Key to a good elevator pitch that really works!
Have you ever wondered what a good elevator pitch is? The one that gets people interested in you, of course! The one that gets you a job or helps you build relationships.
You may have heard that an elevator pitch is not supposed to last more than 30 seconds. Then it's short enough to get your message across anywhere, anytime – even during a quick elevator ride (hence the name). It's designed to explain the point quickly and clearly, to get people interested in who you are and what you do. An elevator pitch is the answer to the question "What do you do for a living?" or "Tell me about yourself." Next, I'll give you the blueprints for a short and powerful elevator pitch that's so compelling that when you're done, the person you're talking to will want to hire you or give you money.
Sounds difficult? It's easier than you think
Start by defining your goals. Do you want to get a job in the company, venture capital, customers or just network in the industry?
A good elevator pitch works better when you have the other person's attention. Opening your elevator pitch with a compelling and relatable example will serve as an attention grabber. For example, a common pain point in the industry that your listener might be expected to know.
Then build curiosity by telling them how you have a solution to this problem. Summarize your activity and explain how you solve the problem and what is the outcome. Be ready for questions. A good elevator speech opens conversation.
Often elevator pitches are like this:
"Hi, my name is ... I'm a sales manager with over 10 years of experience in leading automotive sales teams to profit and achieving exceptional sales results."
To which the generic response is, "That sounds great, congratulations!" It was perhaps the 100th time this week that they heard someone tell them that they are X with Y years of experience in Z.
Instead, try something like this:
"You've probably heard that famous sales statistic: 80% of a company's sales come from around 20% of its customers."
"I decided to use it as an opportunity to skyrocket my team's sales."
"I set up a peer learning program, where top experts share their expertise with others through assembled content and 'learning weeks'."
"Within six months, my team started generating sales 120% above the company average."
[grabbing attention by identifying a problem in the industry]
( Answer: "Oh, how's that possible?" )
[what you do] & [how you do it]
[what is the result]
To this kind of elevator speech you might get the answer: 'Hey, I'm sure we could use this kind of learning arrangement in our organization! But tell me – what's in it for those top performing salespeople?" [now is time to continue the conversation!]
Where to use elevator pitch?
Job interview question "Tell us about yourself". Start with a very brief introduction of your professional personality. Secondly, don't just tell them what you do. Emphasize, how well you can do it. Use the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) format. Third, identify their challenge. In your elevator speech, make an offer to solve it.
A bad example: " I am a project manager with more than 10 years of experience in large public hospitals. I am skilled in Kanban, Scrum and Agile methodologies. And I have a proven track record of delivering projects on time and within budget."
Even a bad elevator pitch can become a good one when you look deeper into what you have been doing..
"I am a senior project manager with a creative approach to problem solving [professional persona]. In my current job as a Project Management Manager at Hospital X, my latest challenge has been to reduce stock loss [problem]. I introduced a new Kanban system and designed Lean training programs to be implemented in all departments [action]. We managed to reduce inventory losses by 65%, which ultimately lowered monthly costs by a quarter [result]. I know that cost-saving solutions in the paediatric ward are among your top priorities. I am confident that I can use my expertise to achieve good results in this job [offer]."
In addition to this, you can use an elevator pitch in, for example:
- Networking events
- Attracting new sales and customers
- On LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media in the "about me" section
- In a summary in your CV or profile text
Practice, practice, practice.
The best way to gain confidence behind your elevator pitch is to practice it. Practice until the speed and speech sound natural; not too robotic or monotone. Record your pitch to see if you are on time and giving a clear message in your speech.
A brief summary of the elevator pitch:
- Start with something that grabs attention and builds mutual understanding. An interesting fact about your career, a pain point in the industry or a timely issue that grabs the attention.
- Increase curiosity by telling them that you are solving this.
- Tell who you are and what you do.
- Explain how you'll do it and what results you'll achieve.
- Edit what you wrote. Delete sentences that are too long or unclear. Leave the ones that sound the way you speak.
- Record your pitch. Make sure you don't repeat any words, and make sure no sentence sounds too clumsy or salesy.
- Make sure you stay within 30 seconds without talking too fast.
- Practice a lot. Ideally with someone who knows you. Ask for feedback: do you sound natural? Is your elevator pitch conversational and fluent? You don't sound monotone, do you?