I’m not a big fan of the ‘elevator speech’, because it often leads to a cutesy, stilted, ‘salesy’ presentation of what we do. It’s confining, like the elevator it’s designed to be used in.
I’ve been helping professionals for years to understand the importance and liberation of what I call their ‘audio billboard’. If someone asks you, “What do you do?”, your answer should be powerful and compelling.
I use the phrase audio billboard, because I like my workshop attendees to imagine they’re cruising along the highway when they see, on a billboard up ahead, what they usually say in response to the question: “What do you do?”. Would they slow down to read their own broadcast, or would they cruise right past it without more than a glance? Most will tell me they would cruise right past what they usually say. That’s not powerful and compelling.
A week ago, my coach and colleague, Rich Litvin, expressed brilliantly in his own words what I’ve been helping my clients with in this area:
There are only 2 things I want to occur when someone says, “What do you do?”—
Either they say “WOW!”, or they get curious: “Really? How do you do that?
Most of the time, people are simply trying to label you or put you in a ‘box’. “Oh, she’s a [Coach]. I know what that means…” And then the conversation is over. What if you could OPEN a conversation by sparking curiosity?
What if you never, ever, said you were a [Coach] again? DON’T be a [COACH] (there are far too many coaches out there)! Be YOU. There’s only ONE of you on the entire planet!
Rich continued with his own version of my workshop lesson:
What if you told a story? What if you talked about your IMPACT instead of ‘what’ you do: “Well, it’s kind of hard to describe what I do, but the other day I spent an hour talking to an athlete who was struggling to raise funds for her Olympic bid. The next day she called to say she’d raised $40,000 of corporate sponsorship.”
If you develop an audio billboard like this, will everyone like what YOU say? No. Will everyone, at least, say “WOW!”? No. But you are not looking for everyone to be your client. The purpose of crafting a clever answer to the question, “What do you do?”, is to have your ‘right people’ say “Tell me more…” That will open the discussion with real prospects.
Then you can say, “I can do better than that! Why don’t we get together over coffee and I’ll give you an actual experience of what I do…”
Use the “What Do YOU Do” Workbook on my website to craft the basic statement and then contact me for a session—on me—about developing a powerful, compelling audio billboard. After that, keep REACHING…