If you can't explain it simply ... you don't understand it well enough.
You're at a meeting. Suddenly, unexpectedly, you find yourself face-to-face with one of the key people who will soon consider your zoning application. Or your financial package. Or your design submission. Or, a prospective member.
He or she asks the question: So, what is cohousing?
You have 10 seconds to make your marketing pitch about cohousing before the person is distracted by someone else clamoring for attention.
What do you say?
I don't know about you, but I've often found it difficult to cram into 10 seconds: What Is Cohousing?
Until I ran across this formula in an Entrepreneur on-line newsletter.
According to its author, Robert W. Bly:
Most elevator pitches, unfortunately, don’t work because they're just straightforward descriptions of job functions and titles, generating not much else aside from disinterest and a few yawns. For example, a fellow I met at a party once told me, “I'm a certified financial planner with more than 20 years’ experience working.” OK. But who cares?
This is The Formula, developed by Paul Karasik and cited by Bly in the Entrepreneur article:
1. Identify the issue, the "pain" or the question that needs addressing. Use the question: "Do you know that..."
2. Next is a statement that is a clear, concise descriptor of the product or service: "What I/we do ..."
3. Lastly, identify the BENEFIT: "so that ..."
Here's an example when I'm asked about our consulting services for senior cohousing:
Do you know what seniors fear most is loneliness, helpless and boredom? What we do is collaborate with you to help you build a state-of-the-art neighborhood for aging in community so that you can live longer, healthier, connected and fulfilled lives.
You can use this formula to pitch ANY product or service -- even the budget for budget approval!
TIP 1: If you're building a cohousing community ... everyone in the group should have an elevator drop pitch that fits his or her way of speaking. PRACTICE giving the pitch to each other. You'll be surprised! It pays off to do this!
TIP 2: You will want to have several pitches to use for different people and situations. I might well have a different pitch for an individual who is a prospective member vs. an institutional leader from whom I need support. The key is always: what's "it" to him or her? Why do they care?
Do you have an elevator drop pitch for cohousing you want to share? We'll reprint it. Need help developing a pitch? Let us know and we'll repost it for feedback. Send your elevator drop pitch to share or your request for help with a pitch to Ann. Please include your contact information!
Plug n' Play: Use Solar Anytime, Anywhere, Night or Day!
Want to use solar energy? Can't afford or can't install solar panels? No problem! This device, by Sunport, allows you to access solar energy right from your standard outlet. How does it work? All energy, regardless of how it is generated, is dumped into "the power grid." The electrons can't be tracked individually so it operates more like an accounting system. The amount of energy generated by solar is recorded and certified. This device then matches your use against the record, so you can access solar from any outlet. Just like buying wind credits except you just plug n' play using your standard wall outlet.
Will it save you money? No. You will still pay your regular electric bill plus you have to pay for the device (about $80 each) plus a small fee of about $20.00 per year. (Discount for packages of 4 or more devices.)
Will it save the planet? Quite possibly this tiny device could do more to increase demand for solar energy than anything on the market to date. THAT could save the planet. Even if you have solar panels ... they don't produce energy all the time. So fill in that gap!
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the company is taking pre-orders for this device.
Be part of the solar solution: buy and use this device. Save the planet!
Top 10 Gadgets for 2015
From a foot-powered washing machine, hydroponic apartment size garden, a vertical grow system, to an electricity-free dishwasher ... get your gadget fix for 2015 from Treehugger. O yeah. The new Raspberry Pi 2 is featured! (If you're a geek you know how important a new Raspberry is ...)
Another Treehugger contribution: Top 10 Shipping Container, Pre-Fab, Modular Homes of 2015. We like this list because the entries span quite a spectrum: 3D printed houses which we reported on in our first two newsletters, shipping containers with the works included, passive house and ... more!
Ann Zabaldo is a passionate promoter of cohousing. She was on the develoment team for Eastern Village in Silver Spring, MD and Takoma Village in Washington, DC where she lives. She serves on the Board for MAC.
See cool blog for Emerson Commons.