Creating Your Compelling Elevator Promise

To create that memorable Elevator “Promise”, follow the steps below. Click here and download a worksheet to collect your answers

1. Establish your networking goals. Know what you are trying to accomplish when you are networking.

  • Refer to step 1 in the toolkit.
  • Are you trying to meet prospects, learn more about a target organization you want to work with or for, make a sale, earn a referral, network, meet a hiring manager, or inform?
  • This information is important as it will guide you in how to position your elevator “promise” and help you to determine your best call to action. This is the action you want people to take after you have had the chance learn more about them.

2. Identify your target audience.

  •  Who are your ideal customers and/or your potential employers? Knowing this is important so you can adapt your elevator promise to what is most relevant to their needs.

  • Describe your target audience. You can’t be everything to everyone, so you need to be clear about who your ideal customer is. For the job searchers, your “customers” are hiring managers and recruiters. To grab attention you need articulate how you can add value to them specifically.  Click here for examples that demonstrate how your message can vary based on how you define your target audience.

3. Identify the problems your target market faces and how you uniquely help.

  • Identify each key challenge and how you can uniquely help solve that problem. You should always think from the perspective of what your target audience needs versus what you provide. People really don’t care about what you do; they care about how you can help them feel better or solve a problem in some way.
  • To learn more, do research, conduct informational meetings and/or do some networking. You can also investigate industry conferences and take look at their program outlines and speaker topics which describe current hot topics. How do your skills and accomplishments help address the topics top-of-mind to people in your field?
  • For each challenge, describe how you help in a way that is unique or different than your competitors.

 4. Write your elevator promise.

  • Now that you know more about your target audience, you can use this information and your personal brand statements from step 2 in the Network PRo Toolkit to create your unique elevator promise.   If you haven’t completed step 2 yet, then you click here and complete the exercise “How to Grab Attention With a Powerful Personal Brand” before you continue with this exercise.
  • Your elevator promise can be written in your words and include the following elements:
    • Who you are (introduce yourself)
    • What business are you in or what is your major in college?
    • Who is your target audience (these are the people you serve whether you are in business, selling something or looking for a job). Be as specific as you can.
    • What is your unique value proposition? What makes you different/special?
    • Why do you love what you do?
    • What benefits does your target audience get? Or what benefits can an employer derive from your skills and accomplishments.

Here are some templates to get you started, but incorporate your own voice and passion.

  • For business professionals:
    • My name is <name>of < company>. Our company <does what?> for <target audience> that allows them to <value proposition>. What makes us/our product different than our competitors is <describe how different> resulting in <describe outcomes from using your product/service).
    • My name is <name>of < company>. I help <specific target customers> who want to get <specific desired result> without having to <unwanted or inconvenient steps>. What makes us/our product different than our competitors is <describe how different> resulting in <describe outcomes from using your product/service).
  • For students:
    • Hi, my name is <name> and I am completing a degree in <name of degree> at <university name>. What I love about this major is <share something you love> and I am looking for the opportunity to add value for a <describe type of company by <how will you add value, what makes you different>.

5. Rate your promise.

  • Use Step 3 in the toolkit to evaluate your elevator promise. There is a rater tool you can use to get immediate feedback. In addition, you can download and share a feedback survey with others to get valuable feedback from colleagues and peers.

6. Incorporate feedback.

  • Evaluate your feedback and incorporate what makes sense.

7. Practice your promise and get comfortable with your delivery.

  • Don’t memorize. Instead, get comfortable with your key talking points.
  • Be natural – it is okay if you don’t sound like an infomercial. Smile and be yourself.
  • However, you should not try to sound like a telemarketer reading from a script.
  • State by memorizing your promise and as you get in the groove, you can continue to practice and work on your delivery.
  • The contents and essence of your promise should be familiar, and the delivery should be natural and flow with your conversation.
  • Don’t stress about getting it perfect. The perfect promise may not sound as genuine.
  • Add a story for more oomph. After you share your promise, you can say “for example, for a recent customer that was faced with XYZ challenges, I helped him to <insert details> which resulted in <insert details>.
  • Be confident and passionate in delivering your promise, this makes you more memorable.

8. How to adapt your personal elevator promise in preparation for your next networking function.

  • Adapt your elevator promise to keep it fresh always keeping your target audience in mind so you are relevant to who you are talking to.  Here are some scenarios you encounter during networking.
    • Scenario 1 – the group commercial. This is when you present a 30-60 commercial during a networking meeting. In this situation, understand the dynamics of the group. If possible, do some research ahead of time and understand key challenges the group may face and prepare your elevator promise to uniquely address the group. If you don’t have any information then share your elevator promise and address a common problem.
    • Scenario 2 – one-on-one conversations at mixers or other networking gatherings. This is ideal because you can have a conversation and get to know someone. Ask some questions to get to know the person you are talking to such as what they do for a living and what company they work for. Then once you have this information you can adapt and share your “promise” in a way that will resonate with that person.
  • Draft up some talking points about what to include in your promise. Do this prior to every networking event that you go to keep your promise fresh!
  • Demonstrate what you do and why people should want to do business with you or want to hire you. Be specific for the group and/or people you will be talking to.
  • Clarify and emphasize what makes you different and your competitive advantages.

9. Incorporate stories.

  • Telling a story helps to add additional depth to your promise and further demonstrates how you help solve problems.  Effective story-telling is a powerful tool that will help people remember you.
  • Document your stories so you can start creating your personal story library to share when relevant.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask for something.

  • A business card, a referral, or to schedule time for a follow-up discussion.
  • Don’t be pushy. Read signals to see if that person is interested in learning more or having additional conversations. Are they engaged in your conversation? Are they asking you questions? Are they actively listening?