The Elaborate Introduction

People who are skilled at selling things know how to pitch their products quickly and effectively.  They say a lot and they say it in as few words as possible.  They rehearse their pitches and make sure to use “power” words that “hook” a person into buying what they’re selling.  Sometimes, this is called an “elevator pitch.”

I’m not skilled at selling things, but as an adult, I’ve had to perfect my own version of an “elevator pitch” for client meetings and participation in clubs and organizations.  Let’s call it “the elaborate introduction.”

In my job at The Big Corporation, I might have to meet customers and explain to them why I’m the best person to handle their business.  My introduction might go like this:

“I’m Julie-Ann Baumer and I’ve worked in the XYZ industry for 25 years.  I’m cool and level-headed under fire, yet I can respond to your employees with a compassion that rivals Mother Theresa.  When they weep, I weep.  I love your employees like you love your employees and I handle every interaction with them as if they were my own flesh and blood.  Thank you for placing your trust in me.”

When I was the co-chairperson of the Junior League of Boston’s decorator show house, I would occasionally introduce myself like this:

“I’m Julie-Ann Baumer and I want to welcome you with an open heart to the most exciting decorative event in New England.  As you tour our elegant house today, steeped with history, drama, and charm, I guarantee you will want to call our talented designers and engage their services to decorate your own homes.  Please wait, however, until you depart the show house; no photographs or cell phones are allowed while touring the property.  And please…don’t touch the window treatments.”

When I represent the Hampton Victory Garden, I sometimes try this approach to get free stuff for the garden:

“Hi, I’m Julie-Ann Baumer, the volunteer coordinator at the Hampton Victory Garden.  Possibly one of the oldest community gardens on the New Hampshire Seacoast, our 40 gardeners grow their flowers and vegetables organically.  Our gardeners are excited about your mulch and compost products and we’d enjoy it if you’d make a large donation of bagged product to help us continue in our organic schemes.  Please feel free to drop a pallet of your products at our Barbour Road location at any time, preferably within the next two weeks.”

This week, I’m taking a class.  I’m nervous about it because I haven’t taken a class in a while.  I don’t know if there will be homework, but I signed up for the written exam at the end.  I like a challenge; I want to be the valedictorian.  I wonder if we’ll have to make introductions?

Here is the one I’ve prepared:

“I’m Julie-Ann Baumer.  I’m an amateur gardener, wanna-be farmer, community garden organizer, free-lance writer, and big corporation employee.  I wanted to take a Master Gardening class this spring but I missed the sign-up deadline.  Since I’ve never been able to produce decent compost in my tumbler, I decided to sign up for the Maine Compost School instead.  I write an obscure blog; if things work out here, I’ll write a hilarious tribute to your program and you’ll have more students than you can handle.

I’ve been working around the clock for the last three weeks to get here, so if I fall asleep in class, please forgive me.”

I’m looking forward to the challenge of learning a few new things this week and finally figuring out how to get some compost cooking in this container.

I might have to rewrite my elaborate introduction, though.  We’ll see.

Have you ever introduced yourself to a pile of compost?

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