It's that big moment. You see someone who could have a major impact on the direction of your career and you have them all to yourself for a brief moment of time. How can you sell your skills in a way that will garner a follow-up meeting? You can take on the elevator pitch, sometimes called an elevator speech.
It's a 30 to 60-second span of time that can change the course of your career. By reviewing some of the elevator pitch examples below, you'll be well on your way to formulating your own. You never know when the fates will put you in contact with the right person. And now, you'll be prepared.
An elevator pitch is a brief sales pitch or introduction. It's a 30 to 60 second speech that's meant to introduce yourself and your services to someone important and encourage a follow-up conversation.
An elevator pitch answers the question, "What do you do?" in a structured and purpose-driven way. This is your moment to not only introduce yourself and your services or skills, but also explain the benefit recipients get out of it.
Specifics will be your ally. Instead of saying, "I'm a writer," you might say, "I write articles about (topic) in such publications as (magazine), informing and engaging readers about (niche) so they can (benefit)."
Also, if you're sitting down to an interview and they say, "Tell me a little about yourself," hear the elevator ding in your mind. This is your opportunity to paint a clear and concise picture of who you are and what you're capable of contributing.
Since these speeches epitomize the term "short and sweet," you don't have to stress too much about the structure. You'll hit a home run simply by answering the following questions:
Who am I?
What do I do?
How do I do it?
Why do I do it?
Who do I do it for?
Open with a greeting. Introduce yourself and, if appropriate, your job title. Then, give a nod to your accomplishments. Start to wrap up by stating your goals. Your goals should encapsulate what you can do for the other person(s). Focus on your unique selling point (USP), explaining why your company or product is better than all the rest.
At the end, reach in your briefcase or wallet and hand the recipient your business card. It's a nice, smooth way to bring the elevator pitch to a close and hope you made enough of an impact to warrant a follow-up e-mail or phone call.
Elevator pitches are commonly considered from the context of a salesperson telling a potential customer about what they offer. They can be equally useful during networking events or when you are introduced to a new business contact.
Take a look at the samples below. See if you can mold any of them into a pitch you can always have at the ready. With the above formula in mind - who, what, how, why, who - you can craft your own elevator pitch.
Hi, my name is Katherine. I recently graduated from NYU with a degree in journalism. I've been published all over, from ThoughtCo to Success.com. I write short pieces that motivate others to turn their adversities into strength. I'm looking to become a staff writer in a publication like yours. I'd like to think, together, we can improve the lives of others all across the globe.
My name is Mike. I'm an independent contractor, specializing in lawn care and maintenance. With over 20 years in the local market, I'm looking to add to my clientele. If your community needs a company that's always on time and curates beautiful lawns, I hope you'll give us a call!
As a New York-based attorney, I have 10 years' experience in family law. In fact, I've never been defeated in the courtroom. I work hard for my clients and secure them the winning outcome they deserve. But, I'm ready for a change of scenery. Not only do I plan to relocate to Denver, I also plan to work for a no-nonsense law firm, just like yours, where winning is the primary focus.
My name is Marianne and I've been managing Majestic SEO & Design for five years. We create beautiful websites that don't just appeal to people casually browsing; we convert those browsers into customers. I know we could transform your company site into a lead-generating machine. Here's my card. If you're interested, I hope you'll check out our portfolio to see what we can do for you.
Hi, my name is Matthew. I run a small accounting firm right here in Austin. I serve a diverse population, consulting for Fortune 500 companies as well as small, privately-owned businesses. With rates that can't be beat and personalized attention, we ensure every client is 100 percent satisfied. Here's my card. If you ever need a consultation or year-end tax services, I hope you'll give me a call.
Go out into the world, elevator pitch in hand. It's a small world, situationally, and you never know when opportunity will come knocking on your elevator door. Have a rough sketch of your speech memorized and a pack of business cards at the ready.
Just remember, while this is your time to shine, it's not your time to brag. The focus isn't primarily on you, but what you can do for the person standing before you. Speak nice and slowly, as to evoke confidence, and don't ramble too far off your ready-made elevator speech.
Beyond that, go out there and see what every new day presents! Know your worth, remember your skills, and be willing to share them with the right parties.
If your elevator pitch is the precursor to what's sure to be a successful interview, then take a look at these smart questions to ask in an interview. Hopefully, they'll be the icing on your success cake.