so it makes you stand out and the best prospects sit up and listen because they recognise themselves.
You’re right! I saw some do that yesterday and done well it really changes the dynamic of the conversation. that’s a great tip, thanks.
Glenda Shawley says
My pleasure. The real challenge is to get to the heart of the problem in one sentence!
Hey Nic, thanks for the comment.
I like those points. Even the process of having points or questions to work through can surprisingly sharpen your copy or your pitch.
Thanks for sharing those here 🙂
Nic Oliver says
I like a simple model, that works for presentations and sales copy. It asks 4 simple questions:
1. Who’s your audience?
2. What are their needs?
3. What’s your message?
4. Why is it important for your audience?