January 2015 Coaches Corner
Honing Your Razor Sharp Elevator Pitch
“What do you do?”
That can be the hardest question for an Expertpreneur® to answer. Some will nervously ramble on and on about their business, and others will not even know what to say.
Believe it or not, how you answer this question can have a dramatic impact on your business. Answer it well, and you could have a new prospect, customer, business partner, or advocate. Answer it poorly, and you will lose the other person's interest right away.
Think about it this way: if you had 30 seconds in an elevator to present a compelling case for your business, what would you say?
Hopefully something concise, compelling, and intriguing.
Your “elevator pitch” is one of the most important marketing tools in your arsenal. Having a well thought out response will improve your success and your bottom line.
And today I will show you why it is so important, how to craft one, and how you can start implementing it right away.
Getting People's Interest
At any given time, only 3% of any market is in “buying mode”.
Beyond that, 6-7% are “open to buying”, 30% are not even thinking about it, another 30% don't think they are interested, and the final 30% know they aren't interested.
Those are pretty harsh odds against you.
This “Buyer's Pyramid” was created by the late Chet Holmes, a master of marketing and the creator of “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” He identified these percentages as a way of explaining to business owners and entrepreneurs that their marketing efforts need to appeal to a greater audience. So when they become a part of the 3%, they consider your business first.
Most business only target the current ready-to-buy 3%, alienating everyone else. As I mentioned before, that 3% is “at any given time”, so one day from now, they could be an entirely different group.
This is important with regards to your elevator pitch, because you need something that appeals to the 90 plus percent of the audience.
If you go in with the intent to sell, you will put off most of the people you speak with. If what you say isn't interesting, they won't care and will probably forget about you once the conversation is over.
But the right elevator pitch will make them so intrigued by what you say, they're guaranteed to want to know more…
Honing Your Pitch
There's a very specific technique to the perfect, razor-sharp elevator pitch. And it has quite a bit in common with your USP (unique selling proposition).
First, you need to identify what the goal of your pitch is. Will it be for your business? Perhaps a specific product or service? What market are you targeting?
While this article will focus on an elevator pitch for your business, I want you to understand that not only is your pitch ever evolving, it is beneficial to have more than one for different situations and goals.
Anyway, in this case, you will want to create a pitch that explains your business (i.e. your expertise, products, and services) to anyone who might ask “what do you do?”
Next, you need to collect your thoughts on exactly what you do and how it benefits your clients. As you start to think about these things, think about what you want people to remember most about you.
And, more importantly, what excites you?
It is very hard to talk about something that is boring, whether for an hour or only 30 seconds. You must be excited and proud to share it with the world. Your passion will be infectious and the other person will be excited to hear about it.
Once you've brainstormed some ideas, you should incorporate your USP into the mix.
While I have discussed USP at length in another article, I want to stress a few things:
In many cases, your elevator pitch is your only chance to talk about your business with someone. So, it is very important to have a grasp of your USP before crafting it. Really think about what makes you stand out from other businesses that offer similar services.
You'll certainly want that information to be there to pique their interest.
Putting it All Together
At this stage, we're finally ready to craft our pitch. To help you through this, I will use myself as an example. Here are my notes:
“I help entrepreneurs who are experts to create six and seven-figure businesses, so they can stop “working” and become truly independent. I provide information on marketing, sales, and how to monetize their knowledge in various ways. I also offer virtual courses, as well as live conferences, to give intensive training to those looking for faster results. What makes me different is that I am a female entrepreneur who has created many successful businesses in multiple “expert” industries, so I am offering expertise based on my own success as well as years of coaching other entrepreneurs to find out what works.”
Now, that's an awful lot to say, and if I really went on and on like that, I would not only bore people, but sound pretty darn full of myself!
So, we have to break this down further. What is the most benefit-oriented sentence in my notes?
“I'm an income acceleration coach, who’s created 4 million dollars businesses, and I help other ‘expertpreneurs’ to do the same by showing them how to increase their visibility and reach so they can attract a steady stream of ideal clients, who pay them top dollar, so they can have the impact and the income they desire.”
As you have seen from this article, I've coined the term “Expertpreneur®” for my business. Using that in this elevator pitch will not only cut some wording out, but also add an element of intrigue.
It's getting better! This would definitely pique their interest. And will most certainly ignite that key question I mentioned earlier:
“Well, how do you do that?”
We could cut this down even further, depending on the situation. For example, if the person I am talking to knows my background, but not about my new business, I would cut the part about my experience.
What to Do Next
Now that you have a great elevator pitch, you can go out there with confidence and start selling yourself the right way.
But before you do so, make sure you practice saying it a few times. It might feel a bit silly talking to yourself in the mirror, but I promise it will help you when you are actually talking to people.
The last thing you want is to either stumble over the words or sound robotic when you talk about it. Practice it so it flows
freely and naturally every time.
You will be thankful for it.
The next time you are at a networking event, which I discuss at length in the Business Strategy section of this magazine, start trying it out. See how others react to it. If they ask a lot of questions, it means you did the right thing! If they seem uninterested, go back and see where you can tweak your pitch to add more intrigue.
Once you start perfecting your elevator pitch, you will start generating a lot more interest in your business. You'll not only get more customers, but people will really understand what you do, and with your improved networking techniques, you'll get a lot of advocates for your business.