September 17, 2018

Imagine that you’ve just entered an elevator with three other people.

You get in on the ground floor and have a long ride up to the 30th floor.

Small talk ensues and each person starts to ask each other, “So, what do you do for a living?”

One person says they’re the Vice President of Marketing for Acme Company, and the other person says they’re the managing director of Bravo Company.

Now, it’s your turn to say what you do for a living.

What do you say?

If you say, “I’m a Life Coach,” you would have committed one of the most cardinal marketing sins ever, just like the two people who’ve proceeded you.

When you’re in the business of attracting clients, every part of your marketing must speak to the benefit that your clients receive, even when you’re introducing yourself in an elevator. You must be able to communicate in 30 seconds what your client wants.

Hence, the term elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a clear, brief, tightly-defined sentence that communicates the benefit for a given company or, in your case, a prospective client. It typically takes about 30 seconds to give, and you should always be prepared to say it when you introduce yourself to strangers.

If you say that you’re a “Life Coach,” it may or may not solicit follow on conversation. If it does, someone may ask, “what’s a life coach?” But if not answered correctly, you’re still not guaranteed to communicate the value your prospective clients will receive. When you introduce yourself, you want the person to whom you are speaking to immediately identity that they need the service you provide, or they know someone else who may need your service. So, how do you make this happen?

In order to craft your elevator pitch, you have to first understand what your clients really buy.

Step 1: Understand What Coaching Clients Really Buy

There are very few people who would say to themselves, “I need a Life Coach.” Although the coaching industry has been around for a while, there are still many people who have no idea what services you provide. It is your obligation to make this abundantly clear. In order to win as much business as possible, you must learn how to clearly and precisely communicate what clients will get by doing business with you. It all starts with understanding the answer to what your clients really buy.

Clients don’t buy life coaching services.

They buy results.

They buy outcomes.

They buy benefits.

They buy a better life.

They buy a more prosperous life.

They buy better health.

They buy stronger. Bigger. Faster. Wealthier.

These things can be reduced to one of two things.

  1. Clients buy a solution to their most difficult problems.
  2. Clients buy a way to achieve their most important goals.

In other words, these are the “core benefits” that your clients can not do without.

When you understand the problems that your prospective clients face, and you offer a solution to those problems, your marketing becomes so much easier. When you offer a solution to their most difficult problems or a way to achieve their most important goals, your clients will thank you. They will thank you because you’re helping achieve exactly what they want.

To visualize this, imagine what people really want when they go to the hardware store to buy a shovel. They don’t really want to buy a shovel. What they really want is a hole in their backyard, or rocks moved from one location to another.

Imagine what someone wants when they buy a dishwasher. They don’t really want a dishwasher. They want clean dishes they don’t have to manually wash.

Do you get the idea?

Solving your prospective client’s most aggravating problems or helping them achieve their goals is the key to successfully building a highly profitable life coaching business.

In order to really understand the problems and goals that your clients have, you must understand the ideology, thoughts, and desires of your ideal client.  I’ve previously covered How to Create an Ideal Client Profile for Your Life Coaching Business.

So, now that you understand what your clients really buy, how do you weave your solution into a core benefit statement you can use in your elevator pitch?

Step 2: Determine the Problems or Goals That Will Make Your Clients Buy

It is at this point that you’re going to craft a core benefit statement. And the way to do this is to answer the two questions above.

However, you shouldn’t answer these questions. They should be answered by your previous or existing clients, or a group of people who you know to be your ideal clients.

The reason why you shouldn’t answer these questions is because often times you’ll find out what you think your clients want may not be the same thing as what your clients actually want.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”What you think your clients want may not be the same thing your clients actually want.” quote=”What you think your clients want may not be the same thing your clients actually wants.” theme=”style2″]

The best way to get these answers is via a phone call, in-person meeting, or through a two-question survey email, which can easily be sent, tracked, and measured using email marketing software such as Convertkit. If you don’t have any prior clients but have done your ideal client research,  you can reach out to a trade associate full of your ideal clients and ask them to sponsor your survey.

Send out your email or make your phone call and simply ask one of two questions:

  1. If I could help you solve your most important problem in the next six months, but just one problem, what would that problem be?
  2. If I could help you achieve your most important goal in the next six months, but just one goal, what would that goal be?

After about 20 to 30 people answer your question, you’ll likely have enough answers to see a common problem, which you’ll use to create your core benefit statement. If you just so happen to find that you correctly were guessing what you thought your clients wanted, you’re way ahead of most businesses owners. But this will rarely be the case.

Step 3: Put Your Client’s Problem or Goal into One Core Benefit Statement

At this stage, you should have a list of all the problems (or goals, if you asked) that your ideal clients want to solve, specific to the service you provide. You should now be able to craft your core benefit statement using one sentence that has 1) an opener and 2) a benefit.

The Opener

The opener speaks to what you do and to whom you do it for.

The opener should include an action verb such as, I help, I support, I teach, etc. Remember, it’s what you actually do for your client, not what you are or what your profession is.

Example(s):

  1. I help financial executives…,
  2. I help baseball coaches…,
  3. I teach married women…

The Benefit

The benefit should be the problem you solve or the goal that you help your clients achieve. But, it must not contain any professional jargon. It must be clear and understandable for everyone who hears it.

Example(s):

  1. …overcome disappointment after they’re rejected for a new position.
  2. …deal with the fear of working with children.
  3. …how to balance their time among their husband and their younger children.

Putting it Together

Your core benefit statement is your opener + the benefit you provide for your ideal client.

Even though you’re a life coach, what you really provide is the results or outcome expressed in your succinct, well-defined core benefit driven statement.

Example(s):

  1. I help financial executives…overcome disappointment after they’ve been rejected for a job position.
  2. I help baseball coaches…deal with the fear of working with children.
  3. I teach married women…how to balance their time among their husband and their younger children.

Step 4: Use Your Benefit-Driven Elevator Pitch

At this point, let’s be realistic and bring this down to earth.

It’s impossible to avoid telling people what you do for a living. It’s going to come up. People are just curious about titles. It’s their way of putting you in a box. It’s completly…human.

But, the way you do it is to always lead with your benefit-driven elevator pitch. Then, follow-up with your title and then one more benefit-driven statement.

So, it’ll look like this:

“Hi, I’m LaTisha. I help professional life coaches… gain more clients by using common-sense marketing strategies that doubles their income in less than six months.”

“Oh, really? Tell me more.”

“Well, I’m a Marketing Consultant. And I help my clients optimize their current business processes by looking at how they currently do business and then optimizing those processes.”

If I’m talking to my ideal client, why would they not want to find out how to work with me if this it what they heard and need.

And that’s how to use an elevator pitch to attract more clients to your life coaching business!

So, here are the things you must do at this point:

  1. Memorize your elevator pitch. Write it down and rehearse it if you must.
  2. Tape it to your wall or computer monitor.
  3. Read it every day until it becomes a natural part of your business conversation.

Question: How did you introduce yourself before? Now, after doing the exercises above, how are you going to introduce yourself? Did this article bring you clarity? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.

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