Imagine that you’re on an airplane and the stranger sitting next to you strikes up a conversation. What’s likely to come up as a topic of conversation? “What do you do?” Right?
And how do most people respond? They say “Oh, I am a _____________. In the blank, insert whatever their title is.
This is a “put foot in mouth” response, because that’s exactly what you don’t want to say. If you say something like: “I’m a surgeon,” “I’m an accountant,” or “I’m a bookkeeper,” that quickly puts you into a box where you’ll get stereotyped.
Instead, let’s suppose you are a wardrobe consultant for women. Then you might say something like: “I help professional women who are paralyzed by choosing what to wear. I get them unstuck, so they feel comfortable and confident about what to wear for any occasion.”*
Now doesn’t that sound more intriguing and interesting than “I’m a wardrobe consultant”?
If they respond by saying: “Oh, that’s interesting. So where are you from?” then it’s time for a different conversation.
But if the person you’re speaking with says: “Wow, that’s interesting! I have that problem. How do you do that?”, this ought to be music to your ears!
But there is one common misstep that most people make at this stage: They go into a verbal diarrhea about their process, their technology, the features of their product or service. They take it as an opportunity to unleash their “elevator pitch.”
Here’s the thing: Clients buy outcomes, not process.
You see, clients don’t care about “process.” At least not initially. First and foremost, all they care about is that you have a potential solution for their problem or can fulfill their needs.
Earlier today, I was discussing this with participants who are in my current Get Paid to Get Clients Acceleration Program. We’ve started working on defining and articulating their “Core Client Process.” The Core Client Process is your proprietary, step-by-step approach to working with clients. It’s your “signature system,” your unique method for how you deliver your services and products. More importantly, your Core Client Process gives people a sense of structure in how you deliver value, how you work with clients, and how you help them to achieve the results, improvements, outcomes, and experiences that make it worth working with you.
Your Core Client Process tells a story of how you take them from where they are now — through all the steps, twists, and turns that they need to take — to get to where they say they want to go. It also gives people a sense of your unique view of the world.
So the next time someone asks you what you do and then they ask, “How do you do that?,” ditch your “elevator pitch.” Instead, weave your Core Client Process into the conversation as a framework for the outcomes that you help clients achieve.
*My good friend and colleague, Robert Middleton is a master of what he calls the “audio logo.” An audio logo is simply a single sentence that describes 1) who you serve, 2) what their problem is, and 3) how you help them. Robert helped me to overcome my allergy to marketing and sales. For a ridiculously low price of $29/month, I highly recommend that you check out his Marketing Fast Track program, where you can learn more about the audio logo.