The elevator pitch is an introduction about you and your business to another person in the 15-60 seconds it takes to go several floors in an elevator. It’s also a metaphor for keeping the message short and sweet be it an elevator, a networking event or a chance meeting with a prospective client.
Imagine the door to your Las Vegas hotel elevator opening on the 40th floor and in walks Donald Trump. He presses the Lobby and you have 40 floors to introduce yourself, pitch an idea or ask for money. Do you ask for an autograph, act like a Canadian and ignore him or introduce yourself?
How many times can someone try to improve on the elevator pitch? I won’t try. I’ll just explain the rationale behind it and give you a few tips to make life easier when meeting new people.
I’ve noticed in my dealings with my clients that many have great social skills at meeting people in a social situation but add their business into the equation and they are lost. It”s funny but people seem to have a hard time explaining their business. It almost seems complicated when it should be second nature.
An elevator pitch includes who you are, what you are selling, why it is different and then you deliver the ‘Call to Action’ or what you want from your listener.Â The uses are numerous. You can use it at a networking event, in an email as an introduction or as a way of reducing your ideas to an essence like an executive summary.
When I first interview prospective clients typically they start to ramble about their business and the next thing I know they are telling me technical things and in no time it’s tomorrow.
Forget about it! I tell them to distill their idea to 3 words. Hard to do. I had an interview that had my eyes glazing over while the guy was telling me about management styles, and controls ,etc for 20 minutes without telling me the nature of his business. In a brilliant flash and like a eureka moment from an episode of House I got it. “You’re an Efficiency Expert! ”
That’s exactly what he was and I immediately showed him the door.
Seriously, you need to distill your idea into a succinct compact information tidbit. Here’s my elevator pitch for my consulting company.
Hi I’m Gary Bizzo, I’m a Management Consultant working with X Public Company on the 40th floor. I’m finding lots of businesses are outsourcing to services like mine these days. If you ever have need of my services I’d like to give you my card
The trick is to keep your ideas simple so they come across easily and you make a simple yet effective introduction.