Having an elevator speech does more than answer the question of “what do you do?”. It provides a guiding light for marketing, business development and billable activities. Let’s explore its significance for lawyers…
1. Starts a conversation
When someone asks “what do you do?”, do you simply answer “I’m a lawyer” or “I’m a [insert practice area] lawyer”? If yes, you need to be more informative next time, such as by:
- providing an example of a type of matter you would handle that one may not think of or may find interesting;
- describing how your assistance differs from others;
- drawing a connection between you and the person you’re speaking with; or
- mentioning how you can help the person you’re speaking with, or those s/he may be affiliated with.
You want the person to ask more questions about you, or to think of someone who may need your help whether now or in the future. You want a conversation to occur instead of the person saying it was nice to meet you and walk away.
2. Provides direction for a business plan
Your elevator speech will be modified depending on whom you speak with. Despite the slight modifications, you want to have more experiences available to relate during your elevator speech or conversation that occurs afterwards. When you’re working on your business plan, focus on activities that will provide further evidence to enhance how you help others. The activities can range from working on different types of matters in an area, or widening the types of clients you work for. You want your business plan to include objectives that will support the elevator speech you give.
3. Highlights a mantra for client service
Does your elevator speech relate the value you provide to those you help? For example, do find yourself relaying your or your firm’s client service standards?
When working on client matters, refer back to the client service statements you make in your elevator speech. Are you living up to the service standards you say you offer?
4. Helps with online branding
It’s very easy for someone to click away from your profile on the internet. Your elevator speech can help sharpen your online profile to hook people to continue reading about the legal services you offer.
Also, your online presence should be consistent with your offline elevator speech. This helps to reinforce what you’ve said to someone who later searches for information about you on the internet.
If you already have an elevator speech, review it to see if any changes are needed. If you don’t have one, you need to develop one now. You never know when you’re going to need it.