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Prepare your Elevator Speech

Your Elevator Speech for BV, as a Vigilant Seeker of New Members.

To ensure BV CISV's sustainability, shouldn't all of us be vigilant seekers of new members? I had my opportunity recently at the TEDx talks at Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center.

In order to stir some interest in BV I strolled through the crowd walking up to groups of people, waiting for a break in their conversation to introduce them to CISV and ask them to visit our booth. Given the theme of the talks I knew the crowd would be generally receptive to such an intrusion. But it quickly became clear to me that I should have developed an "elevator speech" before attempting this type of promotion. I muddled through at first, but after a few awkward attempts, I had an "elevator speech" ready for the rest of afternoon.

You may already know that the "elevator speech" is a powerful tool sales people use to turn casual questions like - "So what do you do?" or "Who do you work for?" - into potential sales leads. Sales people meet prospective customers in all kinds of places at unpredictable times - like in the elevators of office buildings - so they need to be prepared to take advantage of all opportunities to develop leads at short notice. The elevator speech is designed to provide the most information in the shortest amount of time to the inquirer, to stir their interest and ensure they ask more questions.  

An effective "elevator speech" for CISV may start with a qualifying 'hook', something like - "Would your child/you enjoy the opportunity to travel and make friends with kids their/your age from foreign lands; an experience that can truly change their/your life forever?"  Or, "Participation in CISV has had a profound effect on my daughter's/son's life and on how I see her/him since joining."  

Next, follow the hook with the features and benefits a CISV experience provides: a local JB of 11 to 18yos, possible trips annually, mini-camps, chapter monthly meetings, life lessons in a nurturing environment, etc.  Disarm the 'alarm bells' with our risk management efforts: extensive screening, chaperone policy, and the tenure of the chapter/organization.  

Close with a BV "Biz Card" or get the potential member(s) name and number.  Give assurance that someone will follow-up and invite them to experience the chapter with a visit to a meeting or event as our guest.

Bottom line - as a Vigilant Seeker of New Members, having a CISV elevator speech can make a big difference in your efforts to build a sustainable chapter. 
~Mark Shryock