What is an elevator pitch? More importantly, when do you get into one? Before you get to how, you need to recognize the when. It could happen at any time, meeting your old boss at the airport, hearing something interesting at a party or conference or even recognizing the CEO of a firm you follow on your evening stroll in the park.
When these moments do crop up, you need to be ready to pounce. Opportunity comes to everyone, it’s what you do with it that sets you apart.
So, how do you make the most of your opportunities? The elevator pitch.
The long-short version, an elevator pitch is a succinct summary of your company and what it does. This means you go straight to the point:
- What the company does
- The problems it solves
- How it solves these problems
The short-short version, carpe diem.
Apart from the tactical merits of learning how to converse and coerce, practicing elevator pitches are a great way to gain confidence and improve your adaptive abilities.
Like the name suggests, you need to be quick, concise and impactful in introducing yourself and summarizing your proposition. Think of the phrase as your guideline, your pitch needs to be as short as an elevator ride.
To begin with, you need to have a great way of expressing and answering three questions:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What you want
Who you are
Setting the impression and commanding attention is half of it, those first few seconds are the most crucial and will define the rest of the meeting. Start with your name and a strong handshake and explain what you’re there for.
Depending on the scenario and who you’re in the elevator with, pick your details. With a client pitch, go straight for the kill, tell them what you do and what you can offer them.
What you do
Don’t beat around the bush. Cut straight to it and if you can, steer the conversation to create an opening for your key proposition, i.e, what you do better than your competition.
Be spontaneous but also be aware. Just because the phrase ‘elevator pitch’ suggests being quick, it doesn’t mean you have to wing it all the way. If you want to be spontaneous and successful, you need to be well versed to with your message.
Think of it like this, the best way to be convincing is to show them how convinced you are.
If you have numbers and facts to support your claims, go with it. Just keep in mind who your audience is and the data’s relevance.
What you want
This is what it boils down to, whether it’s a chance to work with them or you’re seeking funding and support, let them know how them helping you is helping themselves. It’s opportunity, but it’s business opportunity and if you want to whet a whistle, you need to sound appetizing.
Also, take into account human tendency, we forget things no matter how memorable they were so, if you can, leave them with something to remember you by – a business card, an invite to your page or even a friend request on social.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to brag and oversell your confidence. After all, the biggest difference between you and everyone else is you are the one they are talking to right now, so let them know it.