How to Craft the Perfect Elevator Pitch
We’ve all heard about the importance of the elevator pitch. If executed well, the statements of intent can help you to engage potential hiring managers or sign on new clients. Still, we see so many jobseekers fall down when asked, “Can you tell me about yourself?”.
For some, the elevator pitch feels too much like a sleazy sales tool. However, those people are wrong. In fact, according to Inc.com sales pitches and an elevator pitches are 2 different things entirely. “A sales pitch is a formal presentation. An elevator pitch is a segue that takes place within a casual conversation,” writes Geoffrey James.
The perfect pitch should sound and feel natural enough for trusted colleagues to share over lunch. Elevator pitches should be conversational enough to be deployed comfortably in conversation at a social gathering.
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Ultimately, it would be an unfortunate mistake to ignore the utility of a practiced pitch or fail to craft one for yourself. Read on for Connections of New York’s tips on how to craft the perfect elevator pitch.
Determine your end goal.
Do you want to schedule a formal presentation? Do you want to be considered for a new role within a company? Do you want a well-connected contact to send business your way? You’ll need to know what you want to happen in each situation, so that you can craft your pitch accordingly.
Determine what is unique about you or your company.
Take the time to jot down a few reasons that your company is more credible, reliable or provides more value than the competition. This is a good time to review and highlight your brand’s top accomplishments or awards. What are some of your interests? How do they align with those of your target audience? What are your core skillsets, and how can you leverage them for diverse groups of individuals or for large teams?
Position yourself as a problem solver.
As a general rule of thumb, you should never seem to be selling anything in your elevator pitch. The goal here is simply to entice a potential client with a taste what you or your company has to offer.
Rather than saying that you are a software developer with over seven years’ experience, you might want to say that you are a Java developer who enjoys building elegant solutions that increase have been proven to increase productivity to for your clients and colleagues by 25%.
The key to this step is act as though you were though you were a paid consultant for the company or individual. You don’t want to give away all of your methods. However, what would advise your client or employer to do about a his or her situation? How would you suggest he leverage your tools?
Avoid unnecessary jargon and/or buzzwords.
Instead of simply stating that you or your organization is “the best-in-class,” give concrete data to support this fact. While you want to demonstrate and understanding of the tools and systems that you will be working with, the duration of an elevator ride is hardly enough time to give a detail explanation of your doctorate thesis. Focus, instead, on demonstrating your passion for your field and commitment to helping others within it.
Don’t forget a call to action.
Your call-to-action could be an inquiry into the best date and time to do formal presentation or having a follow up meeting. You could ask your prospective client how he or she currently handles your area of expertise. The best elevator pitches are client-focused and focus on a problem that you and your brand solve.
Sleep on it.
Then once you’ve developed a rough draft of your pitch leave it alone for a while. Come back to it and edit out the parts that are unclear or unnecessary. Leave your pitch and come back to it as often as you’d like to keep your pitch fresh and relevant.
Do not underestimate the value of recording your pitch’s audio or shooting a simple video of your pitch. You’ll want to see what you look and sound like, so you can adjust as necessary before trying your elevator pitch out on anyone important.
There is a reason that an elevator pitch is named the way it is. You’ll need to get it short enough to be deployed in the time between entering the elevator with your prospect and the time he or she exits on his or her floor. Practice your pitch enough times to be able to get your words out clearly and succinctly in 30 seconds or less. Work on making your pitch sound conversational. Have a few versions of your pitch.
Ultimately, remember that no matter how smart we think we are, most decisions are based on emotion. People will typically choose to work with people that they like on a personal level. While pitching your value, makes sure the look for clues that suggest you’ve touch on your end user’s pathos.
What tips elevator pitch crafting tips did we miss? Share in the comments below.