An elevator pitch, sometimes called an elevator speech, is a short summary used to concisely describe what you do. It’s referred to as an elevator pitch because it’s based on the idea that you should be able to deliver it in the time it takes to ride an elevator. Most elevator pitches are between 30 and 60 seconds long.
The elevator pitch is a marketing concept that’s been around forever.
However, I believe the time has come to ditch the elevator pitch.
While I can appreciate the idea behind the elevator pitch, in my experience the actual execution is usually less than effective. Entrepreneurs often work very hard to craft the perfect 30-second sound bite. They strive to sum up everything they do in a sentence or two. Then they memorize it and go out into the world to deliver it.
The other day a client told me that when she introduced herself at a networking meeting, her introduction felt bland and boring, to her. When she shared her introduction with me, I could see why. It was a marketing copy sound bite. It wasn’t authentic. Her passion didn’t shine through. The words weren’t words she would normally use in conversation. It was too crafted.
That’s why I don’t believe in elevator pitches.
Yes, you absolutely need to be able to clearly and concisely articulate what you do. But you don’t need a memorized sound bite. You need to know exactly why you’re in business and who you’re here to help. You need to have a strong point-of-view. When you’re crystal clear about these things, the right words will come out whenever someone asks, “So what do you do?”
You won’t have to worry about whether you’ve memorized your response. You won’t be nervous about delivering it accurately. Both of which put you 100% in your head and result in that bland, boring, dispassionate answer.
When you know who you are and what you do, the answer is easy.
It flows off your tongue. Yes, the words may be different every time, but the core idea is the same.
So ditch the pitch. Instead, spend some time getting clear on who you are and what you do. Identify your unique point-of-view. Embrace it. Then go out and spread the word, from your heart.