Posts Tagged 'elevator pitch'

9 Ideas to Make Sure Your Elevator Pitch Sucks Less

As part of the “Sucking Less at Networking” Series, I’ve decided to take on one of the most annoying aspects of networking…the Elevator Pitch.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an investor looking to place your $$ with the right company or an avid networker who loves them some weekly meetings, we all have the same enemy…those ridiculously boring elevator pitches aka 30/60 second commercials. But Terry, you’re thinking, How can we make this exciting AND brand ourselves?

I’m so glad you thought to ASK (The ASK is my take on what Elevator Pitches could be. Feel free to download this 7 page whitepaper if you want a much deeper dive to taking this part of your game to the next level). Elevator pitches really shouldn’t be about branding. They should be an invite to get people to learn more about the possibilities you represent.

I’ve come up with 9, easy to follow ideas that you can implement easily. Please, feel free to start using them now. Your network and your wallet will thank you.

1. Make it short and sweet

PLEASE, stop making your 30 second commercial a 50 second commercial and your 60 second commercial a Chrysler Super Bowl Ad. We don’t need to know everything about you and your offering. You haven’t earned our attention… yet. If you feel like you’re monologueing, trust me. You are. Less is so much more. Get us to want to hear more, by telling us just the highlights.

Unlike Syndrome, Your Only Super Power is to Bore People. Don't USE IT!

Unlike Syndrome, Your Only Super Power is to Bore People. DON’T USE IT!

2. Talk about WHY and FOR WHOM more than WHAT

We spend sooo much time telling people what we do. That’s a waste of time. 90% of people do something that a LOT of other people do. You don’t need to explain the mortgage business to us. We get it. Tell us WHY you’re in the mortgage business. The WHY is where passion lives. And Passion is engaging. Also, be sure to tell us who you do your work for as that will help us help you.

3. Think about the pitch from the users perspective
So often we only speak of things from our point of view. When it comes to the elevator pitch you need to answer the ever popular question, What’s In It For Me? If you’re not painting a picture your audience can see themselves in, you need to work on your pitch.

4. Don’t Use Buzz Words or Acronyms

Buzz words and Acronyms may be great to impress your colleagues or show that you’re an expert in your field. HOWEVER, to the layman, they either sound like you’re trying to sound smart or worse, make us feel dumb. Neither scenario works in your favor.

5. Have a point

If you’re not going to take the time to read the info in the ASK (and I understand, you’re busy) make sure you get to your point. And so we’re clear, your point should be letting your audience know how they will recognize a good opportunity for you. Remember, short and sweet. Don’t take too long to get to it.

6. Know your audience

This is much easier to do when you meet with the same group every week or you’re going to a “pitch competition” where you can review the judges before hand. If you’re flying blind, do your best to let others speak first. The more you can tailor your message to your audience, the more likely they are to hear you. If you have no choice but to jump without a net, use your time talking about who you want to meet and why you wish to meet them.

7. Sound excited

Similarly to focusing more on the why than the what, sounding excited allows you to transfer that energy to your audience. Any good presentation, regardless of length, is a lot like a sales pitch. You need to get people emotionally involved. Sounding excited does that.

8. Understand your purpose

It’s to begin a conversation with the people who would be most interested in having it. It’s not your opportunity to explain everything. See point 1.

9. Be authentically you

This is last, but so far from least. The most authentic people are often the ones who enjoy life most. They put themselves out there fully and attract the people who are most likely to like them. They also repel the ones who won’t. Think how much energy they save not wasting time on the wrong folks. As an added bonus, it’s way more fun to Be Who You Are.

What would you add to this post?

What did you not like?

How can I be of service in supporting you and your network? Do let me know!

How the 5 W’s and 1 H Can Be Used for a Great Networking Introduction

ImageEveryone is always worried about making that good first impression. And while I will always suggest that letting the other person speak first is the best way to do so, it will become your time to speak…hopefully. (Note even though this post focuses more on “getting from your network”, giving to your network is where the endless supply of opportunities lie).

The key takeaway you’ll want to assure all of your networking partners understand is how to recognize a potential client or business partner for you. Using the journalistic method will help you paint a specific picture that your partner can use to match against their mental Rolodex. Regardless of the picture, be sure to take the order and suggested timing into consideration especially if you’re using the introduction with a group who meets frequently.

1. Why- We start with “WHY” because this is where passion lives. It’s hard not to sound fired up about WHAT you do when you’re talking about WHY you do it. Being on fire for what you do is what attracts other people like a moth to a flame. You need to ALWAYS kick off your introduction with passion, baby! Oh, and if you don’t have passion for WHY you do WHAT you do…it may be time to find something else to do.

2. Who- The WHO is just one of the ways you can separate yourself form other folks at the event. Giving people a specific description of WHO you’re looking to meet gets you that much closer to actually meeting them. Here’s a tip: you don’t really provide services for ANYONE or EVERYBODY. Even if you really, honestly believe that to be true, find a niche and use that. The moment people hear anyone or everybody they tune out. And we networkers don’t have time to be tuned out!

3. What- As counter-intuitive as this may seem, you would be wise to spend FAR less time on the WHAT than you think you should. This is especially true if you are ever at an event where there are people with a similar occupation (mortgage person, financial planner, attorney, accountant…you get the picture). You spend less time here because people already assume they know what you’re going to say about your work. So throw them a curve ball and tell them things they couldn’t possibly know…like WHY or for WHOM and HOW. (<<<IMPORTANT:>>> If yours is the only business that does what you do, you will need to spend time talking about the what. If  you’re having trouble growing your unique business, we should chat about your messaging).

4. How- Next to WHY, HOW is the most important thing on this list. You can use HOW to establish credibility, further separate yourself from the competition and give people a sense of what is expected when working with you. This section should be twice as long as anything else…meaning it actually gets a full sentence MAYBE two, if you’ve got extra time 😉

5. Where- WHERE is quick. Are you city wide, regional, state-wide, multi-state, national or international? The geography is important, especially when it’s local, because that gives the listener another “keyword” to search in their mental Rolodex.

6. When- This is almost a trick W. 9 times out of 10 the answer is going to be “Whenever they’re ready”. And that is the key to success in business. You have to be ready when they are. Much to every salesperson and sales manager’s chagrin, it rarely works the other way.

The number one rule is BE CONCISE. Don’t make this a 60 second commercial. Heck, don’t even make it a 30 second commercial if you can avoid it. When it comes to introductions, people wanting to learn more about you is better than telling them everything there is to know.

AN EXAMPLE

I’m fortunate that I get to do what I love, helping small business owners and people responsible for business development, achieve success in my roles as a speaker and coachsultant (see how I combined my WHY WHO and WHAT in that first sentence). After nearly 20 years of running large business networks and meeting with countless professionals, I’ve observed more good, bad and ugly practices than I can count.  My goal is to bring my knowledge and experience to people you feel are the next generation of business superstars.

This gives you what I do, who I do it for and how I do it. It also includes the audience and narrows that search for them one more time in the last sentence. We all know a lot of folks in business…certainly not all of them are in Next Generation Superstars, right? Oh, and that word “Coachsultant”. Think people may hear that and think “hmmm, what is that?”. or “I could use that”. Let’s hope. BTW, take out your stop watch and read that paragraph (minus the editorial). It’s under 25 seconds. When I read it, it’s 20.  So it’s clear, concise and perhaps it will get me connected with my next client.

Now, how can I help you??

A link to my 5 posts on “The ASK”

You’ve asked for it, you get it. Here, in one place, is a link to all 5 of my prior posts on the topic of ASKing!

If you have been involved with MCC you already know how important the ASK is, but do you know Why we do it? Read this first installment to get an idea of  what The ASK is all about.

If you would like to know what the components of a rock solid ASK are, you should have clicked the link you just read over 😉

Funny thing about ASKing, so many of us don’t know for what to ASK. Is this YOU? If so, take a moment and read the For what to ASK edition.

You can’t have a why, how and what without having a good for Whom to ASK. If you want to see how big your network really is,  you should probably read that too 😉

If you’re wondering why I’m so sure these ASKs work, check out this last post in the installment about the ASK from a Universal Perspective. Be sure to look at my comment below the post to see a link to a great list of Universal Laws.

The power of the ASK in all of its glory.

I have one for you…If you know a business or a group that would like to have someone either train their team on speak to their group on these concepts, I would greatly appreciate the introduction.

Thanks for learning these. The more of us who are out there practicing these concepts, the better off we will all be.

Namaste- (which loosely translated means “the light that is the being you know as me salutes the light that is the being we know as you”)

Terry Bean

http://www.networkedinc.com