In this post, I’m going to talk alot about power messages and little about elevator speeches. The topic of topic of elevator speeches is covered in my post called Does Your Elevator Speech Stop at the Right Floor?
If you’re self-employed and your business mostly relies on referrals from colleagues or others, you’ll want to have an elevator speech and power message. Your elevator speech is aimed at those people in a position to refer business your way. Your power message is what you say to potential customers or clients. Your power message generally takes place on the phone.
Why do you need both an elevator speech and a power message? You might ask, “Why can’t I say the same thing to both referrers and prospective clients?” Use your power message when a potential client wants to know what you do and how you can help them. Focus on what you do within the context of what is in it for the potential client or customer. Your power message is less scripted than your elevator speech.
What do you say if a prospect initially asks you how much you charge? I call this type of prospect a ‘shopper’. First, do not answer the question. Second, do not launch into your power message. Ask a few benign questions such as, “What are you looking for? Have you talked to others in the same business?” If you are unable to redirect the conversation back to the other person, then quickly land the plane by simply stating your fee (or a range of fees). Try once more to turn the conversation back to the customer. Shoppers shop for bargains. You are not a bargain-basement store.
Is it okay to use jargon in your power message? It depends on who the customer is and how much knowledge he or she has about your business. It may be fine to use some jargon with a customer who knows your business. If you have a customer unfamiliar with your business, the moment you start to use jargon, you will lose the customer’s attention. The conversation automatically shifts back to you instead of focusing on the prospect’s needs. See my post Here Comes the Jargon Police.
Now it’s time to write your power message. Aim your message at the person most likely to purchase your product or service.
Here’s an example of a power message used on the phone.
I worked with a fitness studio to create a new marketing program. One objective of the marketing plan was to get prospective clients to call the studio for a complimentary training session. The owner was targeting men over age 50 who had metabolic syndromes (Metabolic syndromes are clusters of conditions – increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels – that occur together, increasing risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. (www.mayoclinic.org).
“My name is Meg B. and I’m the manager at Fitness Strength & Training in Any City, USA. I have been a personal trainer for the past 11 years and have a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State in Kinesiology. I’ve worked with people who are diabetic, elite athletes, and many weight-loss clients. Fitness Strength & Training is a unique fitness studio because you receive a personalized exercise experience, nutrition coaching, and most importantly, accountability. All of our training sessions are conducted one-on-one in semi-private rooms to eliminate dis- traction. We help people realize their true potential as we coach them towards a healthier lifestyle. “I’d be happy to offer you one complimentary training session. Also, I’d like your contact information so I can send you our newsletter.”
Notice this power message contained the three parts:
- Information about the trainer
- Information geared to helping the client
- A strong landing or closing
This power message is only 126 words. She said what was needed and stopped.
A power message is not as structured as an elevator speech. Meg clearly articulated the goal of training: a healthier lifestyle. It’s the “What’s in it for me (the client)” part of the message and she smoothly, in a self-assured way, landed the plane.
Here are some do’s and don’ts concerning your power message.
- Don’t tell the caller what you don’t do
- Frame all conversations in a positive way
- Your power message should be modified to fit your website, online business presence, other online professional listings, or additional promotional information.
- Practice your message. Write it down and say it out loud.
- Have someone listen to your power message. Ask him or her to give you feedback. Ask for one thing he or she liked about your message and one technical suggestion he or she might have for you.
Having a strong power message will make you a more powerful businessperson.
For more tips on elevator speeches and power messages go to http://www.criticalconnectionsbook.com