The worst Elevator Pitch feedback is:
“Wow – you have a great pitch!”
A great Elevator Pitch causes people to run up to you, grab your arm, and start dragging you towards an introduction while trying to catch their breath so they can say:
“I need to introduce you to…”
Notice the urgency.
…Notice the eager to help.
……Notice the finger shaped bruises on your arm.
So how do you get that response?
More importantly – how do you practice and refine your Elevator Pitch to get better referrals?
Let’s start with:
4 Ways to Practice that Don’t Work
A mirror isn’t a good idea – because
- You can’t speak and critique yourself at the same time
- You will never watch yourself when you’re talking to other people***
- Your Elevator Pitch works best when you focus less on giving a speech and more on starting conversations
Your car isn’t a good idea – because
- You’re distracted
- There’s no feedback
- Are you really spending any time in your car anymore?
The shower isn’t a good idea – because
- You don’t ever talk to people naked
- It wastes water and is bad for the environment
- If someone is in there with you, they (and you) better not be focused on your Elevator Pitch
Your significant other / parents aren’t a good idea – because
- They think you are wonderful no matter what you say
- They already – probably – know what you do
- One person’s feedback isn’t so helpful
So what’s the best way to practice?
With a lively and engaging group of people who are also interested in getting better at networking.
But first, let’s get you ready.
Step 1: Be Clear and Concise
If you want more referrals, you want to be specific.
That doesn’t mean that you offer fewer services.
It means that you change the way you talk about what you do.
Here’s an article that describes the process.
Here are hundreds of examples across dozens of industries.
Step 2: Be Unique and Memorable
One day in 2007, at a networking group meeting at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, our facilitator Tom changed our approach.
Instead of sharing our usual 30-Second Elevator Pitch, he had us talk about a recent client success.
Here’s what happened:
I learned more about the people sitting around the table that day than I had in the previous 3 years of twice a month listening to their 30-Second Elevator Pitch.
You are already unique and memorable – in the way that you work with your clients.
Being specific feels like it narrows your options, but in practice it starts better conversations.
Step 3: Use the Same Pitch for a Month
It takes about a month to set the baseline for your Elevator Pitch.
Pay attention to the questions people ask and the stories they tell in response to what you say.
If they get you into good conversations, wonderful!
Step 4: Switch to a Different Story
Once you know how your current Elevator Pitch works, feel free to experiment!
You’ll know very quickly whether the new approach is better or worse.
If it’s worse, go back to the one you were using as you develop a new one.
If it’s better, then use it for a month, then repeat this step.
Your Elevator Pitch is Working When…
You already know whether your Elevator Pitch is starting the right kinds of conversations and leading to the right kinds of introductions.
Are people introducing you to the right kind of people?
Do conversations naturally flow from small talk to business talk?
Are you excited to go to networking events and share your message?
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas to modify your approach in a way that will start even better conversations.
Still stuck? I offer a complimentary 30-minute Elevator Pitch Coaching session.
*** Note: With Zoom you now can watch yourself, which is both distracting and exhausting. Click on the little three dots on your square and choose “Hide Self View.” Focus on the other people on the call – just like if you were in a room together! ***