What are you buying when you buy a camera? You’re buying memories. What is a hotel selling? Not the grand lobby. Not the view. It’s selling a good night’s sleep. What is a restaurant selling? Not the food. Not the service. It’s selling pleasure.
We’re all selling — all the time. We are selling ourselves. So it’s really, really, really important to figure out who you are and what you are selling.
One way to get started on a job search is to imagine that you are on the elevator with a stranger, who may be able to help you. You never know. The trick is to be prepared to describe your skills at the drop of a hat. You initiate a really quick elevator speech.
Here are a few more tips:
- Figure out what you are selling: for example, I’m a personal chef. I’ll cook five meals a week for you and your family in your home. I cook locally grown vegetables and fruits. I leave your kitchen so clean that you’ll never know I was there until you look in your refrigerator and see all the beautiful foods I’ve prepared. I’m a graduate of the XYZ Culinary School. (You may feel compelled to say, “Have a nice day.” Try not to.)
- Rehearse your speech. Often. Convince yourself that the worst thing that can happen is the stranger: (a) thinks you are nuts or (b) gets off at the next floor before you’ve finished speaking.
- Always carry your business card in an easily accessible place so you can grab it and give it immediately.
- Don’t fumble. Don’t mumble. Don’t crumble if a job offer doesn’t immediately materialize.
- Keep trying.
What was your best elevator pitch? What worked? What did not? Share your stories.