In case you’re wondering, an elevator pitch is a short statement that succinctly describes what you do and who you want to do it for. It’s called an elevator pitch because it should last no longer than 30 seconds, enough time to get across exactly what you’re about. Helpful if you are a career changer and happen to meet a potential new employer in an elevator, or anywhere else for that matter.
It’s a tool used predominantly by business owners who need to be on the lookout for new opportunities. At sales and marketing seminars, business owners are encouraged to get so clear about their business and what they can do for others, that they can make an immediate impact on people who might be their ideal customer. Here’s what News Daily says about an Elevator Pitch for Small Business Owners.
Why is it Important That Career Changers Have an Elevator Pitch?
What if tomorrow you were in a lift with your ideal future boss but you didn’t know what to say to them?
Without being really clear about who you are, and what you want from your career, it’s very likely that you will miss golden opportunities.
So, what are you going to say to your ideal future boss to get them interested in you in 30 seconds? Handing them a business card is unlikely to get them to call you unless you are clearly able to articulate how you could help them fulfill a need. If you can do this succinctly, you are much more likely to get their attention.
My Client Secured His Ideal Job With an Elevator Pitch
My client and I worked on his elevator pitch which ultimately led to him landing his dream job. He got so clear about what he wanted and who he wanted to do it for that when he was on a bus going to a business networking meeting he was able to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger about his aspirations. Within 10 minutes this person had taken his card and arranged to phone him the next day. By the following week, he had secured his dream.
If my client hadn’t been prepared, the opportunity would certainly have been lost because after ten minutes this person realised he was on the wrong bus and had to quickly disembark!
If you would like to read the whole case study, please click here.
Six Steps to Creating Your Elevator Pitch
1. Get really clear about what you want
This is your opportunity to create your best life. Don’t compromise. Go for what you really want. You never know who might provide you with that opportunity.
2. Answer 3 basic questions
If you can answer these questions you’ve nailed it.
What problem do you want to solve?
What experience/ skills do you have that help you solve the problem?
What kind of person/ organisation do you want to work for?
Fifteen years ago when I worked at BT, I turned a conversation completely around when a Senior Manager from a new, fast-paced area of the business called me to interview me for their Ops Manager position. I wasn’t interested, but rather than leave the call with nothing I said,
“I can’t help you with your Ops position I’m afraid, but I am a qualified executive coach. I work with senior managers and execs in fast moving organisations to help them achieve their personal and business goals. Would that be of interest to you?”
The phone went quiet for a while, then he said
“Tell me more”
I worked for BT Agile Media for 3 very happy years in my first self-employed role as an executive coach.
3) Avoid jargon
It’s the best way to confuse someone and lead to misunderstandings, especially if you only have 30 seconds.
4) Write it down
A good way to work out what you want and turn it into a comprehensive statement is to write down everything you want and everything you can do. Now, taking a marker, cross out everything you repeat; everything that isn’t absolutely necessary to say, and anything that needs an explanation. What’s left is what you want to say. Using the questions above, write your pitch.
Writing it down serves 2 purposes:
1) It helps get you clear about what you want
2) It helps you remember it
5) Always Ask
If your final sentence is a question, the other person has no choice but to think about it and offer you an answer. The chances are that even if they don’t have a position going right now, they would offer to keep you in mind, or put you in touch with someone who could use your help right now. This gives you a great opportunity to follow up!
6) Own it!
Making a career change is a bold decision. You need to be absolutely convinced that you’re doing the right thing, and that what you say you want, is what you want. Believe in your pitch. If you don’t, then no-one else will.
If you could use some help getting clear about what you want, or need help to create your pitch check out my Clarity Coaching service. Alternatively, let’s arrange a free no-obligation telephone chat.
To your career success!