What would you do if the CEO of the company you have been trying to get into steps onto the elevator with you? Would you be ready with your pitch of why that person should hire you?
The way to get your foot in the door is to make a pitch. Sell them on the idea that you are the right person for the job. Job seekers need to be solutions and ideas people. A person who fixes problems and foresees other issues that may arise is the right person for the job. Employers don’t just want loyal hard working employees, they want people who can come up with creative solutions to fix problems and save resources, including time, money and man-power.
A good elevator pitch has several elements, but the most important is time. You only have that CEO trapped on the elevator with you for on average five floors and that is at most 20 to 30 seconds. It can be as short as 10 seconds to sell a concept. The entrepreneur or job seeker must make the pitch or sell in that time and convince the listener that they want to buy. It’s all about the art of the sell. Can you convince the person trapped on the elevator with you to buy your skills or your product?
Most of us understand branding in this day and age. Just turn on the TV and try to quote back the tag line of Coke or Nike. You cannot drive down the street without seeing a logo or a brand that you don’t recognize. The same thing can be said of any product including a job seeker. What is to stop a job seeker from branding them self and selling their skills to the highest bidder?
Have you ever had that telemarketer on the phone who just never gets to the point? You have no idea what they are selling and then realize when they do get to the product or service that you are NOT the intended audience. By then you have no interest in the product and decide that the sales pitch was really bad. Why? The answer is that most people don’t know how to make the right pitch to the right audience.
Most people have some idea of which elements are essential to an elevator pitch and don’t know what NOT to include. Here are a few pointers on the best practices of what to INCLUDE in the elevator pitch.
- Make the most of your time. Use your time wisely and zone in on your audience, their needs and your sell.
- Tell them only what they need to know. Most potential employers or investors don’t need to know about your background. They only need to know about your strengths, costs, ability solve problems and how it will benefit them.
- Have a HOOK. Sell them on the idea of you as the right person with the right ideas at the right time. Remember, as a job seeker it is NOT about you but you can DO for a potential employer.
- Offer an advantage, keeping it short and sweet.Establish your credibility, preferably with some numbers.
- End with the promise of another meeting, sending them an email with your resume or a specific time to demonstrate your product.
- Jargon or buzz words
- A presentation – it’s not the right time
- Name dropping
- Focusing on you and forgetting your audience
- Boring or irrelevant details
- Personal data
- Giving a long story
Make sure that you are pitching the right ideas. When you are stuck in that elevator, it is not the time to launch into a full sales pitch. You do that after you have made the initial contact and obtained interest from the target market audience. Use your time wisely. Don’t forget to close the pitch with a commitment for a lengthier meeting at which time you can make your presentation.
Always know your brand or your unique value proposition. Lastly, remember your audience and tailor your pitch as it is appropriate and timely.