Have you ever heard of an elevator pitch? In the sales world, the concept of the elevator pitch is built around the premise of running into a key prospect on an elevator. You only have about 30 seconds to grab their attention and interest regarding your product or service. The elevator pitch analogy is used to help sales people define their value proposition in a clear and concise manner.
So, as we redefine our careers and acknowledge the change happening all around us, we need to create a new elevator pitch for ourselves. If we are unable to clearly state who we are and what we do, we run the risk of losing the deal, the job, or the next career opportunity.
I have found that in general, people want to help. All they ask is for clear direction as to how they can be of assistance. It is our job to articulate our needs simply and clearly if we expect others to open up their networks and spheres of influence to us. That request for help is included within our elevator pitch. A vague or diluted personal pitch will garner only a vague or diluted effort from others to help us along our career advancement.
Experts encourage us to write down our elevator pitch in a paragraph or two, and practice saying it out loud. There is even some cool technology out there to help you get up your courage and confidence. Check out www.surespeak.com for a nifty Web-based public speaking practice tool.
As you craft your personal, professional pitch, be sure that you answer the following questions:
What is your profession and expertise?
It is important to briefly describe what it is you do without going into excruciating detail.
Who is your market?
In very short order, you will need to state who you are working with, as well as what industry you are working in. It is also important to state the size of the market in which you work.
What makes you different and better?
Simply being in an industry with successful competitors is not enough. You need to effectively communicate how you are different and why you are better than the competition. A stronger network? Key partners? Proprietary technology? Industry expertise?
Where do you want go and what do you want to be doing?
How might you be able to help the person you are talking to right now?
How might the person you are talking to right now help you?
I would love to hear some feedback on what your elevator pitch is and what the results were when you tried it out in the real world.