You’re at a networking event or party. Someone asks you a simple question: “So, what do you do?” Here’s where you’d typically start in with your elevator pitch. You know, the one you’ve been perfecting over the past few months that goes into the details about your business and how wonderful it is and why you’re so successful…
Don’t be THAT guy (or girl). You know. The one who blabs on and on about their company using words like “synergy” and “top-notch” and “optimize.” Instead, be someone memorable. Here are 10 easy tips to creating an elevator pitch that works as an effective marketing tool WITHOUT sounding like a sales pitch.
- Be conversational. Do make sure your answer is a genuine two-way conversation, not a company spiel.
- Keep it short. Do practice. 60 seconds is a long time to talk uninterrupted, and chances are you’ll lose the attention of your audience. Can you describe what you do in 20 seconds? How about 10 seconds?
- Use everyday language. Do make your comments seem as natural as possible — and have several elevator pitches ready for each event so you aren’t repeating the exact same response.
- Share. Do consider relating a (short) story about a recent client that would best describe what you do and the value you/your products provided.
- Provide value. Do be that guy that everyone is taking about. Provide a statistic or tip that your listener will want to share when they get back to the office.
- Launch into a commercial. Don’t sound like an infomercial. This isn’t a sales pitch, it’s a conversation.
- Be clever. Don’t start with an irritating, clever statement i.e. “I turn money into memories.” No one really talks that way — or wants to be lead along in a phony exchange of “really, what do you mean by that?”
- Generalize. Don’t be vague. “I work with banks” isn’t very revealing. Share something interesting about what you do.
- Make it a monologue. Don’t be an attention hog. Even if you are sharing a story, encourage your listener to interject. “Have you ever…?” or “Do you have any ideas?” are great engaging questions.
- Try to close the sale. Don’t be in “sales” mode. Leave the audience wanting more. Let the prospect come to you if they are interested.
After your response, it’s your turn to ask them what they do. If you are in a business or networking setting, be sure to also ask for their business card — and only provide yours if asked.