The other day, I really blew it.
I was in the perfect position to deliver an elevator speech to a new colleague, yet I stumbled in my delivery. It occurred to me that my speech needed not just regular rehearsing, but perhaps refreshing.
An elevator speech or pitch is so called because it’s meant to be short enough to be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator – 20 to 30 seconds. So ‘succinct’ is the word, and you have to make sure each word counts. Here are five great ideas to get you going:
1) Ditch the term ‘travel agent’. That may only get a reaction along the lines of “They still have travel agents? I thought the Internet did away with them” (which makes me crazy). You, my friends, are travel advisors, or consultants, or concierges.
2) A successful elevator speech is all about making a connection. Smile, make eye contact and show your passion for what you do. What are the benefits you offer – and the problems you can make go away?
3) Obviously you can switch it around depending on the setting. At your curling club you might want to put the emphasis on helping people plan sports or active holidays. At a friend’s party in the middle of February, chat about why you love selling sun destinations.
4) Memorize it … sort of (which is where I went wrong with my colleague). Have three points you want to get across every time, but don’t rattle it off like a telemarketer. You want to sound genuine and spontaneous.
5) Practise, practise, practise (and of course you always have business cards to hand out at the end, right?).
Your speech might be along the lines of, “As a travel advisor, I specialize in multi-generational travel such as grandparents travelling with their kids and grandkids. My job is to seek out the cool destinations that are just right for my clients, and the hotels where I can negotiate lots of perks such as upgrades or free activities. Families love that!”
Lynda Sinclair, CTM, is the Vice-President/Leisure at Vision Travel Solutions, the largest Canadian-owned chain of travel agencies. With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry, she says she “lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at email@example.com.