The Elevator Speech: How to Pitch Yourself to Clients in a Genuine Way
Joshua Rosenthal, Founder, Director, and Primary Teacher of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition shares his wisdom about creating a healthy and happy life that helps transform the world.
One of the most common questions I hear from aspiring or soon-to-be Health Coaches is how to find clients. I’ll be transparent here and tell you that it can feel uncomfortable when you’re first getting started. So I’m going to share my secrets to the perfect pitch.
When I started as a Health Coach I had just moved to NYC and I was flat broke. To be honest with you, some nights I actually slept outside in my car. But I had a passion for my purpose in life, which was and is to this day to change the healthcare system.
This was a time before most people really understood that personal wellness is important, and that you can drastically change your health through diet and self-care. There weren’t blogs and wellness experts, there wasn’t even internet! If you got sick you’d go to the doctor and take medication. Nobody had ever heard of a Health Coach, so I really had to think hard about how to present myself to potential clients.
I would have about 2 seconds to make a good first impression. So I needed to make myself memorable quickly, that’s why an “elevator pitch” is essential for all entrepreneurs.
It’s called an elevator pitch because you should be able to tell someone all about your business in the time you’d spend in an elevator, which isn’t long.
But where most entrepreneurs go wrong is not engaging with the person they’re speaking to in the conversation.. You must draw them in rather than just talking about yourself.
Here’s what I did back then – which worked out pretty well – and what you can try when you’re getting started:
Me: So what do you do for a living?
Potential client tells me about themselves
Me: That’s really interesting! Do you want to know what I do?
Potential client: Yes.
Me: I help people like you make major improvements in their health and happiness. For example, what’s your main health concern?
Potential client mentions a health concern (I know this may sound awkward to ask something so personal but it does work.)
Me: well that’s exactly what I do! I work with people like you to have that problem go away by making gradual adjustments in diet and self-care. Does that sound like something you might be interested in learning more about?
Potential client: Sure! (there’s no pressure here, it’s just an invitation to learn more, which few people will turn down)
Me: Great! You’re going to be really happy about this. Can you talk now for a few more minutes or when is a good time to talk?
From there you still have to communicate your unique value for them to actually become a client, but the hardest part of getting them interested in hearing you out is done.
The first few times I did this, it felt a little awkward, but then it became a little bit smoother, and after 10 times I was a pro.
The same will be true for you. You will go through a learning curve as you try different things, make mistakes, and ultimately gain more confidence as you build momentum.
You just have to get out there and practice!
Remember, the key in any elevator pitch or self-presentation is in involving the other person so you’re responding to them not talking at them! If you do this, their answer will almost always be YES!
How do you present yourself to get people interested? Share with us in the comments below!