How to Create a Client-Attracting Elevator Pitch

May 21st, 2011 | By | Category: !Step-by-Step Instructions & Action-Steps Checklists!

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????How to Create a Client-Attracting Elevator Pitch

Today we’ll explore one of the most important elements of marketing your coaching business: your elevator pitch:

1. Why you should create a powerful elevator pitch?

2. Explore a simple formula to help you create your powerful elevator pitch.

3. Explore several sample elevator pitches.

How often are you asked “What do you do?” or “What do you do for a living?”

What is your answer? I’m a life coach…? …relationship coach? Yes, that could be a conversation starter or it could lead to an “A’ha, that’s interesting” – end of conversation. Answering with your elevator pitch would a stronger answer, as that often helps you identify if the person you are talking to is a potential prospect or not.  The elevator pitch often generates a conversation around your statement…

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch – or USP, Unique Selling Proposition – is a statement that can be delivered in the time it takes to chat with someone during an elevator ride; or ten to thirty seconds.  There are of course 1-minute to 2-minute elevator pitches for those times when you see an obvious interest for your service.  We’ll chat about each below…

Your elevator pitch is the powerful tool that will either help you generate more clients or it’s a jumble of words that keeps you yearning for clients…

My first elevator pitch was something along the lines of “I work with individuals who want to transform their dreams into reality” – which basically is not a bad elevator pitch; I even got some free sessions, after all, who doesn’t wish to transform their dreams into reality… But did not get enough business out of those free sessions, as many of my potential clients’ dreams were “bigger than life,” such as wanting to own their own business, but they worked for $10/hour and could not stop working… and had to take care of their kids after work hours. Or wanted to become singers and models; or they were overweight, unhappy, and very lonely and wanted me to help them find a mate… (actually, this client did sign up with me and we had some minor successes – about a year into our coaching she’d joined couple of organizations and got involved in them and even had her eyes on some potential suitors…)

I often find that many coaches – and other professionals, such as consultants, speakers, etc. – either have a weak elevator pitch or some don’t have one at all…

Do you have one? Is it a general one or is it niche-specific?

“I help you get from point A to point B” might sound like a cool elevator pitch to some, but for most prospects it sounds like “Blah, blah, blah… whatever…”

Try to be more specific, including the pain/challenge/strong desire that your target market experiences, for example:

“I help small business owners increase their profits while helping them create more balance and fulfillment in their life.”

Or…

“I work with professionals who hate their jobs and are ready to transition into the career of their dream…”

Or…

“I work exclusively with realtors, helping them generate more leads and close more deals. I guarantee you sell your property in 30-days, or I don’t get paid” (this is the actual elevator pitch of a realtor I know; and yes, she does end up working for free once in a while, but she has so many clients, that she can afford those “once in while” pro-bono work)

What did you notice in common in the above three elevator pitches?

1. They highlight a pain that they propose to solve (increase profits/create life-balance – most small-business owners struggle with generating enough profits and often spend their lives running their business – or rather “the business runs their lives…”; “Help professionals who hate their jobs…” again, there’s great pain and they are willing to pay to end that pain…; “Help realtors sell in 30-days…” – many realtors struggle to sell their properties for months and at times for years. This coach is a busy coach and usually she delivers on her promise.

2. Each of the elevator pitches are niched: struggling small business owners, professionals who are unhappy with their jobs, and realtors. Some of these niches are broader – small business owners and unhappy professionals – and some are extremely narrow, such as the one who caters to realtors.

As a rule, the narrower the niche and the greater the pain that we propose to solve, the more powerful our elevator pitch can be, as well as the easier we’ll attract clients.

3. Each of the elevator pitches are short and to the point.

You can create a powerful elevator pitch ONLY WHEN you have chosen a specific niche… With that said, I did hear some well crafted general-coaching elevator pitches as well, but they’ll rarely will be as effective as a targetted elevator pitch to a specific niche.

And “niche” does not have to necessarily mean a real narrow segment of the population, though that would help. The word “niche” can mean many things: for example you can help managers deal with overwhelm and become more organized/more effective. This is a pretty broad niche, but one that solves a major pain that’s out there and you can coach managers of small-businesses as well as CEOs; of course, I highly suggest to coach primarily individuals whose pain you understand. If you never worked for a corporation, you might not really understand a CEO’s challenges; and you might have the right tools to coach this individual, but it’s a bit harder to attract them… unless your website is filled with some powerful articles, videos, etc. that shows this CEO that “yes, this coach is exactly what I need – she understands my pain.”

Your elevator pitch is almost like a magical key to new clients. Have the right “key” and you’ll open the wallet – I mean – the hearts of your prospects to the possibility of hiring you as their coach. So take 30-minutes – or if you need to, take 30-minutes a day just to think about who do you want to serve… and create an elevator pitch that is in sync with that niche.  [if you need help with picking your niche – and you have not downloaded this resource yet – remember there’s a Niche Discovery Worksheet in the Niche Marketing eBook, available under Bonuses on this page: http://yoursuccesschecklists.com/teleclass-recording-part1/]

 

7-Step formula for creating your elevator pitch

Once you know who you want to serve, here’s a simple 7-Step formula for creating your elevator pitch:

1. I + action verb (help, guide, teach, provide, present, aid, assist, support, give, evaluate, assess) + negative emotions being experienced (frustrated, overwhelmed, clueless, demanding, frightened, desperate, struggling, angry, concerned, worried)
+
2. ideal client description (dog lovers, young adults, chronic pain sufferers, overweight wo/men, homeowners, business owners, brides-to-be, new mothers) + who want to (what they want – increase their profits, find the relief they need, become fit and healthy)
+
3. solution (discover a process, learn a fast and easy way, create the perfect solution, uncover the best method, determine the number one reason, realize the best course of action, find the dramatic solution, position themselves, place themselves first, find out everything they need to know)
+
4. benefits – “so that they can…” (list 3 benefits – live a pain free life, build the business of their dreams, feel they’re getting the most value for the money they pay, receive the highest value, obtain the best guarantee, receive award-winning service, receive the highest level of expertise at the lowest possible price).

Examples:

“I help frustrated dog lovers who are tired of their dogs ruling their lives discover a simple process that will put the dog owner in charge so that they can finally enjoy greater times with both their pets and with friends and family”

“I help frustrated small business owners who want to develop a marketing program that is affordable and easy to execute and help them implement the exact strategies and tactics they need so that they can instantly generate more leads, attract more clients and generate healthy profits.”

That’s it for today!  I hope you found this useful and hope you got some ideas on how to create – or improve your existing – elevator pitch…

Post your elevator pitch in the comment box below, with a link to your website… I might send you some feedback on it and, who knows, you might even get some business out of it…

Would you pay $1.00 to access dozens of sample elevator pitches and more training on how to develop a 10-second and a 30-second elevator pitch? Visit http://myOnlineMarketingToolbox.com/guidedtour AND just for giving the system a try, I’ll also send you a course on How to Build a Powerful FaceBook Fan Page and How to Use it to Generate More Business. You got nothing to lose – but a ton to gain…

Till next time,

E.G. Sebastian

 

E.G. Sebastian has been coaching and speaking full time since 2003. His biggest client is the US Government, as well as he coached top managers at several national and international organizations. He’s been providing leadership development coaching services to his clients for close to a decade – this blog, his eCourses, and the http://www.myOnlineMarketingToolbox.com site are all his latest attempts to give back to the coaching community.

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26 Comments to “How to Create a Client-Attracting Elevator Pitch”

  1. Cathy Toupin says:

    Here’s my elevator speech E.G.

    I help business professionals create the career and life that they want by helping them to find the work/life balance that gives them the quality of life they are looking for.

  2. Great one, Cathy!

    Suggestion: What if you changed the last part “…gives them the quality of life they are looking for,” and elaborate somewhat. For example “..helping them find work-life balance so that they can have more energy, spend more quality time with loved one, and enjoy life to its fullest” – or something like that. “quality of life” is a concept, but if you tell them exactly what they really want, I believe it could be more powerful. Play with it and see if it makes sense…

  3. I welcome your feedback:

    We work with successful high potentials and executives who are preparing for their next career move or have a behavior that is preventing them or their team from even greater levels of success.

  4. E.G.: I think your message is right on in that your Elevator Pitch has to be super-specific. Vague generalities do not sell. Here’s why: “Quality of life” has a different meaning to everyone, and while people are looking to improve their relationships, or increase their energy, or spend more time with their kids, no one goes to a coach with the specific goal of improving “quality of life.”

    It sounds like our approaches are similar in that we encourage our clients to use specific examples of people they have helped instead of trying to generalize. Ironically, as you know, generalities appeal to no one, while specific details help other people find prospects for you.

    Here are the 7 Biggest Elevator Pitch mistakes people usually make: http://www.improvandy.com/elevator-pitch/7-biggest-elevator-pitch-mistakes/

    Happy Networking!

  5. Great points about being specific in your pitch and not using meaningless words or phrases…

    Checked your article. Great point in #1 – “Don’t give your 30-minutes elevator pitch when asked what do you do” … As you also point it out, we should have a “one-phrase” pitch (I call it the 10-second pitch) and the 30-sec. to a minute pitch, which you use when they inquire further… This is a point that I actually never gave it much thought but probably done it instinctively… or even worse, I may have “violated” it and did dump my whole 30-sec.+ spill on the poor inquirer… 🙂

    Let me know if you want to post your article on my site as well, with a biline…
    (are we connected on LI? http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/egSebastian)

  6. Diane,

    Great start! An elevator pitch is usually like a baby. It first can barely “walk” and then with time learns to “run” 🙂

    When I started out I used “we” in my elevator pitch as well wanting to sound larger than I was – is that the case with your pitch, or do you have a team? (you don’t have to answer me, but rather ponder about the use of “we” in your pitch).

    I see you are trying to tackle three targets in your pitch: executives who are preparing for their next career move, executives who have a behavior problem (my favorite niche), and teams who want greater levels of success… I know that it seems hard to create one pitch that is more targeted, as you might miss out on some business, right? What if you say you work with executives who want to get to the next level, but someone is looking for a coach (or a solution) to help their executives with behavioral problems…? If you are lucky, they’ll ask “Do you also work by any chance with HIPOs who have certain behavior/communication problems?” and if they don’t ask, then you lost a potential client…

    My recomendation:
    1. check the article and the 7-step formula to creating yoru elevator pitch
    2. create 3 different elevator pitches
    3. when you talk to a prospect, always try to find out what they do for a living and what might some of their challenges be — at times, these things just come up in the conversation and sometimes can’t even pull out the real challenges during a first meeting. BUT, often you can get a feel of what might your prospect need – is this an HR professional? They might need team-building, imprving team-performance, or coach individuals who for some reason don’t fit in the team…

    I suggest using one of the three “targets” used in your current elevator pitch in any conversation. HOWEVER, if you do get to chat for an extended period with the person, I’d mention my other two “sub-specialties.”

    You can play with it and see what works best, but I believe that in its current form you try to kill too many birds with one stone. And read “Your Elevator Pitch Coach’s” remarks, above – he highlights some great points, as well as I highly recommend reading his article – great stuff.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope my input was helpful… Any follow-up questions or comments are welcome…

  7. Ellie says:

    Hi EG

    I’m a photographer and I am struggling with this. Went to a meeting and the guest speaker was great and motivated me to make this task a priority.

    The hot button for each client is different I expect so I’m finding myself all over the place on this.
    Here is what I came up with in the meeting.

    “We make time stand still and protect your precious memories forever.”

    Kind of corny…..but my thoughts were that people are worried that the photographer will miss the shots that are so important and that they will not deliver the WOW that they expected.

    Any thoughts

    Thank you

    Ellie

  8. I assist home buyers and sellers who are overwhelmed by the current real estate market find solutions to their housing needs so they can enjoy a safe, comfortable, welcoming home with their familes.

    BTW thanks for the great tips. They really helped me put focus to something that has alluded me so far.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    Here’s what I usually say at networking meetings:
    “I love to help people look and feel younger. I market a patented hand-held device that diminishes wrinkles and tightens the skin in a 5 minute treatment.”
    And that usually peaks their curiosity.

    Here’s my revision according to your 7 step formula:
    “I help concerned people who are worried about how they’re aging (wrinkles, sagging skin, low energy levels.) And I educate them about patented skincare products and supplements guaranteed you will look and feel ten years younger within 2-3 months.”

    But when I’m at a social event and not a networking/business event, and someone asks me what do I do, I tell them:
    “I’m a Business Developer. I work with a billion dollar corporation to market patented anti-aging skincare products & supplements to markets in 50 countries. I manage & train sales teams. And I help people create an extra source of income.”

  10. Cathy says:

    The elevator pitch has always been difficult for me…that is finding the right words that will motivate people to take action by calling or sending me an email. Thanks you so much for the information and a very interesting discussion.

    My pitch is as follows:
    I work with women who are in transition to empower them to step confidently into the future with meaningful goals and their own definition of success.

    I would be happy to receive your feedback.

  11. We help event hosts to ensure the enjoyment of their guests, by providing live music finely tailored to create the desired atmosphere and keep it flowing.

  12. Hi Ellie,

    Thanks for sharing your short but to the point elevator pitch!

    I’ll be honest, I never helped a photographer polish their elevator pitch… I do believe, thought, that what you’ve got so far is a great start.

    I think that most of us are intrigued by photographers. You guys are somewhat up there with Gogain and Picaso 🙂 – we think of you as artists. So, if you simply tell me you are a photographer, I’d automatically ask you “What type of photographer?” — but I do see how others could think “Oh, ok, you are a photographer, let’s go drink a beer..”; meaning, once they hear what you are they move on with the conversation.

    I totally believe that introducing yourself with a short elevator pitch would differentiate you from the competition. And even though I admire photographers, I’d be more intrigued by the one who’d tell me “We capture your most precious moments, making time stand still for a moment, and help you protect those memories for eternety” – wow! Now youI really think you are an artist – you don’t only click that camera to take pictures (photographer), but you capture my most precious moments and preserve them for me for the rest of my life… I’m sold – I want you to be my photographer 🙂

    Notice a tweaked your elevator pitch a tad – use it if you like it. Always try to use powerful descriptive words… and remember that an elevator pitch is like an alien form – it morphs constantly (well, for most of us; while I do know people who have great elevator pitches that they’d used for years, unaltered).

    Now, this is your intro elevator pitch. Once they ask you “Wow, that sounds cool – tell me more…” what do you say next? That’s where you have to have a prepared 30-seconds or 1-minute elevator pitch, instead of winging it each time someone asks for more info…. See if the 7 STeps in the article help you put together that more detailed USP (unique selling proposition).

    I hope this helps somewhat

  13. Lynn Brown says:

    Wonderfully written E.G. Your advice and tips are to the point and very helpful for me to rethink my current elevator pitch to be more specific. Thank you for sharing this information and I will be sure to share with my fan, followers and clients.

  14. Hi EG – how does this sound for an elevator pitch? (version 3 :-))
    “We help professional women who want to develop and strengthen their credibility and visibilty, so they have confidence to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and achieve their careerl goals, while remaining congruent to their values and beliefs” ?

    Within our company I am trying to establish what my particular niche is, and I have it in my mind that my experience teaching in project management might give me a ‘sub niche’ of women in project management – how does that sound to you?

    love your site!
    Irene

  15. I help frustrated driven individuals discover and manage the areas of their lives preventing them from taking the next step so that they can achieve more success, happiness, and fulfillment.

  16. Thanks Lynn for the encouraging words – I’m glad you found my tips useful!

    And… thanks a million for sharing it with your followers, and clients!

    🙂

  17. I’m realy glad you found these tips useful, Catherine!

    Great elevator pitch! I sent some feedback with a few suggestions to your email – let me know if you didn’t get it…

    Great website! I suggest putting the Subscribe box as high on the right side as possible (it should be visible when someone gets to your home page) and I suggest changing the “Get the latest news..” blurb into “Learn 7 tips on how to sell your house for highest $$$s” or something like that – something that your prospects/future clients would really need…

  18. Jennifer, you have here a hot one 🙂

    Who the heck doesn’t want to stay young???

    Here are a few suggestions:

    Instead of “I love to help people..” – “I help people regain their youth…” — I love to climb mountains, but I do not have time… but I help my kids become the coolest, strongest, smartest individuals possible — I know that “love” sounds cool, but it can sound a bit wishy-washy for some… And instead of “I market a …” – how about “I connect people with…” or “I help people look and feel younger by introducing them to a patented hand-held device that diminishes… We sold up to date more than 70-million units worldwide and the feedback is tremendous. Some truly believe that this is the 2nd best invention since the prehestoric man invented fire” (ok, maybe I got a little carried away, but i’d give #s, if there are any and mention it if it was on TV, and definitely mention the great feedback form existing customers — this product should sell itself, if you introduce it the right way… but stay away from cold words like “marketing’ when talking to consumers)

    In the revised one:
    “I help people who are worried about aging related symptoms – wrinkles, sagging skin, low energy levels, and so on… And I educate them about patented skincare products and supplements that will guarantee you will look and feel ten years younger within 2-3 months.” (you mentioned low energy, but in 2nd part you say skincare products – do you “educate” them on supplements as well?”

    I like the first one a bit better (the one that you did without my tips – though, I’d use both see what the reactions are. Love your last example – very powerful! (I see you do have supplements as well – need to tweak that into the 2nd example)

    I train sales teams – I have a workshop called “Improve your sales skills through better understanding your sales style and your clients buying styles” – it’s a DiSC based workshop and I do mostly full-day sessions. I have several clients who’ve been inviting me back year after year to train their sales teams. Let me know if you want to discuss this possibility… Contact me privately about it (ideally on LinkedIn http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/egSebastian)

  19. Cherie Watts says:

    I help to guide people who feel stuck, unresourceful or overwhelmed, towards uncovering their true potential. Enabling them to leave behind things which cause them fear or do not serve them well. This change helps them towards becoming happier and more focussed on their needs in life, family and work to achieve balance in all areas

  20. Thabi says:

    I help business owner work on the business not in the business thus getting time for strategic desicions and time for themselves and still increase productivity

  21. Nice work here E.G. I will pass this on to my Entrepreneurship students. They are required to do an Elevator Pitch, and I’m sure your simple (but powerful) instructions will be appreciated.

    …Geoff

  22. I’m glad you found my post useful and hope that your students will find it useful as well. Make sure to encourage them to explore the http://www.myClientAttractionAcademy.com/guidedtour wealth of marketing tools, videos, checklists, etc.. There is a 30-day free trial, followed by a $27/month membership fee. They are welcome to cancel at any time; and if accidentally they go over the 30-day trial, simply send me an email or call me and I’ll refund them the $27. I have a special going on right now for the next 100 people who sign up (that is, next 70, or so, since 28 people already took me up on this) – anyone who signs up for the free trial, gets a copy of my new book MARKETING MADE SIMPLE – 151 Powerful Marketing Strategies to Help You Attract Leads and Grow Your Business

    Enjoy and check back often! More goodies to come 🙂

  23. SAndy says:

    Dear EG.
    Thanks for the wonderful service you provide! I would love your feedback on my elevator speech:
    I help disconnected, disheartened divorced women , reconnect with the love in their lives, so they can create authentic relationships full of passion, purpose and bliss.

  24. Sandy, thanks for your nice comments; and I’m glad to see that you find my services/articles useful 🙂

    I love your elevator speech… though, I love the 2nd part better than the first part…

    My question is: Do divorced women feel “disconnected and disheartened”? If that’s how they feel AND they can identify with those words, then it is fine as it is. Try to put the main pain area of your ideal client in the first part of your statement, such as “I help divorced women who are fed up with feeling lonely and stuck reconnect with…”

    Again, if divorced women can identify strongly with the terms you used, then it is great as is – I like it more than my version; though, from where I sit, my version seems to hit home a bit stronger. Again, you want to pinpoint their pain area and suggest that you have the solution to it. So if “loneliness and feeling stuck” is the main problem, I’d put that in the first part.

    Also, if you can’t decide which is stronger, test both, see what reactions and RESULTS you get with each.

    I hope this helps 🙂

  25. Keli Brabec says:

    You will always need a life coach to properly guide your future. ‘

    Our own web blog
    http://www.prettygoddess.com

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