If you want to attract an investor, get a job, get a raise, or maybe even get a date: you’ve got to have an elevator pitch. Or, more accurately: The NEW Elevator Pitch.
Some might think of the elevator pitch as a throwback to a long-ago era, before technology became commonplace. And that’s true: the elevator platform has been replaced with the social platform.
While it’s true that you can swipe right to make a connection, that’s only the start of the conversation. An employer might be interested because of your LinkedIn profile. But sooner or later, someone is going to say,
So, tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do?
The online conversation can only take you so far. According to this article in Harvard Business Review, over two-thirds of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees. Are we losing the ability to have an effective conversation?
The need for a new kind of conversation has never been greater. The influx of technology is crippling our ability to interact, and that old-school “facetime” conversation is now stilted, awkward and uncomfortable. Why?
- We still need to persuade others, and get them enrolled in new ideas
- Investors still want to hear from you, personally, before they part with their money
- Hiring the best and the brightest means being able to share your story quickly – clearly – concisely
When you want to persuade and influence the people that matter most (whether that’s your life partner or business partner), you’ve got to understand these key components of a new kind of conversation. That conversation is what I call the NEW Elevator Pitch.
- If it doesn’t matter to your listener, it doesn’t matter: Have you ever met someone who can only talk about themselves? I know one guy who was out on a date and his conversation starter was, “So what have you heard about me?” Wow. Yikes. Ouch. And for entrepreneurs, the problem can be just as challenging: focusing on your business, without looking at the impact for the investor, is deadly. Sure, you’ve worked hard, and your life experiences make you who you are, but at the end of the day: what matters most? Is it your past…or your potential? Ultimately, you have to turn what you’ve done in the past into what you can do for others. Otherwise, what matters to you won’t matter much.
- Create a “Tell Me More..”: If you want to know if you’ve got a great pitch, remember this: the best ‘pitch’ isn’t a pitch at all. It’s a conversation. A conversation that makes your listener say, “Tell me more.” Those three words – tell me more – let you know that you’ve started a dialogue. That’s how you know if someone is interested. And if you’re wondering, “What’s the opposite of ‘tell me more’?”, the answer is: “So what?”
- Include an invitation: The NEW Elevator Pitch is a persuasive conversation. In other words, you want someone to take action. That means that just providing information isn’t enough. Information is everywhere. I know, because I just googled it. Information doesn’t always lead to action. Think about it: you know you shouldn’t eat that second donut. But there it is. Your knowledge can’t stop you from snarfing down that delicious chocolate covered donut. What is it that makes people want to take action? This video can tell you more, but basically: you’ve got to remember to include an invitation. An invitation that’s easy to say ‘yes’ to. An invitation that’s logical, simple and clear. If you don’t offer a next step, how can people know what action you hope to create? And more importantly, how can someone learn what kind of outcome you might be able to achieve, together?
You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to be in the market for a great pitch. You just have to have an idea worth sharing. All you need is a story to tell. You have ideas you want to share. The NEW Elevator Pitch can help you to deliver your message.
My question for you is: do you know how to bring your ideas to life?
New results could be just one conversation away.
About the Author
A coach to entrepreneurial leaders on four continents, Chris Westfall has helped transform brands across the globe. His clients have appeared on Shark Tank, Dragons Den in Canada and also Shark Tank – Australia. Recognized as the US NATIONAL ELEVATOR PITCH CHAMPION, he regularly provides guidance to C-Suite executives on powerful communication skills. Follow him on twitter or Instagram, and check out over 200 videos on effective communication, via his YouTube Channel.