Some chiropractors are frustrated at times because they find it difficult to easily articulate what we do. In the book The Answer by John Assaraf and Murray Smith, the "elevator speech" is an interesting topic and can be a powerful tool for explaining what you do.Imagine that you step into an elevator and there is a person standing there. You exchange hellos and he asks you this question: "So, what do you do?" This is a classic setup for the "elevator speech." You need to be able to deliver a clear, powerful statement of your business in about 30 seconds or less.
State a Problem, Provide a Solution
The elevator speech formula has you state a problem and then provide a solution. The problem half of the elevator speech starts with the words, "You know how...?" The words "You know how" instantly put you and the person you are talking to on the same page of an experience, and you have grabbed their attention by tapping into their emotions. The solution part follows by stating the phrase, "What I do is..." and then you explain what you do by solving the problem.
The Answer provides an example of a plumber: "You know how when you call plumbers to fix a leak, they make you sit around waiting all day for them to show up?" "What we do is treat our customers with respect by guaranteeing that we'll arrive within fifteen minutes of our appointment time, and we'll fix the problem properly so you can do more important things in your life."
Now consider the following chiropractic elevator speech in response to the question: "So, what do you do?" utilizing the concepts from The Answer:
"You know how when you go to a medical doctor for an injury and after you wait a long time to be seen, they do a quick exam and then all they give you is a prescription?" "I am a chiropractor and what I do is try to address the cause of the injury as well as provide pain relief. I do a thorough exam and provide individualized treatment to hopefully eliminate the pain by restoring normal function to your spine and extremities. I will also educate you on how to manage your health and live pain free."
In this example, we are appealing to the person's emotion by stating a problem that likely has frustrated them. Then we solve the problem while communicating the essence of what we do. By tapping into someone's emotions, they are more likely to be able to remember what you do. Using this formula connects you with the person on a deeper, emotional level.
Here are a couple more examples of applying the elevator speech formula to the question, "What do you do?"
State the Problem: "You know how most doctors really don't have a good solution for your aches and pains?"
Provide a Solution: "As a chiropractor, what I do is determine the underlying cause of your pain and not just treat the symptoms with drugs. By treating the underlying cause of your condition, I can hopefully eliminate the pain permanently. I also educate people on how to manage their overall health through proper diet, exercise and supplementation."
State the Problem: "You know how most doctors say that your back pain will eventually just go away?"
Provide a Solution: "We know that back pain may go away, but it will also likely come back. I am a chiropractor and what I do is try to determine the cause of your problem. Most commonly, back pain is due to tight joints and muscles or weak muscles. I typically treat the entire body and educate people on how to manage their health and prevent future problems."
We recommend that you practice several scenarios. Communicating what you do in a simple, well-thought-out statement, delivered in a natural, conversational way, is an excellent practice builder. Commit yourself to serving and helping others, practice communicating what you do, and watch your practice grow.
Dr. Mark King graduated from Life Chiropractic College in 1986. He is a clinician at Mt. Lookout Chiropractic Sports & Injury Center in Cincinnati; president and lead instructor of the Motion Palpation Institute; and a coach and co-founder of Cutting Edge Chiropractic Consultants.
Dr. Steve King is a 1996 graduate of Life Chiropractic College. He is a coach and co-founder of Cutting Edge Chiropractic Consultants and has provided consulting services for several companies including Proctor & Gamble and the Cincinnati Bengals professional football team.