Ok, I’m back and ready to rock and roll.  I spent one day at the California State Bar in San Francisco and then two days giving a talk in El Centro at the Imperial County Bar Association.  The members were wonderful and really appreciated having an outsider give an MCLE ethics program on Social Networking.  If you have a County  Bar Association that would like a State Bar MCLE program, give me an email and I will see what I can do.

In the meantime, we are going to start to look at getting your act together for a whiz bang up elevator speech.  The first thing a person who is meeting you for the first time sees is your carriage, what you are wearing and your body language.  The second thing is your one minute elevator speech.  This is where you either win or lose the contact.

stock-photo-10510143-spiral-stairsSo what is an elevator speech?  It is a response to “What type of law do you practice?” or “What do you do for a living?” You may want one speech for an attorney and one for a lay person.  Please, Please never ever say you do LITIGATION for  your area of practice.  Lay people have no idea what that is and each lawyer has their own idea about what a litigating attorney does.  Do you only do trials?  Do you do only  discovery and never go to trial? At what point do you take the case?  You can see that trying to reduce this down to one minute is not easy…..but is necessary.

First thing to do is to identify your target market.  You may have already done this in your Mission Statement.  Try to narrow your target market down as much as possible.  Such as:  My clients are middle class to high net worth individuals and families who need wealth management advice and probate planning.  Rather than:  I do wills and trusts.

Once you have the target market identified, then you need to start to wrestle with several concepts.  Start off with asking yourself “Why should someone want to hire me?”  “What value can I give my clients?” “How is my service unique?”

When you have those ideas identified, write them down.  You might even want to ask some of your old clients how they think you are unique.  Why did they pick you.  You don’t want to be burdensome or ask embarrassing questions but whatever information you can get from old clients is invaluable for your elevator speech.

So let’s start by breaking the elevator speech down into segments:

1. What specific clients are you looking for?

2. What are the words that would inspire your listener to continue hearing you?

3. What can you do for your clients?

4. What do you want the listener to do after the talk?

So do this first.  Start asking yourself the right questions and gathering information.  Next week we will talk about what you can do with this information to form the greatest elevator speech known to mankind.