More About Elevator Pitches

Mary Rosenbaum | October 14th, 2009

I attended an interesting conference for coaches yesterday and came away with far more than I had anticipated. Although the content was great, it was during the networking time that I learned the most. First I learned that there are so many different coaching disciplines and specialties. Everything from improv coaching to executive leadership coaching. What I found most enlightening was that many coaches find it difficult articulating who they serve and what they actually provide, including their value added. Instead, they rely on catch phrases that sound good but convey very little; and unless the listener is really interested in finding out more, it becomes a conversation stopper. If this behavior sounds familiar to you, then read on.

Is your elevator pitch really cute? Do you call yourself the go-to person or the fix-it guy or something else that only you understand why people come to you? Here is a quick way for you to hone in on what the “unique” you really offers clients or employers.

First, who do you work for or provide services to? What industry, what demographic within the industry, what specific part of the population? Is your work in trading equities in the financial services industry, do you work with the baby boomer population or women between the ages of 30-50, is your expertise in outsourcing in Asia for the insurance industry? The more specific you are the better a picture you can paint.

Next, what is the service or work you actually provide? If you call yourself the fix-it guy – what do you fix and how do you fix it? For example, do you help companies that need to streamline operations to reduce costs, are you a visionary who can anticipate economic events and their impact in specific industries, is your specialty building and growing sales teams for the insurance industry, you get the idea. Again, the more specific the information you provide, the better.

Lastly, why are you the expert? Is it because of your years of experience, your credentials and education? This is the validation part of your pitch. This must answer the question, why should I go to you, or why should I hire you?

Now see if you can come up with a couple of sentences that describe who you serve, what you do and why you are the expert. Try it out on a few people and ask them if it sounds compelling, does it tell the story, and does it prompt them to ask for more.

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