Create Your Pitch: 3 Easy Steps
An elevator pitch is something that most people associate with Sales and Cold Calling but it is an invaluable tool for marketing your talent and skills. I have to admit that at first, most of my clients shy away from creating an elevator pitch; they perceive it as being a bit unsavory to create a ‘canned’ description of their work, or associate the elevator pitch with the loud, over-bearing salesmen from the 60s.
But it’s time to look at elevator pitches for what they really are – a tool to help people understand you and to understand if and how you can help them. When speaking with potential clients, having an elevator pitch has helped me explain my career, and what I do. My career has been interesting; it has encompassed …
Working 90 hours a week as single mom for a consulting firm that ran corporate wellness & lifestyle management programs (yes, ironic)
- Quitting my job to run my own training company so I could eat breakfast and dinner with my kids
Becoming a consultant who provided training & process workshops for:
- communication, leadership styles, sales & customer service and conflict, stress & time management, etc.
- re-engineer, downsizing or consolidating key processes (e.g.: customer service, project management)
Working on massive organizational change projects – in very exotic parts of the world:
- working the ‘human side’ of large scale technology implementations
- implementing knowledge asset management processes for global corporations
- creating top talent programs and teaching local teams in emerging markets about Western Business Practices
Over the past 30 years, I’ve built a vast fabric of knowledge and expertise that can be tailored to my clients’ needs. I even provide very specialized coaching to entrepreneurs, writers and facilitate Content Neutral, Kitchen Table Conversations, Rapid Problem Solving, Serious Games and a myriad of other intervention method. Instead of a spiral career; building on past knowledge or experience to go on to a new level or area, I like many entrepreneurs I know, have created what I call a compiled career where, although I continue to learn new skills, I never leave the old ones behind. In fact, I continue to deepen my expertise in a variety of areas.
Why is this important?
Because it makes it very difficult to explain my business at a cocktail party or networking event! And yes, even my mother doesn’t understand what I do!! 😉 Instead, I have a simple, understandable and compelling elevator pitch. It changes as I continue to grow and evolve … but it always has three elements that you can use to build your pitch.
- The question is used to identify with your listener and to highlight why they might be interested in speaking with you
- The ideal / near future connection tells you listener that you understand, at some level, their ‘pain’ and can conect with their aspirations
- The tag line is the phrase that sticks with your listener; that indicates how you can help relieve their pain and leads into a memorable conversation
Here is my ‘elevator pitch’:
Have you ever had a day where you just want to put your head down and bang it on your desk? A day where you wished you could up your game, or your company’s game … just a bit? A day when you want to make more of a difference in your community or the world? That is the day you call me. I can usually help.
And here is the breakdown:
- The question: Have you ever had a day where you just want to put your head down on your desk and cry? (or … bang your head against your desk – or a handy wall!!)
- The benefit: … when you wished you could up your game, or your company’s performance, just a bit, (so that you are make more of a difference in your community or the world?) By the way … I have not yet met a person who has said no to these questions
- The tag: That is the day you call me. I can usually help.
So go ahead, think about your talents and experience. How can they help those around you? Come up with a question that engages your listener and that pulls you into the intimacy of their world. Develop a tag that not only sticks with your listener but engage them enough to ask you a question of their own. This simple, yet effective elevator pitch format will lead you into the most fascinating conversations of your life!!