Hey guys, it’s Brian Hilliard here, author of the bestselling book Networking Like a Pro and you are listening to Brand and Grow Your Coaching Practice.
Now, one of the biggest things that you can do to brand and grow your practice quite frankly is the thing that we’re going to talk about here, which is having a client-generating and referral-generating elevator pitch.
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If you didn’t get a chance to hear the last session we did, we talked about how to get more referrals from everyone you meet and how important an elevator pitch is in that in terms of making that whole—it’s a three-step process—making that whole process work. But an elevator pitch or what I also have heard it called a unique selling proposition goes such a long way towards branding yourself as a competent professional.
How many times have you gone into a chamber event or whatever and people ask what it is that you do? Not you personally, but they ask what it is that you do. And you hear these other people just go in this long arching, meandering deal and it feels like they’re making it up as it goes along.
That is not going to do it. That’s not going to do it from a branding perspective. It’s not going to do it from a growth perspective. It’s not going to do it from a referral-generating perspective. You need to have yourself a good elevator pitch to be able to move your business forward, your coaching practice forward.
So what I have here is I actually have a few dos and don’ts when it comes to creating a client-generating elevator pitch. First of all, let me tell you what mine is.
If I’m going to do an introduction, people say, “Brian, what is it that you do?” I say, “I help busy entrepreneurs market their business in less than 90 days.” And they say, “Oh, really? How do you do that?” Then I say, “A lot of times, I ran into people who are good at what they’re good at, but not so great at letting others know about it. What I do is create a tight easy to implement marketing plan that even the busiest of people can use right away.”
You see how that worked out? That is essentially my elevator pitch. Now, let’s talk about the dos and don’ts, obviously using that as a framework and a point of discussion.
First of all, I want to be able to create a pitch and I would recommend you do the same. I want to create a pitch where it makes people want to learn and ask more. It makes people want to learn and ask more.
So if somebody said, “What do you do?” and I just said, “Well, I’m a marketing coach or I work on building your practice or whatever,” no one is really interested in that. They’re just like, “Oh well, okay.”
But instead if I say, “I help busy entrepreneurs market their business in less than 90 days,” that creates a degree of intrigue I guess for a lack of a better term. And it makes them want to ask how, how I do that if they fall to that category.
So the first thing is you want to keep in mind—we’re talking about some dos and don’ts. You do want to create a pitch that makes people want to learn more and essentially ask how it is you do that.
The other thing you want to make sure that you do is that you want to make sure that you have a specific deliverable in mind that you provide. People ask me, they say, “Deliverable?” Well, as a coach, if you’re a leadership coach, what’s your deliverable? If you’re a marketing coach, what’s your deliverable? If you’re a career coach, what’s your deliverable?
If you don’t know the answer to that, you’re going to want to think about that. For me, it’s getting more business and what essentially I do, that’s my value proposition actually. My deliverable is a marketing plan, a marketing plan for growing your business, growing your practice, getting the word out on what you do. That’s one of my deliverables. That’s something that people can understand and I say it.
So what you want to do is you want to think in terms of your deliverable. How do I say that? At the end of my pitch, notice what I said. “What I do is I create a tight, easy to implement marketing plan that even the busiest of people could use right away.” Bam! That tells people what they are going to get. It’s super important when it comes to coaching.
The other thing that you want to do is you want to make sure—this is an obvious one, but I’ll just say it. You want to make sure that it’s under 30 seconds. A lot of the people I’ve seen, they just meander around with their pitch because they don’t really have a game plan for what it is that they’re trying to set.
So you want to make sure that it is under 30 seconds. And when you do have that, you have a game plan. You have a deliverable. I haven’t talked about this. You should also have an audience. Notice I said, “busy entrepreneurs.” So you want to have an audience.
You might be working with—I don’t know. You might work with people in career transition. You might work with corporate professionals. You might work with corporate leaders. You might work with women. You might work with men. You might work with Christian men or women. There are all kinds of groups that you might work with.
But what you want to do is you want to be able to have something where at the end of the day, at the end of the day, you have a group that people can readily identify with, readily understand and move forward.
Now, in terms of some don’ts, I got a couple here. Don’t try to change it every time or customize it to the person that you’re talking to. Sometimes I see people, they’re like, “Well, tell me a little bit about yourself and then I can tell you a little bit about myself.” You’re like, “I just asked you a simple question. What do you do?” Do you know what I mean?
So the problem with doing that is number one, it comes across as being salesy. It doesn’t come across as being polished because you’re constantly coming up with it on the fly. I don’t recommend that.
Another thing that I tell people that they shouldn’t do is don’t be afraid to add some stories to your elevator pitch specifically when you’re doing an introduction.
So introductions, you go down to the chamber and they say, “You have 60 seconds to speak.” I know they do this at BNI all the time, Business Network International where it’s a referral group. And they’ll say, “You’ve got 60 seconds to introduce yourself.” Well, I just got finished telling you that the elevator pitch itself might only be 30 seconds.
And then don’t be afraid to add some stories in there. So I might say as a coach, I might say, “Yeah, one of the clients, I was talking to, had this specific challenge. Here’s what we do to address it. And if you know anybody who’s facing a similar issue, that would be a great referral for me.” You see how it just transitioned that real easily.
Make sure. I mean you can’t be this war and peace story where you got 5 to 12 sentences. But two or three sentences is fine. Two or three sentences is fine. Don’t be afraid to do that.
And also one last do in terms of your elevator pitch, do make sure that you take the gist of your elevator pitch, whatever it is and you disseminate it in other platforms. So one of the things I talked about before was when you’re asking for referrals and people ask you what’s a good referral for you, I give them my pitch.
I’ll say, “Well, as you know, I help busy entrepreneurs market their business in less than 90 days. A lot of the times, I run into people who are good at what they’re good at, but that’s so great letting others know about it. And what I do is I help them create a tight, easy to implement marketing plan that even the busiest people can use right away.”
And they’re like, “Oh, okay.” Now, this was during a coffee connection. Or sometimes people ask me this after a presentation or whatever.
They’re like, “Oh, okay.” And then they ask you some more questions and then you do some more stuff and then you tell them what a good referral is for you.
So don’t be afraid to disseminate the gist of your pitch in other areas. I just gave you an example for getting referrals. I put the gist of my pitch on my website.
All right, I’ll do that on my website. I’ll do it on my blog. I’ll put it in the About Brian section. I’ll have it in my presentations when people are introducing me. “Brian is this, this and this. He’s specialized in helping busy entrepreneurs to market their business in less than 90 days.”
That’s the great thing about having an elevator pitch that really makes sense and really resonates with people. It’s like Swiss Army knife of your coaching practice, at least the marketing side of it. You can use it for just about everything.
So hopefully that makes sense and hopefully that’s some stuff you can see yourself using. If you’d like to take a little deeper dive, by all means, swing by our blog. We’ve got our blog at PracticeBuilderBlog.com. That is www.PracticeBuilderBlog.com. We have got all kinds of resources on there. Some of them are free. Some of them, you have to pay for, but all of them are designed to give you some real good stuff to help you brand and grow your coaching practice.
But in the meantime, my name is Brian Hilliard saying so long, take care and thank you for your time.