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To Market We Go:
Three Free Techniques for Marketing One's Business

by Craig Harrison
November, 2001
edition of
The Professional Caterer

There are many ways to market our businesses.  This month we look at several marketing techniques that require no expenditure.

The Elevator Speech

Each of us should have a short paragraph about our business that we can deliver orally whenever we meet strangers: in meetings, at conventions, on the sidewalk, at social events or even in an elevator.  Our "Elevator" speech can and should be delivered conversationally, and should cover these basics:

  • Our name
  • Our company name
  • The services or products our company provides
  • The benefits that accrue from our work.

We also include what  is unique or special about our operation, vis-à-vis our competition, and voila, we've got an elevator speech!

The purposes of our Elevator speech: getting people to understand how we can help them, and remembering us for future reference. Our goal: to stand out from the crowd through our succinct and catchy elevator pitch.  With humor, alliteration and word play we can tantalize and engage our listeners.

"Hi, we go where few caterers can, we serve the seas.  We're Sea The World Catering. Our specialty is serving cruise lines and river-based hospitality industries.  When you're ready for a sea change give us a call. Here's our card."

Sample elevator speeches can be seen at www.ExpressionsofExcellence.com/sample_elevator.html

The Cold Call

Anytime we engage a stranger, in person or over the telephone, we're making a cold call.  For many, it's a fate worse than death.  Yet we can take the chill out of such calls once we understand their nature.

When we see ourselves as solution providers and problem solvers seeking to make life better for the people we call on, it's no longer a hard sell.  We're simply calling to make others aware of the great work we do and the ways we're available to help them.

We're also calling to ascertain their needs and learn what keeps them awake at night. That's how we determine if a good fit exists for us to do business with them.

By using a basic script when calling, it removes pressure from us, while also freeing our mind to listen better.  Knowing our standard spiel, we can ad lib our responses.  Like our Elevator Speech, our cold calling script introduces us and our business, emphasizing the benefits of the products or service we provide.

Start by creating a clean desk with calendar, script, blank notepad and other resources nearby, and use a hands-free telephone headset or comfort. Many callers include a mirror as part of their toolkit to glance at periodically. It’s a reminder to smile while on the phone.  Smiling relaxes you and actually translates over the phone. Visualize success before you make each call. Now smile and dial!

Success Stories

They say nothing succeeds like success, unless it’s success stories.  Everyone loves stories, and especially ones with happy endings.  A great way to market our services is through the telling of short stories about the work we do and its benefits.

Most compelling stories, whether in books, plays or movies, have a situation, characters, problem and a resolution.  Isn't it the same in your business?  There are clients, challenges, solutions and success!

Be able to relate vignettes from your profession that showcase the solutions you provide. When you can tell others how you helped clients overcome obstacles or otherwise contributed to their success you are marketing yourself in a natural and exciting way.  Tell your success story within 30 seconds, a minute, or two minutes at most, as appropriate.

Share these success stories with friends, colleagues and especially current and future clients.  Your stories showcase your professionalism, success and love of your job.  Through your stories they envision you in action, mastering your craft.

Here's one from Tony Bacezwski, founder of Catered Productions in Oakland, CA:

"We had a most fulfilling assignment recently. We were the sole caterer for a six-day publisher's conference. We kept attendees fed and fresh the entire time. Some days we were their only elixir from lengthy meetings.Cookies, lavaches and various finger foods. We were a hit! They loved us."

Market Ho!

Use elevator speeches, cold calling and success stories to market your endeavors near and far! Success awaits you.

© Copyright 2001 Craig Harrison. All Rights Reserved.

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contact Craig by email: Craig@ExpressionsOfExcellence.com
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