You have probably already heard of the elevator pitch. This is where you give a pitch in about 30 – 45 seconds to someone telling them why they should do business with you. I believe everyone should have an elevator pitch; but your elevator pitch shouldn’t just be about your business— you should have an elevator pitch about yourself as well.
There are 4 groups that you want to target in developing a pitch message:
1. The first group, really isn’t a group, its just you. What is your 45 second sales pitch about yourself?
2. The second group. Your staff or friends. What would your staff (friends) say in about 45 seconds about you and who you are?
3. The third group is your customer. What is it they would say about your business in that 45 seconds?
4. And finally the fourth group is your suppliers.
I will use an example of a company that has done extremely well in building and developing an elevator pitch—no surprise– Apple Computers. They have spent years identifying who they are and what makes them unique in the marketplace. I’m sure if I asked any employee at an Apple store, ‘What is Apple?’, I would get the same consistent answer from all of them as I would if I were sitting with the Board of Directors from Apple. That message would be the same as well from each of Apples customers as well. This is an excellent example of a company that has a consistent brand message that they have successfully communicated through a 45-second pitch. Why is it important to have an elevator pitch ready regardless of whether you are a business or an individual? You only have a few seconds to make a first impression.
People have made their assumption as to who you are in the first 10 seconds when they look at you, followed by the next 20 seconds of giving you a chance to introduce and explain yourself. If you don’t get it all right the first time it will take you a very long time to get back any credibility that you hoped to achieve. As I deal with businesses every day, the way I dress needs to match what I do and who I am. I’m all about business. In fact, so much that I feel uncomfortable wearing jeans and a t-shirt. It is not uncommon to see me in a dress shirt, a suit with a vest and a tie. One thing is for certain; I may look overdressed but you definitely know who I am and what my purpose is when I go to work each day.
I commonly get comments on how I appear at a meeting. I’m perfectly fine with it because the image I’m trying to portray and my 45 second elevator pitch go very well together. You start developing your pitch by putting together your mission statement and your vision statement. Your mission statement is what you are, and your vision statement is who you’re going to be. You don’t need a business to have a mission and a vision statement. In fact I believe everybody has in their mind who they are and where they want to be.
You might’ve heard of the common question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, “What are you going to school for?” The answer to those questions is your vision statement. And when someone asks “What is it you do?” this is your mission statement. Your 45 second elevator pitch will help you in getting that job, closing the deal and who knows maybe starting that relationship with that special someone.
It will also help you at those times when you feel you don’t know who you are or where you’re going to be in the future. If you ever want to find out my elevator pitch. Call me sometime and we’ll find an elevator with the 21 floors it actually takes 45-seconds to get to the top!
By: Adam Oldfield