The Elevator Pitch – What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Make Yours Strong

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” – Bobby Unser

Opportunities present themselves when we least expect them so always be prepared!

Regardless of whether you’re changing careers, starting school or staring your own business.

What is an Elevator Pitch? It’s one of your most important networking tools. The elevator pitch should serve as a verbal business card that provides a brief, compelling introduction to one’s job/product/company and intrigues new acquaintances to seek more information. The idea is for it to sum up unique aspects of your business and get a conversation started.

As soon as you’ve given your pitch, express an interest in your new acquaintance and learn as much as you can about him or her. The information you gain will provide insight as you proceed with efforts to build a genuine, mutually beneficial relationship.

Be Prepared – When someone important asks, “So what do you do?” You don’t want to stand there stuttering or leave out important information. This is the time to make a lasting first impression. Coming up with and practicing your elevator pitch will put you ahead of the pack and keep you focused when being introduced to people who matter.

Be Memorable – Nothing is worse than being introduced to a bunch of people and at the end of the day no one can remember your name or what you do. Be memorable by having a 30 second elevator pitch prepared about yourself so you deliver value.

Tell what you do, not what you are – “‘I’m an accountant.’ ‘I’m a physiotherapist.’ ‘I’m a web developer.’” This kind of answer only gives a tiny glimpse into what you really do and sounds generic. There’s nothing about this kind of answer that is going to set you apart from the hundreds or thousands of other people doing the same thing. Remember, you want to stand out and be remembered.

Be Referable – It’s pretty easy to get your name spread out across a network of people. You meet someone who likes you and your business/product/service but has nothing to offer you as far as what you’re looking for is concerned.  However, if you make a strong impression so they know exactly how you can help them, the likelihood of that person passing your contact information on to others within their network is high.

Keep it Conversational – The person should feel like they’re having a conversation, not listening to a boring pharmaceutical ad. One format you can try is starting with the problem you are trying to solve and the way the current alternatives are lacking. Then, briefly describe your solution. If you’re looking for a new or specific job, briefly talk about what you’ve done, what you want to do and why you’re a good fit for the new role/direction.

Once you discover what you want to do in life and perfect your elevator pitch you will be one step closer to landing the job you want.