What do you say when people ask you what you do?

What do you say when people ask you what you do?

One of the business events I’m regularly invited to attend as a mentor is a retreat for women leaders run by the leadership organisation “One of Many”.  I’m typically invited there to answer questions about how to get a business started in the early stages – through attracting and enrolling those first few paying clients.

While I’m there I answer a huge range of questions from the lovely ladies who come over to my table. But  the most common questions I’m asked are normally a variation on either:

How do I create my elevator pitch?”,  Or

What is the best way to attract new clients to my business?”

Both of which actually have a very similar answer….

There is no “silver marketing bullet”

The first thing that I want to say is that there is no “one way” that is the silver bullet for attracting clients.

The truth is that all of the main marketing approaches you’ve come across work.  And equally none of them work – if your message is not clear.   When someone comes across you for the first time, whether that’s online or offline, it’s important that they understand loud and clear who you help, how you help them and the difference you can make.    Without that you will burn out on marketing activity without ever really getting any traction.

However with a clear message you will find that you can use pretty much any marketing approach (as long as it is a way of reaching your ideal client group).

With a clear message your ideal client will respond with a sort of internal recognition: “oh my gosh, that’s me she’s talking about” and want to stick around and find out more – I call this being “sticky”.   And people not in your client group will ALSO understand clearly what you do and will be able to refer people to you or invite you to opportunities like giving talks or writing guest blogs.

I’m not a fan of the “elevator pitch”

Now, I’m not fan of the term “elevator pitch” when it comes to heart-centred businesses. The phrase originates from companies having pitch an idea to joint venture capitalists to get funding where they have just 60 seconds to “sell” their idea and are then either in to the next stage or out of the game completely. In most of our more people-focused businesses that’s not the way it works. We are not trying to “sell” to a new contact at a first meeting, to get an instant “yes or no” to working with you right there on the spot.

Instead of “selling” what you should be aiming for in a first introduction is to “hook” the attention.  You do this when you clearly communicate what you do and the unique difference that you make in such a way that the person you are speaking to understands you loud and clear. You are also aiming to pique their curiosity so that if they are your ideal client – or if they happen to know a bunch of your ideal clients – they will be intrigued and want to know more.  This way you are switching the energy from you doing the chasing to them asking you questions.

So for that reason I have renamed it your “Captivating Introduction”

For those of you who are struggling a little to articulate the full value of what you offer in a way that your ideal client can understand and want to know more, I’m about to share with you how I teach my clients to do this within my Get More Clients Saying Yes! course and my Business from the Heart Membership.

Here are the steps:

1.  Have a clear niche market, niche topic, target market or unique message
If you are not completely clear on exactly who you are here to serve then it is really hard for you to stand out and get noticed compared to all the other businesses who might be offering similar services to you. There is a huge difference in “I’m a business coach” (and there are a lot of us around) compared to “I help heart-centred service based businesses sell in a way that feels authentic and comfortable so they can finally do the work they feel called to do”.

2.  Develop an Ideal Client profile (aka an “avatar”)
Really understand who your “ideal client” is in as much detail as you can. When your communication and marketing message is designed to speak to this One Single Ideal Client then all your other ideal clients who resonate with your message will respond.  And if your avatar is crystal clear then you might find you don’t even need a tight niche.

3.  Interview or survey people
Identify people who fit your ideal client profile and find the answers to the following questions: What are their 3 biggest problems or challenges in relation to your topic? What keeps them awake at night? If you could wave a magic wand what one thing would they want to change more than anything? If you could help them make that change what other benefits will they get as a result?

4. Craft your captivating introduction
Having gathered all of the information in steps 1-3 then use one of the following “formulas” to craft a short Captivating Introduction that can be delivered in about 30 seconds:

You know how target market & problem/pain, well what I do is result & higher emotional benefit

I work with target market & problem, to achieve result in order to benefit

I help target market, who want result

I help target market to achieve higher emotional benefit

To make this easier for you here is a link to my “Craft your Captivating Introduction” worksheet so that you can work through it step by step.

Good luck with creating your compelling Captivating Introduction – and I look forward to crossing paths with you one day, asking you what you do, and hearing you tell me loud and clear in such a way that I totally “get” what you do the value you bring – and not only that but also remember you so that I can recommend you to others!

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"THE 7 STEPS TO YES" Watch these short videos and start to fall in love with sales

Please leave a comment as I would love to hear your thoughts

1 Comment

  1. Claire on October 17, 2019 at 10:46 am

    This is very clear, Catherine, and is a good framework for me to begin that crafting. Thank you.

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