The “Elevator Pitch”

Originally posted 2014-07-26 06:00:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

So I was watching the morning news today and there was a “business coach” on, talking about the elevator pitch. All the while it made me laugh out loud, shake my head, and say “Really?” at the same time.

So I know we all know “that guy”, the one where you ask, “What do you do?” and he/she talks and talks and talks and talks for 60+ seconds, then at the end of it, you say to them, “Nice!” but in the back of your mind you are thinking, “OMG, what in the blue hell did he/she say??? Do I need milk and bread for the house?”

That’s the single problem with the “elevator pitch”, you think you are enlightening, but you are really zoning people out. They say “you have 30-seconds to make your impression”, but in my opinion, you have less than 10.

I had sales training with an employer where we worked for an entire day on our “elevator pitch”. I can understand their point, they want us walking out of training speaking their language. But at the end, am I really supposed to look someone in the eye and say:

“Hi, my name is Bob with HP ProCurve, we are the 2nd largest networking vendor in the switch/router market. Our products can deliver you a lower total cost of ownership, while bringing you product that is open standards, interoperable, and with enhanced security to allow you to allocate your budget and resources more properly…”

Sorry, but you lost me at “2nd largest…”

That’s the problem, not everyone else lives and breathes your life everyday. And not everyone is a ‘network infrastructure manager’ at a corporation that would understand every word I said.

What would be so difficult about simply saying, “I work for HP in the networking group, what do you do?”

There…I get to figure out if this is someone I get to dive in deeper with, he gets to not be bored out of his mind and instead of trying to figure out how to get out of the conversation, he gets to figure out if I am someone he wants to spend time with diving in deeper as well.

I met a bank manager once, he asked what I do, and I said, “I manage the channel for HP’s networking group”, and he jumps all over me saying, “WHOA BUDDY, I DON’T SPEAK THAT LANGUAGE”, and it really hit me. No one cares if you are not in their relative industry. If I was a real estate broker, small business owner, etc. he would have said, “WOW, TELL ME MORE!”.

So when someone asks, “What do you do?” keep your elevator pitch to less than 10 seconds, make it concise, and make it appropriate for the crowd you are with.

Happy selling!

1 Comment
  1. Greg Peters says

    Great post, Bob. I’ll be sharing it on my FB page shortly.

    I tell people all the time that you have about 7 seconds to tell the person what you do when they ask. Anything beyond that just gets confusing and they just boil it down to what they can understand anyway.

    Thanks again!


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