image of tausif akram By: Amby
14 Dec 2013

The Elevator Pitch

Just in case you don’t know what an elevator pitch, it’s a 30 second “speech” that summarizes who you are, what you do, and why (you’re the best candidate). If you think that sounds easy, then clearly you don’t have one yet.

It is not easy to summarize everything. You have XX years of experience. You have XXX successes. You offer XX miscellaneous services that are bundled into custom solutions. Whatever it is that you do, a summary will only condense and devalue it. Don’t worry, it gets even trickier.

Elevator pitches aren’t even about you. They are about the first impression they get. To say that you have to deliver an elevator pitch with cool confidence is the understatement of the day.

Whether it’s for a job application or networking at a B2B event, that elevator pitch has to answer the most important question on the mind of whoever is listening to you babble on and on about yourself…

What’s in it for ME?

Ask a salesman; people have free will. You can’t manipulate it, but you can cater to the most basic instinct (self-interest) and give people a reason to choose you.

Elevator pitches are just one of many examples where your audience is only listening to find out what’s in it for them.

You don’t really think that everyone is going to care about what you do?

On the contrary, people are going to care about what you do for them… and honestly that’s a good thing for you too. If you can’t do anything for somebody, why waste your time with an elevator pitch anyways?

When will I use an elevator pitch?

In a job interview. At a networking event. In casual conversation with the owner of small business that just-so-happens to have been thinking about {what you do}. You’ll use your elevator pitch at the most unexpected times, or you could have it well-rehearsed and planned out. There’s a chance that you might get stuck in an elevator with a target customer and—hence the name—you’ll have about 30 seconds to pitch your services before those doors open and the lead is lost.

What if I don’t deal with “real world” customers?

The number of web based businesses has increased dramatically, so it’s not rare to deal only with web based clients. That doesn’t mean you can’t also network and work with “real world” customers (heck, it’s less competitive out there!). More importantly, an elevator pitch will help you fine tune your online marketing skills as well.

From a bio on social media or guest blogs to a call out section in the sidebar on your website, a 30 second elevator pitch can be a powerful 1-2 sentences that speaks volumes louder than a complete(ly boring) About Me page.

Is there a secret formula to writing the best elevator pitch?

If you Google it, you’ll find plenty. However, there is no secret formula that works. There are tips about what an elevator pitch should say, but we already covered it. Forget the features and details, focus on what your audience cares about. Begin by answering “what’s in it for me” and save the specific, personalization for the conversation that should follow.

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