“Ditch the Pitch”
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to put our dear friend to rest. That’s right. Someone has died, and that would be the 30-second elevator pitch. Thank God. Aren’t we glad the 30-second elevator pitch is dead. Done. Let’s stop doing the 30-second elevator pitch. I know. I know there are networking coaches out there that are rolling over in their graves and, “What? 30-second elevator pitch? You better learn your elevator pitch. You better know how to tell people what you do.” Here’s the thing about a 30-second elevator pitch. Why are we assuming that everyone we talk to wants exactly the same thing from us?
When we talk about being a real estate agent or a painter or insurance person, etc., etc., don’t we service people in different ways? Don’t we have different types of clientele? Aren’t there different things that we do? How many of us out there do more than one thing? Do you do more than one thing or do you do just one thing the same way every time? I would venture to say that you don’t, so why are we telling everybody the same boring, boring story over and over? 30-second elevator pitch is dead. You might say, “Well, then what do I say? How do I explain what I do? If I don’t give my 30-second elevator pitch, how will people know what I do?”
You do a lot of different things, but let me give you just a couple of examples. I like to hear about the other person first. In other words, when I’m at a networking event, which is anywhere, it’s not just a place we go or something we put on our calendar, but when I’m talking with someone, I want to hear about them first because truly to me it doesn’t matter what they do. It’s why they do it and how they do it, and I want to get to know them a little bit before I start talking about what I do and giving them some pitch. I want the person that I’m talking to … I want to tailor what I’m saying so that that person can hear it.
In other words, if I just say, “Oh, I’m a speaker,” what does that mean? “Oh, I’m a coach. Oh, I’m a mentor. Oh, I help business people generate more leads and have more contacts and clients so that they can have more retention of income,” whatever that boring this is, look, everybody is going to hear something different, and I have learned that it’s so important … Listen, two, one, two, one. God gave us one of these and two of these. Let’s use them in proportion. Two to one. Let’s do more listening and less flapping of our gums. When we listen to what people are all about, who they are, how they feel, what’s going on in their lives, now we can tailor that which we do to how we can be of benefit to them.
If you’re at an event where you’re going around the circle, you’re going around the circle, and it’s your turn to talk about what you do, I’ll give you a great example. I had a client just this week, just this week, she was taking a lot of what I’m suggesting, what I’m recommending to heart. She is so coachable. Terri Foster, love this woman. She’s a life coach. She’s a fitness coach. She’s a world class barrel horse racer. She is a CEO and businesswoman. Love her, so coachable. She says to me, she says, “Cami, I went to that event where they sit in the circle and they start at talking about what they do.” She listened to the whole group and based on what they were saying, she was able to tailor what she was going to say that they all could hear.
For an example, one of the things I like to do is create my own events. I’ll be doing a fundraiser event or a community awareness even at any given time. When I’m standing up in front of a room, I might share something like this. “Hi, everybody. My name is CamiBaker.com, and I am actually sponsoring an antique car show for the Live and Let Live Farm. Now the proceeds go to the farm, so I’m looking for people who have antique cars, who love antique cars, who want to be a vendor at the event, who love to give back to the horses, who may want to volunteer, etc., etc. If that sounds like you, come on over and give me your card.”
Why would I do that? Because I don’t want to be standing up there talking about myself. Everybody wants to talk about themselves. Be clear. Nobody really cares about you anyway. Nobody cares about you. We all care about ourselves, and that’s okay. That’s how we sustain. When I do something like that, people are always intrigued. “Oh, I’ve got antique cars,” or, “I know somebody with three antique cars,” or, “I know that place. I want to give back. I want to volunteer. I’m a Pampered Chef. I’m a Mary Kay. I’m a this. I’m a that. I’m a real estate agent. I want to have a booth.” In other words, it creates conversation, and they come over because they want to learn more about it or it also shows me as somebody who’s giving back. I’m not standing there giving my 30 seconds of Cami Baker fame. I’m actually talking about something outside of myself.
That’s one of the programs that I have. Don’t just go to other people’s events. Be your own event. We’ll talk about that a little bit later, but when you’re being your own event, now you have something to talk about.
Another thing that I can do and that you can do and that my clients do when they’re in that situation where they’re in that circle is instead of talking about themselves, how about giving a testimonial? Giving a testimonial. It might look something like this. When I was a real estate agent, for example, instead of just standing up and saying, “Hi, my name’s Cami Baker. I’m a real estate agent. Sure would love your referrals,” blah, blah, blah, like everybody else does, I might stand up and say something like this. “My name is Cami Baker and here’s what’s really cool about what happened this week. I have some clients that are under agreement, and they’re moving to Florida. They’re already packing their bags and they’re on their way. Why is that exciting? Because they were on the market twice with two other agents for the last year. I came in, told them exactly what was going on. We were under contract within three days. Now they’re on their way to where they want to be, and I’m so happy for them. Cami Baker, I specialize in helping people whose properties had a hard time getting sold.”
In other words, I can give a story like that that helps people understand specifically what I do. There’s a whole lot of other ways that we can do this. However, when we are talking to people, even when it’s in a one on one kind of a conversation, it’s really important that you let that person talk first. I’m going to talk about that a little bit more in a video, how you get them talking, how you create those memorable, meaningful, masterful conversations so that you can tailor what you do to them. I’ll give you another example because it’s at the top of my mind.
One of my friends is Tammy Lang. She is the Facebook Faucet Queen. The first place that I met her was in California at an event with about 300 people, and there were at least six people there who did Facebook ads. Tammy is beautiful. She’s vivacious. She’s bubbly. She’s cute, and even as a bit of an extrovert, she even has a hard time talking to people about what she does. She felt uncomfortable and awkward. Can anybody relate to that? Feeling awkward in social situations? She didn’t really know what to say. We’re sitting at a VIP Lunch getting to know each other one day, and I shared with her, I said, “You know what, Tammy? There’s about six people here that do Facebook ads. If somebody says to you, what do you do, and you just go off with your 30-second pitch about, ‘Oh, I do Facebook ads,'” wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. You and everybody else.”
I shared with her, “Why don’t you hear about them first, and then, for an example, when it comes back to you, now you can say, ‘You know what, Mary? It’s great that you’re a chiropractor and that you’ve been in business for just a couple years and you’re looking for more, to generate more business because you are exactly the kind of person that I like to work with, holistic, you know, really active in the community. You’re the exact client that I work with and I help to generate those leads. Here’s my card. Let me get your information. Let’s follow up and talk about that.'” Now she’s told Mary exactly what Mary needs to hear so that Mary wants to hear more of, “Oh, oh, you work with me? You like to focus on holistic people? You like this, that, and the other thing about me? Maybe we can do some business.” Now it’s much more tailored and personal.
Our friend is dead. Our friend is dead, but let’s not be in mourning for too long. Let’s celebrate the death, the death of the 30-second elevator pitch. Let’s step powerfully into being able to create conversation that is masterful and meaningful and gives us a way to follow up and follow through and create the resources and the relationships and the revenue that rock so that we communicate and conversate to collaborate and create the income, influence, and impact that we all want to do, and it all starts with putting that bitch on the ground. Ditch the pitch. The bitch is dead. No more elevator pitch.”