"Niche Your Pitch"

I spoke last night at the Naja Greensboro chapter of the American Business Women Association. My topic was "Niche Your Pitch: How To Create Memorable Personal Commercials." I haven't spoken in a while and I forgot how much fun it is, especially with a group that's eager to participate.

I gave a quick background as to what comprises a personal commercial, went through a series of "Before" and "After" examples and then had the group brainstorm ideas for members on how to liven up their commercials.

There was a guest at the meeting who had completed her massage therapist training but now had to perform a certain number of practice hours on clients for free to receive her certification. She had just joined a networking group but felt--rightly--that just saying, "Hi, my name's Dee and I'm a massage therapist" wasn't gaining her any leads.

We came up with, "Hi, my name is Dee and I'm looking for people I can get my hands on," as an opener. She has the personality to deliver it and was thrilled.

A successful commercial is brief, unique, and memorable. One of the best commercials I've ever heard came from a member of my Wednesday morning leads group. Bill Simmons sells office furniture. Snore, right? But look at Bill's Commercial:

Hi, I'm Bill Simmons and I'm looking for dirt. If you pass a construction site, see dirt being moved, or even spot a bulldozer, call me. I sell office furniture and companies make decisions about furnishings while buildings are being built. Once a structure is up, it's too late. So remember, if you see dirt or a bulldozer, call me, Bill Simmons.

I love this because it's brief, unique (no one else in my group is asking me to look for dirt), and it has sticking power. Every time I see a bulldozer, I think of Bill and call him. It's a great example of giving people a memorable nugget of information and not overloading them with information they don't need.

I have the speaking bug, now. Might be time to put some energy toward landing more engagements. I'm speaking to a rotary club next month. Once you speak at one, it's easy to land invitations at others and that's a huge circuit. Something to think about.