Your Elevator Pitch Sucks
Do you have an elevator pitch? I bet it sucks if you do, and not because you did a bad job on it, but because elevator pitches suck.
They don’t fit every situation. They’re not conversational. It doesn’t draw people in to want to learn more about you or your business. It doesn’t create rapport. It doesn’t begin the relationship.
And for all those reasons, stop creating an elevator pitch! They’re garbage.
Instead, I’ve got a way better way for you. (Of course, I do!) I wouldn’t just sit here and shit all over that, without giving you a better option.
I want to teach you how to put together points that you can turn into a formula to talk about your business and what you do with anybody, in any context, in any situation that feels good.
Okay. Are you ready to dig in?
Once you have this worksheet in front of you, you can work through this activity. It’s a great activity to do, not just for your business but in general. It’s also really great as you get really good at it to do it for specific offerings as well.
Start With The Basics
The first thing you’re going to do is start brainstorming short phrases around these categories.
The categories are:
- Who you are?
- Who you serve?
- How you serve them?
- What makes you unique?
- And supporting points.
Ya gotta know who you are? Who you serve? How you serve them? What makes you unique? And then also have some great supporting points that you can dribble in when necessary. And once you have that, what you’re going to do is come up with five short phrases or statements for each.
Who You Are?
So who are you?
For an example of who you are category, you could say, I’m a business coach.
This is great and totally applicable. But you could also say, I’m a strategy nerd and I’m a momentum builder.
These are just some examples to help get your brain going. They don’t all have to be a very specific description of the work you do.
Who You Serve?
Think really specifically about your target demo. Get really specific about who you serve and some phrases about.
That is then how you serve them.
How Do You Serve Them?
For example, in mine I have: I build competencies and confidence. I help solopreneurs think like a business owner, like a CEO. I also have, I help build community and share resources.
So that’s some of the things in my general formula.
What Makes Me Unique?
These are things that really are about you. They’re fun ways to differentiate yourself from your direct competition because when people are figuring out if they’re going to work with you or they’re going to work with somebody else that does a similar solution, they’re looking for those differentiating factors. So you want to start talking about those early.
For example, I’m really specific to the early stage of business.
There are lots of business coaches but I’m really, really specific to early-stage businesses. And so everything that I do is around that. This makes me a better fit for an early-stage business owner than for somebody who is looking for a business coach to help them towards the sale of their business.
And then there are the supporting points, things that don’t really fit anywhere.
Before you get to listing, let’s talk about why this works.
If you’ve ever paid attention at all to a campaign season, where we’re having debates and you’re listening to all the talking heads, talk about their plans.
A newscaster can ask one of these politicians a simple question about, how did you find the weather in Chicago today? And their response sounds something like this. “The weather is really great for my new plan on X, Y, Z, because X, Y, Z is the best route result for my target that I’m trying to reach in this statement.”
What they do is make sure that they know their talking points. What is important for them to get out in the world? What is important for them to message?
They craft the conversation around that. And some are better at it than others. Some are very obvious. (That was a very obvious one. Please don’t do that.) And some are just masters at moving the conversation into the way that really serves their purpose in that interaction.
Networking Event Example
So if you were in a networking event and you’re just meeting a bunch of people, know what you’re walking into. You’ve got this recipe together so that you can combine all these different pieces into a coherent sentence.
For example, let’s say I walk up to a bunch of business coaches at a networking event. They know I’m a business coach and I might really want to talk and educate this group of people on my specific niche, early-stage business owners. So they can send me those clients that don’t fit them and looking for that referral partnership.
So I would say “It’s so nice to meet you. It’s great to be here among a lot of other business coaches as, as well. I heard you talking about how you help prepare businesses to sell as a coach. I think that’s excellent. That’s not where I want to be. So I’m glad people like you exist in the world.”
This then creates an opportunity for them to go, “Oh well, tell me about what you do?”
Everything should be about creating a conversation, not just about saying I’m a business coach for women in early-stage businesses and service-based businesses in the Denver Metro area, moving to online.
Nobody wants to hear that. That’s crap. And they’re not gonna remember it.
So instead I opened it up and said, “I am so glad that you have this position. I’m not that. So I’m glad you exist in the world.” And inevitably they’re very likely to say, “Well, tell me what niche you are in?”
And I’ll say. “I work with, service-based business owners in the early stages. I help them power through the valley of despair”. And they’ll get a laugh about what the value of despair is. And then they’ll ask me what the value of despair.
And I tell them!
And then I’ve got an opportunity to showcase my expertise in early-stage business owners. And very specifically that whole thing, the valley of despair.
In that conversation, I was able to use three components out of my formula because I know my talking points enough to be able to craft the conversation around that. All while it’s a conversation about me wanting to learn more about them and me wanting to give them an opportunity to learn more about me.
This is really how this should work. Instead of just having a planned short speech that feels like crap and not robotic.
Now To Make It Work
So once you got those categories figured out. Make a list! Do five or six in each category.
Then it’s time to go through repetitions of practicing and combining these into a coherent phrase or sentence, or even a short presentation like you would in an elevator pitch. And make sure it works with the language, how you’re saying it and how you’re delivering it.
That’s practice, that muscle memory, just moving the words from your brain through your mouth is really important.
Once you have that list of six in each category. Number them one through six and then have a set of dice and you rolled the dice and line them up. And based on the number of the dice, you have to create a conversation using those numbers that the dice land on.
And ask yourself whether or not you would or wouldn’t say it that way or maybe you think you’re not highlighting this area of your business as well. Or think maybe you should be talking about this more. So whatever the needs of your business are, that’s what you’re out talking about when you’re networking or creating videos or doing reels or whatever it is that you’re doing.
Doing all of these things, putting some practice behind it, you are going to come across so much better, so much more confident people are going to want to hear what you have to say. You’re going to draw them into a conversation instead of just bombarding them with information because nobody wants that.
I Challenge You!
I encourage you to do this but here’s your challenge when you do this.
After you do this and you get one that you really, really love. I want you to send it to me! You can find me on Instagram @meganjcoach. And I want you to shoot me a DM with you telling me one formula from your set of ingredients.
I want to hear it. I want to see how it’s going. I love it when I get these messages in my inbox. So go ahead and record it, send it to me and let me know how it goes.
Also if you have any questions or whatever, you know how to reach me obviously on the socials now but don’t forget about the Success Society with Megan Johnson Group on Facebook. That’s really where you can dig into these conversations. If you are in there already, like many of you are. You could share your formula there and the whole group could give you feedback on it. It’s just a really awesome place to talk these things through. If you’re not comfortable sharing it in public yet, you can DM it to me. I’d love to hear it and give you feedback on that.
So that’s it for today, just a short lesson on…
STOP! Giving an elevator pitch.
Instead, create a formula!