Mission Statements and Elevator speeches

A lot of college textbooks and even more sales courses will teach you that you need to develop a mission statement for your business along with an elevator speech for when you’re meeting potential networking partners. These mission statements are supposed to be your core values and what your business is all about. The elevator speeches are supposed to tell what you do and 30 seconds or less. There is an inherent problem though with mission statements and elevator speeches – people simply do not care.
When you try to advertise or tell your customers what your mission statement is very few people are going to buy from you because of your reasons. People love to buy and they love to buy for their reasons and their reasons only. Sometimes they make sense. Sometimes they don’t. But the main fact remains, as they buy for their reasons, not yours. A mission statement is all about you.
I say this and I say it often; people don’t care what you do, they only care what you will do for them. Mission Statements are all about what you do, it says nothing about what you will do for them. Put your mission statement, side-by-side with a bunch of testimonials from satisfied and happy customers and you tell me which one is going to mean more to your prospects. People who haven’t done business with you before are more interested in what others experience has been with you in doing business. Testimonials speak to what you have done for others and what you will potentially do for them.
Now let’s talk about elevator speeches. I’m sure you been to a networking event before where somebody came up and started giving you their elevator speech. And I’m sure that you are absolutely thrilled about it – right? Most people hate, they loath, they run away from elevator speeches. Elevator speeches are designed again to talk about you when those prospective people who could send you business. Want to know about how you will help them more than what you do.
I often ask at networking Association meetings. How many people came here to get some new business and most hands will be raised at that point. I then asked how many of you brought some leads. Fact is, very few hands are raised of those who may have brought leads, if any. This is a problem- people show up to get business, yet nobody brings business. Here is the key when it comes to elevator speeches: don’t give them. Nobody likes them. You probably don’t even like to give them, so why bother.
How about this; Next time you’re at a networking event and your meeting professionals, how about you get to know them on a personal basis and talk to them about what’s important to them. If you’re a fan of Dale Carnegie, you understand that the most important topic on anybody’s plate is usually themselves. Get to know people and ask questions about those people that you’re trying to get to know. People do business with people they like and trust. The quickest way to getting them to like and trust you is to get to know them.
Mission statements are great for goals. Having a prepared elevator speech is great when you’re nervous and when you do not know what to say. Further than that, you need to use your business common sense and preparing yourself to be an open book, and just laying your cards on the table. If you’re likable person people will buy from you.
Until next week, here’s to your success!


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