Elevator Script

What do you say when asked about what you do for a living? Your next statement will either intrigue the questioner and move the relationship forward or leave them wanting to run. I flew a lot over the last ten years to different speaking engagements. There is very little conversation in First Class. Most of the occupants are road warriors and the last thing they want to do is talk with someone. But once the plane lands, in the final minutes as the airplane taxis to the gate, people introduce themselves to each other and ask what they do for a living? This is a time when I hear the elevator scripts of other people. Most sound generic, "I work for XYZ." Occasionally a person pontificates how they help others do this or that. The former statement says nothing and the listener is left to define the person according to their own perceptions of that particular industry. The latter sounds like they are the creator, innovator, designer, or founder of the world's most important organization and you ought to talk to them right now. My first thought is the person sitting next to them is glad they did not start the conversation at the beginning of the flight, otherwise they would have asked, "Does anybody else want to sit next to this person?" They are happy to be exiting the plane in a matter of minutes.

I conclude that elevator scripts tend to come in two forms: a generic statement that tells you nothing of interest or a statement that sounds so extraordinary or unbelievable it is dismissed. Additionally, they are stated in the first person present.

If the goal of your elevator script is to move the relationship forward the following are a few suggestions:

1. Change your statement from the first person to the third person. It's not what you say that interests the other person, you are suppose to think what you do is important. Instead of saying. "I ..." say, "What my clients say is *insert what your clients think is unique about you*." There is nothing stronger than a third party endorsement. By moving your statement from first person to third person, you have brought your advocates into the conversation.

2. The script must result in a statement from the other person, "tell me more". If your script is not intriguing enough to build that interest, change it. In those few moments you must be intriguing enough for a person to want to know more.

What is your elevator script?