Often referred to as an “elevator speech,” what comes out of your mouth after hearing, “What does your company do?” is the most important minute and a half you will have. You just don’t know who the person standing opposite might be, so it has to be better than good. It has to be compelling . . . it has to be remarkable.
Consider the “about us” page on your website. What do you want the listener most to know about your company? How you best quickly and succinctly relate what your company does and why it’s important in 90 seconds or less to a total stranger is the difference between a real pro and a stumbling buffoon.
Learn to instantly read your audience. Are they just being polite because you have them cornered, or are they genuinely interested in what you have to say? Are they looking you directly in the eyes, or are they searching desperately for an exit? Their interest will be piqued if you look them in the eyes and show ultimate confidence, resonate, and speak with real feeling directly to them. Keep your elevator speech short, not more than 90 seconds, smile honestly, smile with your eyes as well as your mouth, and keep it real. There’s no place for BS. You’ve only got 90 seconds to convince them you’re worth their emotional and intellectual investment.
When you finish, ask them about their business, listen and respond. There’s an old saying about having two ears and one mouth, and that they should be used in just that proportion. Encourage your listener to become the center of your world by keeping them engaged. They’ll appreciate the fact that you are interested their business.
This isn’t the time for your best close. It is rather, the time to exchange information and to see if there might be a reason for the two of you to meet again. And remember, all things being equal, we buy from those we like and we like those who listen to us.