As a working woman, your elevator pitch is one of the most important ways you can promote yourself and scale the ladders. I received a call this week from Amanda, an entrepreneurial woman who was launching a new business, and she had an exciting story to share.
Amanda’s door opening elevator pitch
She had been invited as a guest to a business round table group. A place where business owners come together to share about what they offer, learn about other businesses and work to create a synergy and referral network amongst those in the room.
This was the first time Amanda had attended such an event and did not know what to expect.
Near the end of the hour, all the guests in the room were given the opportunity to stand and give a 60-second elevator pitch. They needed to talk about their business and address what a good referral client for them would be.
When it came time for Amanda’s turn to share, with no hesitancy, she stood, addressed the room and gave an effective elevator pitch about her business. She spoke with calmness and authority and she made heads turn. People took notice. One woman came up after and shared “You spoke with such confidence, I am eager to learn more about what you do.”
That 60 seconds, opened the doors to several new relationships and business growing opportunities for Amanda.
Amanda didn’t just get lucky with her elevator pitch
Did this situation occur because Amanda just lucky? Was this just happenstance that she was invited to an event where she had a chance to share her story that others responded too?
Luck doesn’t exist.
The best definition I have found of the word Luck is when “preparation meets opportunity”. Now with this definition in mind, let me share the back story behind Amanda’s success.
Here is how Amanda achieved success
A couple of months back, Amanda signed up for Inspired Business Club; IBC. IBC is an 8-week workshop created by the nonprofit Inspired Women Inc that teaches business building skills to working women.
The workshop taught skills necessary for any working woman to be successful in their career including crafting an elevator pitch.
“An elevator pitch is a brief, yet complete, mini description of what you do and why people should take notice, delivered in the time it takes for an elevator to move between floors. “
Sometimes you only have 30 or 60 seconds to make an impression with a potential new customer. Having an elevator pitch crafted and most importantly – rehearsed, may give you the advantage when an opportunity arises.
Amanda had been crafting and perfecting her elevator pitch in the workshop for several weeks. She had written it out, rehearsed it, shared it with the group, then rewritten it and practiced it some more. She had spent so much time on knowing what she would say, and how she would say it, that the words already flowed smoothly. Now all she needed was an opportunity.
The opportunity presented itself in the business roundtable event that morning, and with no hesitation, she stood and very professionally, delivered her ‘elevator pitch’ to the group.
It was Amanda’s intentional focus to create and practice a pitch about her business that set her up for the success she experienced. Seeing the fruits of her hard work pay off was exciting for her and that was what she was so eager to share with me on the call.
7 Tips to help you craft an elevator pitch
If you want to be a successful working woman, having your own elevator pitch crafted and ready to deliver can set you up for success as well.
An elevator pitch is a roughly 30-second sound bite – a response to the question, “Tell me about yourself” or “What do you do?”
You may find that an opportunity arises to describe what you do in an elevator, but far more common is in the line up at the coffee shop, while sitting in the stands at your child’s sports event, at a backyard BBQ, or, like Amanda, at a networking event. To set yourself to “get lucky” and nail your pitch the next time an opportunity presents itself, you need to prepare and practice.
1. Keep it Brief.
It must be brief. Depending on the audience, 20 to 30 seconds is optimal for an impromptu meeting. At a formal networking event, keep your pitch to no more than 60 seconds.
2. Goal Focused.
You must create your pitch with a goal in mind. What are you saying and WHY are you saying it? What do you want the listener to do as a result of hearing your pitch? Your goal may be different depending on your audience. Sharing at a networking event will be different than a casual conversation on an airplane with the person beside you.
3. Problem Solving.
What problem do you solve for clients and why should they care? This is also known as your Unique Selling Proposition, USB. Share your USB and focus on what sets you apart and makes you and/or your company different.
4. What’s your Hook?
As mentioned, your elevator pitch is merely to create interest, a sound bite. Think about the 30-second trailer to a movie. The highlights are featured to entice people to want more. Share your enticement. Set people up to want to learn more about you and what you do.
5. Attract Versus Sell.
Those who master pitches focus on attracting people, not selling people. You want to “bring people in” versus “shun them away”. Keep your pitch conversational and not canned. Learn to share with confidence “what you do” and “why you do it.”
6. Action Step.
Be ready for what’s next. Not everyone you share with wants more info, but, for those who do, be ready. What do you want people to do if their interest was sparked? How can they easily get more info or take the next step? NOTE: It is more efficient if you get their info and follow up, versus you give out info and hope for a call.
7. Sparkle in your Eyes.
I call this step the magic. If you are not excited and energized by what you do, why should someone else be? People are NOT going to remember all your words, they will forget your website, they will forget product features and benefits, BUT, they will NOT forget your ENERGY. If you share with appropriate energy and enthusiasm, if you have a sparkle in your eye, if your face lights up; that becomes your business card and attracts more attention than your words.
Having a pitch ready will dramatically increase your confidence in social settings of all kinds. Whenever you are asked, “What do you do?” or “Tell me about you,“ just like Amanda, you can be ready to capitalize on the opportunity.
For more on helping working women make Lemonade out of Lemons you would love Pearl’s book Lemon Crushers; A Working Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity!
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