Crafting Your Captivating Introduction
One of the things I’m most frequently asked about when attending an event as an expert or taking questions from members of my community is some variation of:
“How do I pitch my business when I’m out networking?” or “Can you help me with my Elevator Pitch”.
So I want to address that for you today and give you some tips to make this a lot easier for you.
Please don’t Pitch
The first thing I want to do is encourage you not to think of this in terms of “pitching”. I’m really not crazy about that word, particularly when it comes to more heart-centred, difference-making businesses. The phrase “elevator pitch” actually comes from companies pitching an idea to joint venture capitalists to get funding where they have just 60 seconds to “sell” their idea and are in or out as a result. In most of our businesses that’s just 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 us within the first few minutes of starting a conversation (now that would be pushy!). Instead we want that first introduction to engage people’s interest and become the first step in building a relationship that will lead to them becoming a client once they’ve got to know you a little and trust has built.
So instead of pitching what I’d like you to aim for in that first introduction is to 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. They know what you do and how you help people. They “get it”.
You’re also aiming to pique their curiosity so that if they are your ideal client – or if they know someone who needs your help – they’ll be intrigued and want to know more. This helps you move into a seamless and natural conversation which makes networking or talking about your business so much more comfortable. It also helps to switch the energy from you doing the chasing and convincing to engaging the other person’s interest so that they are the one asking the questions.
I prefer to call it a Captivating Introduction.
If you find you struggle to articulate the full value of what you offer in a way that has your ideal client thinking “where have you been all my life?” and wanting to know more, I’m about to share with you how I teach my clients to do this in the “Crafting your Message” module of my “Get More Clients Saying Yes!” course.
Here are the steps:
1. Identify your Ideal Client
You may have a clear niche or target market or other unique message or positioning. Within this there will be one ideal client “avatar” that you know you are uniquely called to help and who would be your preferred client. Your first step in this process is to get really clear on who this is.
If you’re not completely clear on who you are here to serve and know how to communicate with them it becomes really hard to stand out and get noticed compared to all the other businesses who might be offering similar services to you.
Notice the difference between:
“I’m a business coach” (I could easily say this if asked – in fact it’s exactly what I did used to say when I went networking, and it didn’t get me very far!)
“I work with heart-centred business owners who struggle to sell their services because they don’t want to come across as pushy. I help them get more clients in a way that feels authentic and comfortable so they can finally make the difference they know they are here to make”.
2. Know your Ideal Client inside out
Take the time to really understand your “ideal client” in as much detail as you can. This should not be a generic description (hint: if your description of your ideal client starts with the word “people” then that’s too broad!). Choose one individual ideal client avatar and be really specific. Right down to their age, gender, family status, what they do for a living, where they live, hobbies and passions etc. This specificity then helps you drill down even deeper to identify the biggest problem they face in relation to the issues that you help with, the impact this is having on their life, and how they would like it to be instead if you could only wave a magic wand for them. Another way to say this is that it helps you put yourself in their shoes.
Questions you need to be able to answer include:
- What are their 3 biggest problems or challenges in relation to the thing you help with?
- What keeps them awake at night?
- What impact is this having on other areas of their life?
- If you could wave a magic wand, what would they want to change more than anything?
- How would they like things to be instead?
- After you’ve helped them make that change what other benefits will they notice in other areas of their life as a result?
- Depending on what stage of business you are at you may need to interview or survey a number of people who fit your ideal client profile in order to get this information.
3. Craft your Captivating Introduction
Once you are clear on your ideal client “avatar” and know the information in steps 1-3 you can use one of the following formulas to craft a short Captivating Introduction.
Remember this is something that you will use conversationally to answer the question “So, what do you do?” so keep it brief and succinct. Aim to keep it to just 1 or 2 sentences – or about 30 seconds.
- You know how ‘target market’ have ‘problem’? Well what I do is help them get ‘result’ which gives them ‘higher benefit’
- I work with ‘target market’ who have ‘problem’, to help them achieve ‘result’ in order to ‘higher benefit’
- I help ‘target market’, who want ‘result’
- I help ‘target market’ to achieve ‘higher benefit’
To make this process easier for you here is a link to my “Craft your Captivating Introduction” worksheet that I normally only share with the clients who are in my programmes – 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” you and your value – and not only that will remember you so that I can recommend you to others!
Once you’ve done this please share your Captivating Introduction in the comments below so that we can get to know you!