Cocktail Pitch

Jan 16, 2018 | Branding, Marketing

You’ve been given bad (incomplete) advice.

Elevator Pitches rarely make an impact when delivered by a professional trying to explain what they do. You aren’t searching out investors, you are looking to grow your firm into a business that is remembered, respected, and referred.

You could spend days, months, years trying to find your ‘why’ or you could craft your businesses cocktail pitch.

A cocktail pitch is a simple, clear version of what you do and who you BEST do it for.

I came up with the idea of a cocktail pitch when I was being introduced to someone at… you guessed it, a cocktail party.

This is Lacey, she is the owner of Highly Anticipated and she’s a graphic designer.

So close.

My guess is that you have had some introductions that didn’t quite fit the vision you have of yourself.

There is a great self-development quote going around: “You have to teach people how to treat you.”

You have to teach people how to introduce you as well.

Enter the cocktail pitch.

Once you have a clear vision of what you want people to say about you, you can use those words and details in your marketing.

Here are some key ingredients to crafting your own cocktail pitch:

  1. Say what you do, so that a person can form assumptions. Forming assumptions is part of what makes information memorable. Don’t hide what you do. I hate introductions like “I teach women how to be millionaires.” Come to find out they are part of a multi-level marketing machine. And, they know if they lead with “I’m an Amway Distributor,” the conversation is likely over. If you’re an attorney, say it. If you are a real estate broker, say it. People need a reference or something familiar to begin putting you into a mental box, if it takes too much effort, you won’t be remembered. If you don’t like the mental box your profession puts you in, you can modify and enhance it, but, for the love of G-d, don’t hide it.
  2. Modify your profession. If you are a lawyer, you likely don’t do criminal defense and patient law. Modify the area or title you work in with a little about your approach or category. The person on the other side of this should be able to put you into a mental box of what you do.
  3. Who do you best serve? This is where I get the most push back. It’s often a long and frustrating marketing exercise because business owners fear that if they call out who they serve best, they are somehow abandoning other markets. In my years of branding, I have never seen a business shrink because it started to advertise it wanted a specific type of person. Every single one has blossomed into a better marketer by including who they best serve.
  4. Pull it together. It’ll be simple, and memorable.

Here are some cocktail pitches:

(Told to someone else at a party)  She works with lawyers starting solo practices. She can do all the stuff a firm needs a logo, website and business cards. (This is my own; and no, I don’t just work for lawyers, this makes me successful at being referred to clients from a wide-range of professional services)

(Told as a personal introduction)  I do estate planning in Bellevue. Most of the families I work with like the fact I charge a flat-fee and that they really understand their documents when we are finished.

(Told to someone else at a party)  I know a leadership coach who once had an awful boss, so he’s spent the last 40 years writing books, leading corporate training and coaching so that no one else has to work for a bad boss again.

The key to a great cocktail pitch is that if that if your ideal client heard it, they would know your service is for them.

So, what would make me deliver your cocktail pitch on your behalf? If I knew the person I was talking to would benefit uniquely from you. Because, well there is a lot of competition out there, I know a few different family lawyers. One is a shark, one is more of a mediator. Based on how you trained me, I could provide the perfect pitch to your ideal client.

So, what’s yours?

Here are the places that you can use parts of or all of your cocktail pitch to become remembered, respected, and referred:

LinkedIn Bio

Personal Introductions

Brand voice (more on this soon)

Website (header and bio)

With much excitement,