The idea of an ‘elevator pitch’ is that you get into a lift (elevator) only to find that inside is the very person who can help your business. What do you say in the thirty seconds or so that you have this person’s undivided attention before the lift doors open and he or she walks out of your life forever?
The conventional answer says that you have to get across all the following:
The first problem is that this is very difficult, if not impossible, to do well.
The second problem is that it is all about you, and nothing about the listener. The other person will interpret it as a demand, and people don’t like demands made of them by people they don’t know. At worst it will come over as needy.
The third problem is that it is a lecture with no opportunities for the other person to respond to. At the end, he or she is completely entitled to say nothing and leave.
I suggest you use the thirty seconds to say one thing. One thing so compelling it more or less forces the other person to say “that’s interesting—tell me more”.
At this point, he or she has given you permission to talk for as long as you reasonably need: outside the lift or, better, in their office later. If the subsequent discussion is at the other person’s request, he or she is going to be far more likely to be interested, the conversation will go better, and your outcome is more likely to be achieved.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2017 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 1 july 2015 , modified 16 may 2016, 5 november 2017 . image: Free images
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