Psychology Behind Elevator Speeches

Last month I did a post on elevator speeches, and I gave a basic structure for an effective speech and broke down the various parts.

I taught a class on this subject earlier this week, and we talked about the psychology behind some of the elements, and I wanted to go into some greater detail on that here.

The Story

Always remember that we buy with our emotions and then justify our decision with logic. We also make buying decisions very quickly, which is why the 30-second speech is so important. No one will make a buying decision from your speech, and you’re not expecting them to. What you can expect is that they will want to hear more.

A story is going to get a “tell me more” reaction more often than a list of services. A story will allow us to make connections between you and people we know who might relate to your story. And a story can show you are good at what you do, far more effectively than telling us you’re great.

Specific Request for Referral

Someone in the class asked me if it was okay to ask for the referral first. I said no. Why?

Back to psychology. We decide with our emotions and justify with logic. A request for a referral is an appeal to logic. Putting it before the emotion reverses the buy cycle and makes us less likely to listen and ask “tell me more.”

Is This Manipulation?

Sales psychology is considered manipulative, and often, it is. Closing techniques are almost always intended to coerce someone into “buying now” or buying something they might not want or need.

What I’m talking about isn’t manipulation. As long as your story is true (or, in the case of a brand-new business owner with no clients yet, plausible) and your referral request is for someone you really can help, there’s no manipulation going on.

What I am advocating for is working with our inclinations and ways of making decisions rather than working against us. We’ll feel more comfortable with you, even if we don’t know why. And if we are comfortable, we’re more likely to refer you.

Make sense?

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the psychology behind how you ask for that referral.


One Response to “Psychology Behind Elevator Speeches”

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