We host another CLCI LIVE Lunch & Learn to help students understand the difference between features and benefits and how to craft the perfect elevator pitch.
Today Brooke Adair Walters (M.C.L.C., C.P.C), and Jerome LeDuff Jr (M.C.L.C.) host our live Lunch & Learn, which was created so that students can ask us about how to refine their marketing & business strategies.
Our discussion with the students focuses on why we differentiate between features and benefits. When marketing to potential clients, we want to showcase our coaching benefits to the clients. Benefits are the concrete, tangible effects on our client’s lives that clients will benefit from when working with you.
In contrast, features are what distinguish you as a coach from other coaches. This includes, but is not limited to, discounts, levels of certification, education, coaching tools, your process & tools, and prior experience. While features are attractive, they don’t appeal to the emotional brain as immediately as benefits do. Appealing to the emotional brain is the most important factor of an elevator pitch, and it is important to describe the benefits to your clients concisely and simply.
Crafting the perfect pitch with a hypothetical coach.
Imagine that there is a newly graduated Certified Life Coach®. This coach’s niche will be coaching parents who have trouble raising their teenage children. This is their current elevator pitch:
I help parents who to be happy, live their best lives and achieve their dreams while struggling with raising rebellious teenagers.
This pitch is a start, however, it suffers from a serious structural flaw. When speaking to our prospective clients we want to leave them with a feeling of hope and positivity. Our final words have a lasting effect and therefore must be chosen wisely. "Struggling with raising rebellious teenagers," is not what our fictitious coach would want to have been his final words. So let's try the pitch again and restructure it by placing the positive parts last. Take two:
I help overwhelmed parents age 30-65 who are raising troublesome kids age 12-18. By coaching with me, you will be happy, live your best life, and achieve your dreams.
While this pitch is serviceable, it is neither concise nor specific enough. We first need to appeal to our client's struggles and identify our audience. While it is good to specific with clients, naming age ranges takes up precious seconds. If we workshop the beginning, the pitch will look something like this:
I help struggling parents of troubled teenagers. By coaching with me, you will be happy, live your best life, and achieve your dreams.
Better. However, let's look at the second part. The coach lists the clients' benefits, but these are vague and hard to define. The coach should ask, what does happiness look like for these parents? What does their best life look like? What dreams do these parents want to achieve? Happiness looks like a healthy family unit. Their best life is reconnecting with their children. The parent’s dream is to repair the relationship with their children.
How about we try it and tell the parents what exactly will happen when they are coached! Putting it all together…
I help struggling parents of troubled teenagers to repair their relationships, reconnect with their children, and move forward as a healthy family unit.
We went from an okay pitch to a superb sale! This pitch says exactly who the client is, appeals to them through their pain point first, followed by the benefits they will experience from working with the coach. Remember: Appeal to emotions; talk about your client's experience, not your own; and be specific and concrete.
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