The 30 second elevator pitch – or so it is known in America, I have always regarded as a fad and, well to be honest, a bit daft and unnecessary. I am sure you have all heard of it. The concept is to provide a quick, concise and punchy speech about yourself or your business in the time it takes someone to ride from the bottom to the top of a building in a lift.
In my mind I have considered this as totally Americanised and not really relevant or appropriate in the context of my life and surrounds. What with our polite demeanours and aversion to brash sales techniques I never saw the need in having a 30 second elevator pitch, let alone perfecting one. Of course I am massively stereotyping the British market here and this is probably pretty outdated stereotype at that. Anyone who knows me knows I am direct, expressive and by no means averse to sales talk. So perhaps it has been naive of me not to have a quick pitch prepared.
Queue last week, I was meeting with a large international client at their offices for an important meeting and was mentally preparing myself in the lift. Of course, what should happen but in steps the CEO, who recognises me, smiles and after some chit chat about the weather starts grilling me. What do I enjoy most about working on the project? What do I least enjoy? What do I find a challenge?
I am used to being in pitch and presentation scenarios where I need to present a clear and positive image of the company and services. I am comfortable answering quick fire questions too – you have to be in my line of work, but something about the fact this took place in a lift which caught me on the back foot.
It got me thinking – perhaps I should have a 30 second lift pitch and why haven’t I seriously considered this before? After all, we live in an “always on” day and age, where networking is constantly happening and opportunities arising all the time if only we are prepared for them.
I have not been prepared enough…
An elevator pitch or 30 second lift pitch needs to be clear and quick. Firstly it should communicate who you are and how you can solve problems. The message should be benefit driven, explaining how you can make the recipient/listeners’ life easier or better. All too often the person pitching makes the mistake of talking about what they want from the recipient, not what they can do for the recipient. Outline why they need you! Be memorable (in a good way) and convey the best things about yourself…
Do you have a 30-second elevator pitch and how often do you use it?
Please share your experiences and let me know your thoughts…