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Q & A

4 comments on “Q & A

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Well lo and behold, I received a last-minute invite to substitute for someone at a networking event early this morning, so I was able to take my new elevator pitch and try it out. I went with the first one, slightly tweaked by adding a couple of details regarding the image on the greeting card in order to tie it to the sunrise idea, and I think it went well – for someone who has been terrified of public speaking, I actually went into this feeling good, because the minute I heard everyone else racing through their 45 sec trying to cram in as much as possible, I knew mine would stand out for its brevity – and I could feel the stunned silence and attention when I started with the question! Anyway, I had enough time once I said my brief pitch to add to the pitch in the same format that had been set up by everyone else by adding what kind of references would be useful to me, and I have at least one really solid connection to follow up with ( an interior designer) and a few others that seemed interested just in general.

    I did not expect such a quick chance to try this out, and I look forward to working on some other variations for different circumstances.

    I will be in touch again soon as the work continues. Thank you for giving me such in-depth feedback. It has been incredibly helpful. I am about to go away for a month starting Friday (part work, part vacation), but I will have email for most of that time, I think, and will stay with the work.


    1. Hi Anne,

      Thank you for sharing your success story!

      It’s wonderful that you were prepared and confident for a last-minute networking opportunity, and that it led to leads!

      It sounds like you made some good changes to your Elevator Pitch.

      I’m glad to hear that your Elevator Pitch stood out, grabbed everyone’s attention, and led to a really solid connection. That’s Elevator Pitch success!

      Check out the material in the Business Networking for Busy Professionals email for tips on following up with your solid connection and the folks that were interested in general. You’ve done a great job starting the conversation. Keeping that conversation going is what leads to better leads.

      Congratulations on the great work you’ve done so far. I look forward to hearing about your progress with the rest of the material.

      Happy Networking!

  2. Please contact me with more information about: the following attempts from week 1:

    I. Possible power questions:
    -when was the last time you saw a sunrise that took your breath away?

    -have you ever seen the inside of a foxglove blossom?

    -Have you ever seen an entire garden contained within a tiny water drop?

    II. Possible replies to the question “what do you do?”
    – I just sold a print to a customer who fell in love with my work at a local gallery.

    – I help my customers create enriching,inspiring environments in their homes and offices. Many have come back to me after either purchasing or receiving one of my greeting cards, and they have fallen in love with it and want a larger print.

    – A loyal customer recently came to me with great excitement to say she had just visited friends to whom she had given several pieces of my work; they were sitting outside on the deck, and one of her friends suddenly noticed a detail in the scene around them and said “wow, we are having an ‘Anne Black moment’!”

    – I recently played in a concert for over 600,000 people!

    – I recently took a break from my performing schedule and spent two days producing a recording project for a wonderful violinist from New York. She found me through personal references and was thrilled with how comfortable I made her feel while helping her achieve her best possible performance in the recording studio.

    III. Possible calls to action/ending questions
    -give free samples – postcard or artist trading card size- in exchange for email list sign up
    -Give business card/ flyer with contact info

    – what locations have you been inspired by?
    – what kind of images do you wish you had?
    – do you have a space in your work area that you wish you had a small piece of artwork for?
    – do you have clients who appreciate fine art and artist books?
    – do you have clients who would respond to the healing and inspirational qualities of my work?

    Thank you!

    1. Anne,

      Wow! You’ve done some great work with the week 1 material.

      I’ll give comments on the individual parts, and then give some comments on integrating them into a whole.

      I. Power Questions

      “sunrise” This is your best one. It plays on a universal emotional connection and is tied to the power of your art. You’ll get people thinking about what moves them emotionally and that puts them in a good space to hear more about what you do.

      “foxglove blossom” This strikes me as off the beaten path enough (i.e. I have no idea what a foxglove blossom looks like, or why I’d want to see the inside…) that you’ll end up talking more about foxglove blossoms than about art. Though this might be a great power question if you find yourself in front of a group of horticulturalists…

      “garden within water drop” This sounds like a specialized kind of art that you do that may not play well to a general audience. Unless you carry such a picture with you (and it’s a really compelling one) or your favorite specialty is miniaturization I still prefer your sunset example.

      II. What do you do?

      “sold a print” Perfect. I would encourage you to define what sort of print (i.e. nature, sunset, portrait, …) because that will hook the people who are looking for such a picture. Along the same lines you can name the local gallery. That way when people happen across the gallery they’ll head in to see your work. Good for the gallery, good for you.

      “enriching, inspiring environments” is you falling into the generalization trap. However, if you leave the first sentence off and focus on the second sentence you may have something very useful. I use a version of it in the full Elevator Pitch examples I provide below.

      “Anne Black moment” There’s something inspiring in this one. It’s a little long and choppy and if you clean it up using the template in Week 2: Conversation Starters it gives a very compelling example of how to work with you (i.e. buy my art to impress your friends).

      “concert for 600,000 people” This is a great “What’s New” response (see Week 2: Conversation Starters). The work your doing on your Elevator Pitch seems to focus on your art, so I wouldn’t want to turn this into a full pitch. It is a great conversation starter. And it will get you talking about one of your talents which can naturally lead to talking about others.

      “recording project” This story is perfect as you tell it. It’s focused on you making other performers look good, so to the extent you want to push that side of your business this is a good one to use. Though I don’t feel it’s as universal as some of your other examples.

      III. Call to Action

      The first one is the closest you have to a Call to Action. The Call to Action encourages prospects to trade their contact information for something of value to them. If you are publishing a newsletter then giving them a card in exchange for their business card (as long as you tell them you’re putting them on your list) will work well for you.

      The rest of your examples will work better as Power Questions. I could see using the one about “clients appreciating fine art and artist books” to put the idea in people’s head about buying your book as a gift for their clients.

      Similarly your “what locations have you been inspired by” would be a great lead-in if you have a client success story of someone who has been inspired by a location.

      And that’s a good segue into the next phase.

      Your main Elevator Pitch challenge is that you do a lot of things very well.

      So which one do you talk about?

      The answer comes from trying a few out and seeing what people respond to.

      The goal is to get yourself into conversations.

      Once you’re in the conversation, then you can gauge what they want and how you can most effectively help them.

      The key is to have an Elevator Pitch where all three elements (power question, compelling example, and call to action) all tie together into a coherent whole. Then you try one for a while and see what response you get. Then you try another one and see if it works better or worse.

      Here are two complete Elevator Pitches you could start using now. There are at least 3 or 4 other ones in this material you sent me. These are the two that I think will be most effective in starting the right conversations.

      Pitch 1:

      Power Question:
      When was the last time you saw a sunrise that took your breath away?

      Compelling Example
      A client recently received one of my greeting cards, fell in love with it, and approached me to buy a larger print.

      Call to Action
      If you’d like to be so inspired by a greeting card, hand me your business card and I’ll send one to you. My name is Anne and I am a visual artist.

      Pitch 2:

      When was the last time you saw a sunrise that took your breath away?

      A recent success for me is that I just sold a print to a customer who fell in love with my work of a at .

      If you need a small piece of art for your workspace, visit me at Arlington Center for the Arts or hand me your business card and I’ll send you inspiring ideas through my mailing list.

      Pitch 3:

      (I know I said two. My apologies. I’m feeling inspired.

      You’ll notice that I made up this story by combining a few of the examples you gave. It’s probably not close enough to the truth in its current form, so you’d want to replace the story with an actual client success from your work).

      When was the last time a client kept your thank you gift?

      One of my clients sends a signed copy of one of my artist books to her new clients. She was so excited one day to see that my book was sitting prominently on her client’s coffee table.

      If you are interested in wowing your clients, I’d be happy to show you my book and discuss the perfect way to make it a memorable thank you gift.


      Ok. Your next step is to pick the one of these you like best and say it out loud ten times in a row. It will change slightly as you do that, and that’s good. It’s the process of putting it into your own voice.

      Then take it out and use it at some upcoming networking events, paying particular attention to the questions that people ask you and the conversations that start.

      Let me know the results and we’ll take it from there.

      Happy Networking!

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