How many times have you heard “Let’s hear your pitch!” or “You have to master your elevator pitch...”
What does that even mean?
A quick google search explains that it’s simply, “a succinct and persuasive sales pitch.”
On the surface, an elevator pitch sounds like something that’s only relevant to people who are directly involved in sales. But if that’s true, why did I hear about it from college to grad school to my work as a consultant?
For me, it used to bring out my carefully-honed elevator pitch at a career networking event, hoping I could nab a VIP for a follow-up coffee to “talk about my career.” Then, it most definitely came out in interviews when asked the all-encompassing, “Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?” Now, as entrepreneurs, we pull out our pitches as a way to grab potential clients. The elevator pitch is SO important! Work on it enough that it’ll start working for you.
Here are 6 reasons you should fix your pitch today.
You’re in sales.
Even if you don’t think you are, you are in sales. Everyone is in sales (I am too). You might not be a sales lady for a product, (like some funky Lula Ro leggings or super sharp Cutco knives) but no matter your age slash role slash experience - you are selling yourself (hopefully not in a sexual way) and the impact you’re trying to have. Since you can’t do it alone, you gotta get people on your side… and that requires selling them.
2. It should be a standard part of your introduction to anybody, ever. (Maybe not ever ever, but like, pretty often).
You meet people all the time, sometimes at work, sometimes via friends, sometimes at a casual networking event, sometimes in the Starbucks line (that’s Steph’s favorite place, I swear) and sometimes when stealing the last good avocado from the produce pile. If you have an elevator pitch that’s integrated into your introduction, you’re much more likely to (a) expand the universe of people who know who you are and what you do and (b) bump into someone who has a need you can feel or vice versa.
3. Good ones make you memorable.
If you have a half-way decent elevator pitch, make it kick-ass with a story that interests people. That’ll make you memorable. Test out different versions and see which ones get the response, “That’s awesome, I’d love to learn more.” and then keep tweaking it until everyone you meet has a good sense for you and what you care about.
4. It means you’re prepared.
Just recently I was at a networking event and someone was walking around with a phone dialed into Facebook Live. All of a sudden I was on a world stage! I introduced myself to the camera (and everyone who’s watching), and because I had only just edited my pitch and not totally practiced it, I fumbled into the land of awkward circular sentences that you hope you can end and find a period while nobody realizes that you’re not making sense and that’s not similar to this at all. I wish I had taken the time to fix my pitch that day for sure.
5. It leads to valuable connections.
A good elevator pitch ends with an ask or call to action that brings the listener into your sphere of influence. How many times have you gone to a networking event and left wondering if you got anything out of it? Feel free to borrow a motto that Stephanie and I often use, in many variations, “ABC, always be closing.”
6. Sometimes, it’s your only chance, and you never know what might happen.
One of my other go-to mottos and gleefully cheesy clichés, is, “the world is my oyster.” As in, possibility is everywhere. It’s easy to let fear or inertia get in the way (in particular for young professionals, in particular for women). But if you don’t take the chance when you have it, to articulate who you are and why you’re here, you’re really only getting in your own way. You’re making it so that the world is NOT your oyster. And that’s sad.
What’s your pitch? Share it below!
And check out our handy dandy, step-by-step guide to Fix Your Pitch.
-- Kara Davidson, cofounder, wolf & heron