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Problem: Everyone is Very General in Public.

It is very difficult to learn from someone who says, “I am a coach.” When someone says, “I do social media,” what do they mean?

It is a little bit different for me, because when I say, “I am attorney,” everyone seems to assume that means I know everything about the law.

Unfortunately, when I tell people that I am an attorney, no one automatically considers how much experience I have that could really help their business. So if they aren’t looking for an attorney to help them with a specific legal problem, the public’s general perception of attorneys doesn’t really help me.

Even when I tell real estate agents that I am a real estate attorney, they seem unimpressed (at first).

What about elevator pitches? Do they solve the problem of being too general? Let me try one out on you. “I am an attorney that specializes in making people rich. I diagnose your business, and I show you exactly how a professional management team would take you to the next level.”

Are you going to hire me based on that elevator pitch? Hopefully, it created some interest. But you know what? In my experience, those kind of statements don’t lead people to take action. They can get attention, but what you do to follow up is far more important.

Solution: Prepare to Deliver Something Personal.

To make a connection, there is no better way of going from general to specific than to make it personal.

First, you need a little information about your audience or your new contact. Ask a few questions about what they do. The more specific the detail you can elicit, the more personally and specifically you can respond.

Second, consider what your audience or your new contact might need. I tend to do this from my own experience. If they tell me they need something, it makes it easy. But I find that most people don’t know what they are lacking. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” characterizes most small business owners. If they knew, they would already be at the next level with their business.

Third, present the idea in a way specifically tailored to your audience or your new contact. If you have an idea of what they might need, then confirm it with a question. Ask, “Have you ever thought about …” Follow up with, “What I have learned about most people in your position is that …”

It’s specific. It’s personal. It’s insightful. It addresses something that they need. If they have any common sense, they will want to know more.

The best part of all is that you don’t have to spend so much time thinking up a clever elevator pitch. When you take an interest in people and deal with specifics, making strong connections is natural.

Read the rest of this series: Reason 1 | Reason 2 | Reason 3 | Reason 4 | Reason 5