You may have heard of elevator pitches from coworkers, professors, or friends. Like many, I had never heard of one until college when my professor stressed how important they were in the world of networking. An elevator pitch is a very short summary of yourself that, from start to finish, is completed in the average amount of time it takes to travel on an elevator, approximately thirty seconds or less. Elevator pitches are so simple, yet can be one of the most vital tools you have in the professional world. In thirty seconds, the objective is to get your point across while inviting the individual you are speaking to ask more about who you are. Consider it to be a sales pitch, but the product being sold is you and your abilities. You should be able to accomplish, without rushing, in half a minute or less.
When composing your elevator pitch, there are a few main points you will need to hit. Keep these questions in mind: Who are you? What do you do? What do you want?
● Start with a greeting, then limit it to one sentence about yourself. Introduce yourself not just by stating what your title is, but what you do. For example, I wouldn’t introduce myself by stating that I write blogs. Instead, I would state that I am a freelance content writer that helps businesses gain more traffic to their websites and social media.
● Write one or two sentences about who your ideal clients are. You may want to write down how your products or services help this group of people.
● Write a sentence or two about what you do every day in your business. If your emphasis is on time-saving techniques, state briefly how your strategies work.
● Make your value be known. Don’t make it sound like you are just listing off your best qualities, flip the narrative to where your best qualities are instead of potential benefits to the prospect.
● Elevator pitches are typically given in in-person situations, such as career fairs, networking events, or even elevators. A fantastic way to get the person you’re giving the pitch to involved is to ask about their business and see if they have a need for someone like you.
● After finishing your pitch, have a business card prepared for anyone that may ask for it. This way, if a prospect liked what you had to say, they now have your contact information for future reference.
The most important advice I can give to you in regard to an elevator pitch is simple. Practice, practice, practice. Writing it down and memorizing it just isn’t enough. You don’t want to come across as a robotic salesman, now do you? Take the time to read it out loud. Record yourself and listen to see how you need to adjust your voice, mannerisms, and timing. When the time comes, you want it to seem like a natural conversation, not a forced sales pitch. And if it doesn’t? Rewrite it! Practice until you’re comfortable enough to try it out. Elevator pitches can be a quick, almost effortless way to not only introduce yourself but to gain the interest of a potential prospect.