Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
The Importance of the Elevator Pitch
June 1st, 2011
For entrepreneurs and sales professionals of all industries, especially those who own or work for start-up companies, the elevator pitch is such a critical concept to master for success in the business world. The elevator pitch can sell a product, and for that matter, can sell a business or service to prospective clients. As The Wall Street Journal states, these pitches should be developed and used “for those unexpected times when they are alone in a small space with someone important, like the company CEO or a high profile visitor to their office. It could not only avoid awkwardness but possibly boost their standing.” Most people can only benefit by perfecting their elevator pitches.
The classic ice-breaking question- “What do you do?” Although this may sounds like a simple question, it is actually harder to answer than most people think. It is extremely important to know to answer this question ahead of time and not draw a blank in front of the top executive you are trying to make conversation with. This can especially hurt if you find yourself at an important networking event or caught taking the elevator with a top business executive. Having a response ready to this question can set people up for success. The elevator pitch, also known as the thirty-second verbal commercial about yourself, can get you noticed as well as remembered. Making a lasting impression can further people’s chances at being successful with their work and other areas of their lives as well.
The key to having a successful elevator pitch is being prepared. Know what you are going to say before the opportunity presents itself. The way a person approaches their pitch is critical. The language and approach of the pitch is where the lasting impression begins. Being able to tailor the pitch to a specific audience is also extremely important. Using your elevator pitch in the most effective way can make or break opportunities when running into the top boss at an unexpected time.
The elevator pitch is a way to hopefully avoid some awkward run-ins with senior executives at your company. As many people are speechless in situations like these, the pitch can also be a smart starting point for a conversation, whether you find yourself in an elevator with the CEO or run into a senior executive during your lunch break. With today’s technologies, times to use elevator pitches may slowly disappear or become much less common.
As The Wall Street Journal reported in their article “Why You Need an Elevator Pitch,” elevator pitches “could not only avoid awkwardness but possibly boost an employee’s standing. Meetings may become rarer, as companies employ new elevator systems that route employees, sometimes by rank, upending the delicate rules of elevator etiquette.” All in all, the elevator pitch is an integral part of becoming a successful businessperson. Continuing to perfect your pitch is critical and will pay off when needed.