Develop a Hook

Sales people commonly develop what they believe is a good “elevator speech”—something they can say in 30 seconds or less that is laden with features about their company, their product or their service. This is laudable and can be effective, but to avoid being simply annoying, you need to develop a good hook.

In music, a hook is a musical idea, a passage or phrase, that makes the song stand out. In sales, a hook’s entire purpose is to catch the ear of the listener and invite questions. It needs to be compelling enough to be remembered, but compact enough to not overwhelm, and interesting enough to promote action (even if that action is only to ask you for a business card).

  • Make it funny
  • Make it clever
  • Make sure it invites questions
  • Make it point to something unique about your company

For example, if you sell illuminated channel letter signage, a possible hook might be, “People recognize my work, even in the dark.” Without a hook in your elevator speech, there is little chance your ‘listeners’ will pay much attention. So put a hook in it and you’ll have a much better chance to reel in prospects.