I recently reconnected with my alma mater to help hold mock interviews for future graduates within the business school and while many (if not all) met and exceeded my expectations, one interview stood out to me. After initially not knowing how to answer a simple question about themselves, I asked the interviewee if they had developed a working “elevator pitch” to use in interview and networking situations. The person had never heard of this type of pitch, leading me to the main point of this article.
Elevator pitches are extremely valuable in today’s business world!
No matter if you’re a business owner, a sales person, a desk jockey or a receptionist, having and being able to recite an elevator pitch is extremely important. Don’t fully know what an elevator pitch is?
The idea behind an elevator pitch is that you enter and elevator going to the top floor of a building with someone you would like to do business with. You only have the amount of time it takes for the elevator to reach the top floor to get your point across and leave a lasting impression. Thus, the elevator pitch. This pitch should cover who you are, what you/your company does and why that matters to your listener all within a span of 60 seconds or so. Now, there are multiple types of elevator pitches out there that everyone should be familiar with and ready to recite when the correct moment presents itself.
Personal Elevator Pitch
The personal elevator pitch is something every college student should know and be able to recite, regardless of major or desired profession. Being able to quickly and intelligently describe yourself, your abilities and your ambitions to a potential employer is crucial in today’s competitive job market.
Company Elevator Pitch
Being able to describe what your company does to someone in a way that shows your value is key for any sales person or business owner. People will always ask what your company does and being able to quickly recite a short, comprehensive summary of your company’s offerings can help kick start a productive conversation.
Product/Service Elevator Pitch
Beyond being able to tell people what your company does, explaining what a product or service you offer is and how it works can help your audience better understand what exactly you do while helping you close sales. At Revenue River, once I’ve explained what our company does with my company elevator speech almost always the next question asked is “What is inbound marketing.” You better believe I have an elevator speech created and practiced to describe what it is!
There are many things that you learn in college that you will never again use in your career. The elevator speech is not one of them. People will always ask questions about who you are, what you do and how things work. Having a planned and practiced speech to quickly and effectively answer their questions helps the conversation progress faster and helps your listeners better understand you, your company and what it has to offer them.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vmiramontes/4052620849/