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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Do you have an elevator (15 sec.) speech?

I see how people in other business have very strong elevator speeches. Can’t make one for myself? I can probably wrap it as blah-blah-blah residential capital improvements, or can I? What % of your clients knows what a capital improvement is and visualizes it as finished basement? Word “remodeling” gets mixed feeling and a lot of questions.
Another problem: I can’t pick that one quality that makes us unique. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t pick it from the list of 30 unique qualities we have.
Any advice? Any examples of good elevator speeches?
 

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I don't see the point of calling remodeling or basement finishing capital improvements. If the point is to communicate effectively to your potential customer why not just do it? If you do remodeling then say it, if you finish basements, then say that. I don't know why anyone would choose a company name or marketing that 9 out of 10 strangers would have a hard time guessing what your company does. Most small businesses don't have a couple million dollars laying around to spend on branding.

Don't get upset, but I'm highly doubtful your company has 30 unique qualities. Most companies would be lucky to have 1 quality that sets them apart from the competition. I guess a lot of it comes down to how you define a unique quality. But for me it is only unique if my customer percieves it to be. If you are having such a hard time picking that one unique quality out of your list of 30 that is probably because the 30 aren't really as unique as you might be letting yourself believe.

I don't know why you think the word remodeling gets mixed feelings. It could be that you are marketing yourself to the wrong customer or in the wrong way if they don't get what you do.

You might need to focus on one segment of your customer base instead of all of them. My business is Home Improvement, but if you cast that broad of a net you end up with very few fish in it. I mostly want kitchen, bathroom, basement work and decks, however to get it you have to market for each specifically. You can brand yourself differently for each market.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I hate to mess up threads…
Mike Finley said:
I don't see the point of calling remodeling or basement finishing capital improvements. If the point is to communicate effectively to your potential customer why not just do it? If you do remodeling then say it, if you finish basements, then say that. I don't know why anyone would choose a company name or marketing that 9 out of 10 strangers would have a hard time guessing what your company does. Most small businesses don't have a couple million dollars laying around to spend on branding.
Term “Capital improvement” was defined long before either of us got into business. So basically it’s not about making point it’s about using a correct term. This is only term I’m aware of that fully describes the work we do. Even great name doesn’t cover for slogan and elevator speech. BTW our companies are named similarly

Mike Finley said:
Don't get upset, but I'm highly doubtful your company has 30 unique qualities. Most companies would be lucky to have 1 quality that sets them apart from the competition. I guess a lot of it comes down to how you define a unique quality. But for me it is only unique if my customer percieves it to be. If you are having such a hard time picking that one unique quality out of your list of 30 that is probably because the 30 aren't really as unique as you might be letting yourself believe.
Ok, you got me on 30 qualities. It would properly say combination of those 30 qualities make us unique. But for the elevator speech it’s the same – can’t combine them all in paragraph in 30 words.

Mike Finley said:
I don't know why you think the word remodeling gets mixed feelings. It could be that you are marketing yourself to the wrong customer or in the wrong way if they don't get what you do.
Looks like you did not fully understand the use and power of elevator speech. It’s not a hard marketing tool; it’s a way to introduce yourself. Elevator speech needed in many circumstances, but I use it mostly at network and professional meetings. That’s where I stand in front of a crowd and have 30 seconds to tell what I do. And the best use of that 30 sec is 10 on elevator speech and rest on something you want to promote at more and specials.
 

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Sorry Agnessa, but I can't make it as complicated as you seem to want it to be. Someone asks me what I do, I tell them I'm a remodeling contractor. Nobody is going to spend $20,000 with me based on a canned introduction of less than 10 seconds.

I will agree with you I don't understand your beliefs in the power of a elevator speech or a USP unique selling proposition,or a VPS value positioning statement or whatever is the hot title of the moment, mostly I don't understand the confusion. Your most powerful version consists of simply telling people what you do. If you can't tell people what you do in 10 words or less the problem is with you. You can be a sanitation engineer or you can be a garbage man. My uncle has rode on the back of a garbage truck for 20 years and nobody has ever been confused when he told them he was a garbage man.

Aristotle said -It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences.
 

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I will interject a comment. because WE as contractors know what capitol improvements are, you'd be suprised the number of home owners that stare back at me with a blank face when I say that term.

When people ask what I do I say "I do roofing and exterior remodeling."
 

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You quoted it yourself, the simplicity. Elevator speech is a simple way to tell about your business. Sure if your job is to ride on the garbage truck, then you just that you are a garbage man not even marketing genius can add to it. But if you own a garbage company that offers variety of services to business owners, carting for builders and your own dumping site. And you take a pride of your business and want to highlight your competitive edge at the presentation you better have something better then “I’m a garbage man”.
Let’s stop it there. I’m sure that if somebody gave you 15 seconds to tell about you business you would just say I do home improvements. May be you’re not often at the situation when you have use for that 15 second presentation. May be if you had that elevator speech you will find that you use it more often then you thought.
After all, the question was not do we need an elevator speech it was do you have or have you heard a good one. I’m guessing one or two hundred years ago slogan was a nonsense too.
 

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You're right we got off on a tangent. Let's go back to your original post.

Agnessa said:
I see how people in other business have very strong elevator speeches. Can’t make one for myself? I can probably wrap it as blah-blah-blah residential capital improvements, or can I?
I wouldn't advise using the words residential capital improvements. If 9 out of 10 strangers on the street don't know what you are talking about what more reason do you need to loose the jargon and use simple terms? People understand terms like: remodeler, contractor, designer, builder, decorator, handyman. In regard to not being able to come up with one for yourself - when I was a business consultant and a client would say that, I would tell them that was a sure sign they are most likely going in too many directions all at the same time and need to sit down and focus on where they want to go and tailor their presentations to the markets or customers they are in front of at that time.

Agnessa said:
What % of your clients knows what a capital improvement is and visualizes it as finished basement?
Zero.

Agnessa said:
Word “remodeling” gets mixed feeling and a lot of questions.
Fortunately for me I don't get the same response.

Agnessa said:
Another problem: I can’t pick that one quality that makes us unique. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t pick it from the list of 30 unique qualities we have.
Don't get upset, but I'm highly doubtful your company has 30 unique qualities. Most companies would be lucky to have 1 quality that sets them apart from the competition. I guess a lot of it comes down to how you define a unique quality. But for me it is only unique if my customer percieves it to be. If you are having such a hard time picking that one unique quality out of your list of 30 that is probably because the 30 aren't really as unique as you might be letting yourself believe.

Agnessa said:
Any advice? Any examples of good elevator speeches?
I stopped advising my clients about elevator speeches, USP unique selling proposition, or a VPS value positioning statements long ago when. I live and work in the West where people are extremely down to earth and found that plain, simple talk gets more business done then the slick 10 second speeches that were in vogue in the 80s and were reborn in the 90s again.

However, if you would benefit from them, there are literally dozens and dozens of books that touch on the subject. Just do a search for "elevator speeches". I have a feeling you will find few contractors or users of this site that have them or will put much value in them. That doesn't make it wrong or right, just a different point of view and way of doing business, since most of us here don't work in a world where you only have 30 seconds to pitch yourself to Donald Trump :Thumbs:
 

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The best Elevator Pitch.........

I`ve written an abundance of EP`s, and have found the best ones reflect more of the emotions of the client than the ultimate service rendered.
Example:
"We bring a solid craftsmanship and fresh ideas approach to the
mostly forgotten spaces In the home`s and work spaces of
our exclusive list of very satisfied customers and those they
love to refer to us"

I hope that helped alittle, Eagle:Thumbs:
 

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:eek:

"We bring a solid craftsmanship and fresh ideas approach to the
mostly forgotten spaces In the home`s and work spaces of
our exclusive list of very satisfied customers and those they
love to refer to us"
That's the biggest load of crap I've seen in a while, sure it's nicely worded...almost polished to a high shine, crap...but crap none-the-less.

If I said that to the type of educated customers I'm interested in, they'd laugh me right out of the house. Customers that are willing to spend big $$ with me won't fall for that for one second, and if they DO, they need to do some more research on what they want and call me back.

Going off a different direction for a second: I don't see why anyone would WANT to use an "elevator speech" or "10 second speech" anyway. To me, if I was a customer, it would be very...umm..."put off-ing" to be given a 10 second pitch. You might as well say ":cheesygri HIIIIIIIIIIIII..I don't have time to mess with you unless you're ready to sign a big dollar contract with me even though you know nothing about me or my company, the type of work we do, the way we handle problems and call backs, or anything else about us. If you ARE ready though, I can tell you about us after you sign right.....HERE:cheesygri "
 

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Eagle said:
"We bring a solid craftsmanship and fresh ideas approach to the mostly forgotten spaces In the home`s and work spaces of our exclusive list of very satisfied customers and those they love to refer to us"
Waaaaaaay too wordy. If You said that to me, I would say "huh?"

What's the point of an elevator speech? To introduce yourself and your services, correct? What's the point of introducing yourself? Hoping that the person needs your services or knows somebody who does need your services, Correct?

Ok how about this elevator speech:
I am a roofing and exterior remodeling contractor, such as siding, gutters and windows. Here.... take my card.
The obvious now is to hand it to them. Don't ask, just hand it to them.

Also it is my hope when introducing myself and my services that they are interested enough to ask more questions. It reply with some interest. I was at the store last friday picking up something, when an older gentleman walked in. The guy at the counter and I were making idle chit chat. It was obvious that day that I work in construction since I was working on the roof that day. Something about a long day came up, and I mentioned I have been working since 5 am, and at that time is was 9pm. The older man was shocked, butted in asking if I did construction. BAM! "Yes sir, I wouldn't say construction but we specialize in exterior remodeling like roofing sidign and gutters." He replied "Really?" which as we all know is just more idle chit chat. I replied "Yep, and we are local, right down the street infact. Here take my card."
 

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jproffer said:
:eek:



That's the biggest load of crap I've seen in a while, sure it's nicely worded...almost polished to a high shine, crap...but crap none-the-less.

If I said that to the type of educated customers I'm interested in, they'd laugh me right out of the house. Customers that are willing to spend big $$ with me won't fall for that for one second, and if they DO, they need to do some more research on what they want and call me back.

Going off a different direction for a second: I don't see why anyone would WANT to use an "elevator speech" or "10 second speech" anyway. To me, if I was a customer, it would be very...umm..."put off-ing" to be given a 10 second pitch. You might as well say ":cheesygri HIIIIIIIIIIIII..I don't have time to mess with you unless you're ready to sign a big dollar contract with me even though you know nothing about me or my company, the type of work we do, the way we handle problems and call backs, or anything else about us. If you ARE ready though, I can tell you about us after you sign right.....HERE:cheesygri "

Seems like a helluva way to WELCOME someone, - - don't it?? :thumbdown
 

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I'm sorry...I call 'em like I see 'em...he may as well know that up front. That said though Eagle, if it works for you, then more power to ya:thumbsup: . And BTW, don't stop posting because of that. You gotta have touher skin bro. Certain customers hear that and I'm sure they'll tell you the same thing I did. Are you going to be "less apt" to use it on the next guy?
 

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I agree, things are getting a lil rough on this thread.

But I think that a true elevator speach is not about what you do, it is about what you can do for them.

if you do this:
I am a roofing and exterior remodeling contractor, such as siding, gutters and windows. Here.... take my card.
You won't get much.
No offense Grump, I know you get most of your business other ways.
But how does this chatter really affect the potential client? If I was the client, I would say "great! ....human yellow pages!"
But if this client is a builder and you inform him how you can be proffessional, and save money by offering quality work at a reasonable price, be on time and run a tight crew, blah, blah, blah...ect...ect...
then you will show more value than the phone book.

those 10 seconds are critical. You cannot waste time with canned explenations of your services. The phone book will do that.
Whoever the client may be, just explain how your company can benefit THEM, and if they are interested, they will go further with you.

add value with those 10 secs.
 

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No apologies please, My skin is as rawhide...

I appreciate the candor and your varied opinions. Granted, the construction industry mandates a more cut and dry approach. I believe it`s almost a requirement to remain short and to the point when communicating with potential prospects. But I also know from many years of sales and mktg. experience, that image holds alot of weight when working within certain segments of the market. People are somewhat vain, and often are drawn
towards the professional with finesse and presentation appeal. And they are continually being judged by more than just a good job. Meaning: They like to have a contractor parked In their yard with nice equiptment, and solid appearances from the staff that allows them additional bragging rights when discussing the enhancements they are adding to their projects with
neighbors, family, and friends.
This said, I believe that the contractor professional who can set his self apart thru the words he speaks, and the brand that he carries, will ultimately be working in select neighborhoods for long periods of time.
And we all know that a referral costs less and most assuredly has the potential of profiting us more.
Thanks For The Venue All! Eagle:smile:
 

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Is this a good one?

You start a conversation with a pretty woman and the subject comes up where she asks you "So what do you do?"

You look over your drink making stong eye contact and with a slight smile you answer "You, baby."

It's only a two word elevator speach but it does get to the point.
 

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The point to me is to let them know what I do. If they are interested they will ask. I do not have to shove my whole corporate culture down their throat. Just like in the sales meeting my goal is to get them involved.

Obviously if they show some interest I would bring up the other crap about "We take a professional approach to everything we do... because boy I don't know about you but I am sure we can all use one less headache." In addition if it were a builder that might be something I'd say, but if it were a home owner I might bring up something else about "We take a professional approach to the exterior remodeling. We really try to make it easy on the customer in the long run by doing it right the first time."

The point is as stated above I am not going to shove it all down their throat unless they show some interest. It has happened quite a few times where I have stated "I am a roofing and siding contractor" in the line of the shopping center and the guys said "Really?! We are thining about having our roof re-done. Do you have a card?" That one was a no-brainer but admitingly not the norm.
 

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if you were hungry, and you saw a steak, you would be interested, but if you smelled it too, you would be VERY interested. If it had all the trimmings, then you would have to have it.

I was mostly speaking about the times you go to meet them at their office. Not really the occasional run into deal.
But I know what you mean.
 
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