In today’s climate of ubiquitous technology and to-the-minute updates, if you can’t catch someone’s attention immediately then odds are you won’t catch it at all. Now more than ever it is critical to ensure that your elevator pitch is quick, to the point, and, above all, effective. So how do you do that? The answer, believe it or not, is in your hello.
Think about your last interaction with a new acquaintance. What was your introduction like? Was it generic? Cliche? Mind-numbingly boring? Was the other person’s the same? Failure to engage right away is one of the primary reasons we fail to engage later on…when it matters most.
Now, think about the last time you attended a concert. How did you feel when the band came on stage? Did the lights go down? Were there fog machines? Did they greet you with an ear-splitting yell and a few well-timed guitar chords? More than likely, they made sure that you were on the edge of your seat, earnestly anticipating which of your favorite songs they were going to play first. This is the kind of impression you need to leave with potential clients, investors, and partners. You need to wow them.
I know what you’re thinking: “Aaron, I can’t exactly smash a guitar underneath a perfectly-placed spotlight every time I meet someone new,” and that’s true. What you can do, however, is use that 15-second window (yes, that’s all you get) to create a lasting imprint in the mind of the other person. Here’s how.
Most people are capable of telling when someone is putting on a show. It sounds scripted, and the sentiment commonly found in authentic statements is severely lacking. You need to believe the words you speak just as much as you want the other person to believe them.
There’s no need to boast if you truly believe in the message you are sending. Peacocking has a terrible tendency to cause listeners to tune out as they choose to focus on your ego instead. You can tell them what you’ve accomplished, but do it in a way that makes you seem grateful.
Show them why it matters
It’s no longer to be matter-of-fact with your abilities. I-statements are great, but they’re not effective when it comes to captivating an already distracted audience. Rephrase your abilities as skills that benefit others. I wouldn’t say “I teach business and sales strategy to entrepreneurs,” for example. Instead, I’d say “I’m grateful to have helped more than 300,000 individuals worldwide reach their business goals and excel in their sales ventures.”
If your hello speech incorporates each of the above elements and meets the other requirements I outline in my Sales Mastery course, you not only have a better chance at winning the attention of your conversational partner but also keeping it.