I was privileged to attend an Alldens Lane’s event. Alldens Lane is an exclusive executive coaching brand that offers tailored business solutions to female business leaders and entrepreneurs. Most of the top female executives you would want to meet were in attendance. The event was a three-course dinner with Lucy Quist, the first female CEO of a Telecommunications firm in Ghana and Ms Maidie Arkutu, the then CEO of Unilever Ghana and other trailblazing women in leadership.
The moment came when we had to network—cocktail glass in the left hand, right hand for handshakes and courtesy hugs. With nerves raging like wildfire and elevator pitch ready, it was showtime! Little did I know that night would teach me a lesson I will never forget instead of the fun and networks I had anticipated. Anyway, I spotted Ms Lucy Quist and quickly took advantage to connect with her using my elevator pitch. It sounded like this: “Hello, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Adiza Brimah-Annan, and I am an image consultant”. Hello Adiza, she said. Lovely outfit. Thank you, I replied. So what do you do? She asked. I am an image consultant, I replied. She was silent for a moment and asked again, what do you do? This time I decide to be more elaborate. I help women to select and pair their clothing to look beautiful. Oh, I see, she said. And quickly added that I look forward to an opportunity to offer you my service. Immediately she smiled and answered, “I know how to put things together, thank you”.
Now, with that reply, all I could think of was to say no more. After an all-important pause, I smiled, complimented and thanked her. It is indeed a pleasure meeting you, do enjoy the rest of your evening, I said to her. After that episode, I was left thinking of what I could have said differently. I remember thinking if this were the reply I would get from anybody I talked to, I would be better off not talking to anyone about what I do for the rest of the evening. After that night, I decided to learn more about pitching my services better.
After practising my new pitch, I discovered the focus must be on my services’ benefits and what the client can achieve with those benefits. This pitch must be suitable because it sells my expertise without sounding like a sales personnel. I like it even better because it helps to set a context and clearly states who my ideal client is.
So watch out; anytime we meet in person or virtual, you will hear this. “It gets to a point where professionals, especially business leaders, feel invisible in their quest for success. I equip these individuals to stand out confidently with style & presence to grow their reach. I work as a Visibility & Style Strategist”.
Now that you have read my new pitch, I know you might want to review yours. Below are three tips to help you:
- Your pitch is as strong as it is relevant. To achieve this, connect the benefits you offer to a problem your target market is searching for solutions to. This will make your offer relevant to them.
- Your title is not what you do. People dont care about your fancy titles. They simply want to know what you can do for them. So don’t start your pitch with your title.
- Finally, it is ok if someone does not appreciate the solution you offer especially if your pitch is clear. It only means that person is not your client.
Do share your experience with me, I would love to compare notes with you.