We all know the concept of an elevator speech. Depending on who you talk to, it should last 30 to 60 seconds and answer the “what do you do?” question – or maybe just make a good impression.

Trouble is, a snappy high-talk, low-listen pitch may just trigger resentment in someone forced to endure it. After all, they did not ask to be informed about the benefit of a relationship. What works better in most situations is an “escalator” speech, timed to last no more than 20 seconds and end with a question:

An example: “Mr. Smith, I’m Frank Jones from Ajax Consolidated, and I’m acquainted with Sally Moore from your company. We help improve supply chain processes. It seems to me there are real opportunities for companies to boost cash flow by changing how payments are handled. Do you see it that way, too?”

The escalator question takes the conversation to another level. It turns it from a monologue into a dialogue, and makes buyers an active participant.

Source: From a post by Charles H. Green at www. trustedadvisor.com

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