This is a great article. I believe the best way to impress in less than 2 minutes is to focus always on the person you are trying to connect with. In networking, it’s not about the immediate opportunity to have everyone know you, but for you to utilize the moment to sustain rapport and momentum in connecting and building relationships. Yes, we must share what we do, not just who you are; however, it’s vitally important to be engaging in aligning your interests with like-minded individuals.
Famously, the elevator pitch is that big chance you get to sell your company, product, service or even yourself in just one or two minutes.
This kind of opportunity won’t always arise – the biggest organisations in particular tend to use strict selection processes and procedures to choose their clients.
But that does not mean that the principle of the elevator pitch should be completely ignored or discarded. Thinking about how to deliver your message in an effective way that goes straight to the heart of the matter can be a very useful and rewarding exercise. Whether you’re going for a job interview or a client pitch, this can be of great value to you.
Here are a few principles to keep in mind.
In my experience too many pitches – whether they are ‘elevator’ style or presentations – get bogged down in overly complicated language or rely far too heavily on eye-catching graphics. There have been times when entrepreneurs pitched to me for investment and I had to stop them after a while because what they were saying wasn’t making any real sense. Some investors may let them continue in this manner and then turn them down, but I always believe in giving entrepreneurs a chance to show what they can do. Therefore I tell them to cut out the unnecessary jargon and tell me things in a business-like yet simple way. You want to sound professional but there are ways to do this without boring people.
Do your research
Keeping it simple should not be an excuse for not doing your research. Even if your elevator pitch is supposed to be short and snappy, you don’t want to get caught out afterwards with a question you don’t know the answer to. Be prepared and know who you are pitching to. As well as ensuring you are ready for any questions you may be asked afterwards, this means you can tailor your pitch to suit the audience.
Sell with subtlety
Remember that whilst an elevator pitch is a tool to sell the best aspects of you or your business, it doesn’t need to be aggressive or over the top. All you want to do is generate enough interest to pique their interest. Explain the essence of what you are pitching and then clearly demonstrate the differentiator. There should always be a unique selling point, or if you are going for a job interview, a clear value-add. This is basically your hook which will make or break the success of your elevator pitch.
Some people don’t really think about the concept of an elevator pitch until the opportunity comes along. But if you can set aside half an hour at some point and just think about what you would include in your elevator pitch, it can have huge benefits. If nothing else, it will allow you to take a step away and think about what sets you apart from the competition and what sort of image you want to project.