With the conference only 51 days away, I want to share how you can be ready for those fantastic networking opportunities. People will want to know who you are and what you do.
One of the biggest challenges that nurse business owners have is being able to describe what they do and the beneficial outcome they provide their clients. Nurses aren’t accustomed to promoting themselves so when it’s time to blow their own horns they don’t know what to say. They tend to stumble or freeze up or overdo it. In business, where everyone is competing for attention and dollars, you must be able to distinguish yourself from the crowd. You need to capture the attention of busy people so when you have an opening to deliver you need to make it good. Think of it as the Who the How and the Wow!
Please take the time create your elevator pitch. If you don’t like the term ‘elevator pitch’ then think of it as a short story to let people know who you are. We are all busy, our life is not just our business, our business is part of our life and I know you have many demands on your time. I know I do; I have an 11 year old daughter, a husband and a home that needs taken care of plus I am a “creative” type and cannot do one thing too long before needing to move onto to the next thing. I promise you, by taking the time to create an effective elevator pitch you will feel more focused, energetic and enthusiastic. The results are that people will be drawn more into learning about you and working with you.
You know what you do but it can be hard to describe your work to others. Here are some guidelines for creating an effective elevator pitch.
Concise-your pitch should not take longer than 30 to 60 seconds.
Clear-use language that everyone understands don’t use fancy words thinking it will make you sound smarter. Your listener won’t understand you and you’ll have lost your opportunity. Speak in the language of your audience or buyer and never sacrifice clarity for cleverness.
Powerful-use words that are powerful, strong and compelling.
Visual-use words to create a visual image in your listeners mind. This will make your message memorable.
Tell a story-a short story that is. A good story is essentially this: someone with a problem finds the solution, a story can be used to illuminate what you do and provide your listener an example.
Targeted-a great elevator pitch is aimed for specific audience. If you have targeted audiences that are different you need to have a unique elevator pitch for each. Yes, one elevator pitch will not fit all.
Goal oriented-your elevator pitch is designed with a specific outcome in mind what is your desired outcome? Make sure you know the yes that you want to get. For instance do you want to make a sale, gain a prospect, enlist support, or are earn a referral?
Serve not sell-no one likes to be “sold”, we all know what that feels like. Remember, people like to feel inspired into action.
Michelle’s Story: How I actually got a new client in an elevator!
I was attending a major conference and the evening’s celebrity speaker was NFL Great, Joe Thiesman. Earlier in the day when breaking for lunch, I saw Joe sitting by himself and I ended up being seated right in front of him. I knew I had an opportunity and I knew I would have to make it quick. So when I introduced myself he asked me to sit down a moment. He asked why I was at the conference and I said that I wanted to grow my coaching business and did he know that over a third of nurses today are dissatisfied with their careers and are looking to make a change? In my book, UnconventionalNurse: Going From Burnout to Bliss!, I share with nurses the steps I took to leverage my nursing experience from being a ICU nurse in western Pennsylvania to running a multi-million dollar software company in Newport Beach, Ca. We talked a few more minutes about the conference and I told him how much I looked forward to hearing his speech later that evening. During Joe’s speech that night, he was talking about excellence and the championship mentality and all of a sudden he starts talking about the nurse he met at lunch that was a CEO of a software company and how now she was helping other nurse entrepreneurs have successful businesses. As he was saying this, he pointed to me in the audience of a few hundred people. Afterwards as I was riding the elevator up to my room, a young woman said “You’re the Unconventional Nurse”, I am a pediatric nurse and as she hands me her card she asks if I will work with her. She wanted to grow a business speaking to people about how to prepare and protect their children while they are in the hospital. So, my elevator pitch from lunch really did result in getting a client in the elevator!
Step One: Define who you are.
Write one sentence about who you are.
Step Two: Describe what you do.
You should use your mission statement and services as a guide and write one to two sentences about what you do every day in your business. Make sure to highlight the benefit and value you provide.
Step Three: Identify your ideal customer/client.
Use your target audience description as a guide and write one to two sentences about who your ideal client or customers are.
Step Four: Explain what’s unique and different about you and your business.
Use your unique selling proposition (USP) as a guide and write one to two sentences about what sets you apart from every other business owner who does what you do.
Step Five: State but you want to happen next.
Write one to two sentences that identifies what you want your audience to do next.
Step Six: Create an attention-getting hook.
Write one to two sentences that pulls your audience and gets them engaged in what you are about to say.
Step Seven: Put it altogether.
Combine the statement suggested in the previous steps putting step six first then add transitions and edit until it flows conversationally and captures the most important information.
Do you believe opportunities were missed because you we’re not able to clearly explain what you do and how you could help someone? These seven steps I outlined will ensure that you have an effective elevator pitch or short story that will help you introduce yourself and become more confident and self-assured in a variety of business settings.
© Michelle Podlesni 2011-2014 BSGI – All Rights Reserved