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.
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!