We’ve all heard that we should be ready to deliver our elevator pitch at a moment’s notice, but too often our 30-second pitch is just a windup into a long monologue about what we do, how we do it and how beneficial our product/service is to our clients—all without taking a breath. We’ve all been at the receiving end of this type of “pitch” as we nervously scan the room for an escape route before we get swallowed up into the Pitch Vortex and have to listen to intricate minutiae of ten years worth of business history. Much like an over eager first date, we learn way too much about a company before we’ve even considered if this is something or someone we’re interested in connecting with.
Maybe the problem is in the name itself.
According to Chris Westfall, author of “THE NEW Elevator Pitch,” the original elevator pitch came from Hollywood; an aspiring screenwriter would corner an unsuspecting executive in an elevator and pitch his/her concept during the time it took to ride an elevator. The screenwriter had between 30-60 seconds to get their idea across and (hopefully) schedule a meeting. The pitch became the hook to a potential story that would hopefully find its way to the big screen.
Westfall tells us that “The NEW Elevator Pitch” should be “a message that focuses on your story and your style.” Instead of a wind-up pitch, a networking conversation should start with a sound byte, a taste of who you are, what you do and why it matters. When done well, these sound bytes becomes part of the larger story of your brand.
Instead of pitching, break down your brand story into bite-sized nuggets of information or vignettes that give your listeners a fresh take on an old problem that you solved in a new way that any business person can relate to. These types of stories also demonstrate empathy and compassion for your clients and make you and your company relatable. Unlike the traditional elevator pitch whose purpose is to “sell us,” an authentic story engages us and makes us receptive to learn more about you. And isn’t that what we really want?
So the next time you’re at a networking event, share your best client story and remember you only have 30 seconds!
© Copyright 2016 Orly Zeewy, Brand Architect
To learn more about how to create meaningful messaging go to: http://zeewy.com/alignment/
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