In my last blog post, I talked about having an elevator pitch prepared. That idea came to fruition this week while I was at the gym of all places. And it brought me to the conclusion that as an entrepreneur, you always need to be prepared and on your game to sell yourself.
I was on the stair climber, breathing hard and sweating, listening to loud music - pretty much in my own world when someone hopped on the machine next to me. I recognized her as another mom from around the gym and just decided to strike up a conversation. I like to talk and I also like to be distracted when I'm on the exercise machine from hell. Come to find out, she's a freelancer and her and her husband are looking to start a business. She asks what I do...
Queue the elevator pitch!
Slightly caught off guard, but prepared at the same time, I was able to convey to her what I do and how I could help her get her business branded and off the ground. If I didn't have that pitch prepared, I probably wouldn't have conveyed to her what I wanted to because I was out of my typical "business" element and atmosphere. But you can take advantage of those settings.
Meeting other business owners outside of the typical workplace doing things you both enjoy puts you on a level playing ground to pitch your services.
Selling Yourself is an Art
Like any other art form, selling yourself and your product or services takes practice and effort. For some, presenting and speaking comes easier and more naturally to them, and for others, it will take more work and preparation. But as an entrepreneur, you should be able to confidently speak with others.
So how do you get to the place where you've mastered your art-form of selling yourself as a brand and entrepreneur?
PREPARATION, PRACTICE, and MORE PRACTICE.
The more you talk to people about what you do and put yourself in situations where you are out of your comfort zone, the better you'll get at selling what you've got. Some examples:
- Volunteer to speak at events or seminars
- Strike up conversations with people you don't know at places other than work - the gym, the grocery store, etc. Just get comfortable talking to people. You never know who you'll meet!
- Prepare your pitch and practice it both alone and in front of people who will give you constructive criticism.
- Be prepared for "no". Getting a "no" from someone isn't always a bad thing. It will either help you grow and learn or it just means it wasn't meant to be.
As a business owner or salesperson, you signed up for a lot of sometimes difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Make the best of those opportunities by being prepared.