You may have heard of an elevator pitch – a one to three sentence summary of a product, service, company, vision or personal value proposition that can be delivered in 30 seconds or less. A good personal elevator pitch contains relevant experience, credibility builders (such as education or awards) and – importantly – your impact and value delivered to your current client(s) or employer.
A mentor in the art of enterprise sales once told me that in any sales process you should “always earn the right to ask the next question.” Don’t show up with a long checklist for your client to fill out or request mountains of data without first providing something of value. Value in the form of an analytical insight into the client’s business, an interesting story, or a fascinating – and relevant – factoid.
Similarly, I believe in earning the right to present the next bit of your personal value elevator pitch by having an interesting, credible “hook” or opener. The “value” here is derived from the interesting nature of the hook – simply being different and memorable is a little positive nugget that stands out from the usual boring conversational (business) landscape and earns you the right to continue your “presentation.”
For example, you could sharpen your hook from the dull description of “running a full service kennel” to “providing a loving home for your pet family members.” Or go from introducing yourself as a “fully certified CPA, CMA, CFA” to making a much more memorable splash as a “one-stop shop for financial peace of mind.”
What’s your hook? Does it fit on a business card? Does it answer “what do you do” in an interesting, memorable way? Does it earn you the right to ask the next question or continue the conversation with a prospective client?
Feel free to use the comments section to submit your “personal value proposition hook” challenge to Bjorn and the readers of this blog!
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