In our last article about the art of pitching we learned that most of us suck at it and it’s because we give an honest answer to this question: “So what do you do for a living?” Truth is amigo; no one cares what you do for a living. What they care about is how it could help them or if your answer could entertain them.
Zig Ziglar said it best when he wrote, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough people get what they want.”
Well, here’s the importance of how you articulate what you do: You need to couch it in language where they will immediately understand the value for them. Most people don’t do that. Most people do one of two things:
A. They make the listener wait too long before they connect the dots. Like the oral version of a mystery novel, they wait until the end to explain the relevance. Five minutes later….“And so that’s why our product is superior. It keeps nuclear bombs from exploding when there is an earthquake.” Well, I wished you’d started with that!
B. They explain it in their own language and expect the listener to put the pieces together and figure it out. “Well, clearly people understand that by my having a CLSM and AFLD designations that I am more qualified than most people in this industry.” Oh really?
Why do we expect our listener to be active and engaged and willing to help? It’s not your Mom you’re pitching to you know? You are pitching someone with little time, little attention and little more than self-interest driving them. They are not interested in helping you. It’s the other way around!
OK then professor what are they interested in, you ask. Well, they are interested in themselves and the transformations that we can create for them. They are interested in vehicles that can get them from here – what I call STATE A, to there, STATE B. Wherever STATE B is, they think it’s better than here and if you can be the solution for them, you’ll hold their attention.
What you need to do is start with clarity BEFORE you pitch. You need to be clear about what you really do for a living.
You don’t clean windows; you give people a better view.
You don’t sell shoes; you help people walk with style.
You don’t sell insurance; you help people live their values.
You don’t do consulting; you deliver clarity about problems.
You aren’t a graphic designer;you make ideas into tangible, attractive things.
Know the transformations you really create with what you do and suddenly you are pitching at a higher level.
Where to start? As yourself, “if I had three clients I’d like to clone, who would they be?” Next, define their STATE A. What was facing them when they hired you? What problems or obstacles stood in their way? What opportunities were they dying to capture but couldn’t? Be specific and dig deep.
Then do the same thing for STATE B. See clearly how they were better off. What was life like for them on the other side? They hired you to organize their staff training manual, so what capabilities do they have now? What opportunities can they capture now because that is behind them? You made someone a logo, what is true about their sense of brand now? What can they do now that they couldn’t before? You sold someone a life insurance policy, how do they feel now? What is true for them now?
It’s HERE where we’ll find the clues to build a solid elevator pitch. KNOW THE TRANSFORMATION and you will know the core of where you create impact for others.