“Well – tell me about it,” as the saying goes!
In my case, it’s an IT thing – as soon as you stand up at a network meeting and mention IT, you are either in IT support or you are something to do with the web. Unhappily for me, I am neither of those things, so am not so easy to pigeonhole.
As I have met with other business people for one-to-one meetings over a cup of coffee, I almost invariably hear, “Now I understand what you do – I didn’t really get it before,” at the end of the meeting.
I’ve spent a long time thinking about the elevator pitch – find the pain, and all that sort of thing. In truth, though, you need a slightly different elevator pitch for almost every person in the room; generic pain is never as severe as specific pain. Are you worried about wasting time and resources? Well, I can help you with that. What about the risk of getting your data into a mess, or being unable to access information that you need? I can help y0u with that as well. Perhaps you want to integrate your website and your back-office systems? No surprise, then, that I can help with that, too.
Sometimes, it’s the same solution, but the ‘pain’ it salves is completely different from one person to another. After more than three years of networking, and the help and advice of a number of very knowledgeable people, I’m still totally unsure about what my elevator pitch is, or ought to be.
As a result, I tend to just stand up and say the first thing that comes into my head, and that’s probably not a very good idea!
Perhaps I need to keep away from the IT element, and pitch myself as a saver of time and money. That’s what it boils down to, as often as not. Most business owners are spending a lot of time on their administration, which can be trimmed down with the right tools, allowing them to work on developing and growing the business as opposed to keeping up with the paperwork.
Do you have this sort of problem with your business? How do you deal with it?