Post 2 about developing your niche has a very important component that drives every conversation you have about your practice: The Elevator Speech; Short, Sweet and Authentic. So named because you would be able to capture your audience as the elevator descends and the door opens. How long does that take? 1 minute or less.

What’s a good elevator speech? Ask Daniel Pink, the Author of “To Sell is Human, The Surprising Truth about Moving Others.” He calls it part of “the moving business —persuading, convincing and influencing others to give up something in exchange for something we’ve got.” I can’t say it any better than that.

You’ll know in one minute what I mean. Mr. Pink asks you to think about your pitch in these terms:

One Word. What do you think of when you hear the word Priceless? Did you say Mastercard? Of course. So, give it a try–What do you do? Empower? Advocate?

The Twitter Method. 140 characters or less. I don’t know about you, but most therapists I know who haven’t defined their niche can’t summarize what they do in a whole paragraph much less a few characters. This pitch leaves something on the table to talk about.  I tried it myself at the last supervision session I had. I said, “I’m noticing that a certain type of client is really showing up these days.” Well, who’s going to leave THAT hanging? Within minutes, I was explaining exactly the type of client I was really having a great experience with in the last couple of months.

The Question. I love this one. It immediately invites a comment and a conversation. I tried this on an attorney I was having coffee with that I had met at a lunch and learn. “Do you notice a real increase in anxiety in your workplace as the holidays approach?” Of course the answer was yes. I could then go on and talk about my advocacy work with stressed-out workers and the ridiculous hours they spend at the office.

There are many more, but I’ll let Daniel Pink do the teaching. Find out the right one that works for you and have fun doing it.  In the meantime, recognize that in order for your elevator speech to work, you gotta love your niche and you have to mean it. There’s nothing worse, whether it’s one word or 50 – if you don’t believe the speaker. So, do your niche work first and hold the elevator!