How many times have you heard people give an elevator pitch at a networking event and you didn’t have a clue what they said afterward? Now let’s switch the scenario. How many times have you stood up to give a 15-45 second introduction about you and your product/service and didn’t know what to say?
All too often, people become nervous when it’s time to talk about what they offer. They know it in their mind and in their heart, but for some reason, it won’t come out correctly when they open their mouth. If this sounds like you, don’t get upset or beat yourself up because most people have experienced it. It’s how you bounce back that will make the difference between success and disappointment.
As a networking guru and author of The ABC’s of Making Business Networking Work For You, I have seen many mistakes. Some very obvious and some not quite so obvious. Below are a few tips you can use to make your elevator pitch at a networking event work better for you and draw more people to you.
- Ask your audience a question that will cause them to think. For example, if you’re selling a skin product, ask the following question: how many people do you know suffering from oily skin, acne, or dry skin? (Then pause). This question alone will cause people to go into their mental roller deck and think of family, friends, or colleagues suffering from this condition.
- Don’t sell during your pitch. Too many people make the tragic mistake of trying to sell their audience on how great their product and/or service is. During your elevator pitch, nobody really cares about it until they talk to you one-on-one.
- Show enthusiasm. In other words, if you’re not excited about what you’re offering, don’t expect people to take you seriously. How can you expect people to do business with you, if you’re not happy with what you’re offering?
- Be clear and concise. The more you talk, the more you may find yourself turning people off. The goal is to get people to come to you after your elevator pitch. Think of it as going to a restaurant and ordering an appetizer before the meal. If the appetizer is good, there’s great anticipation for the meal. The fact is – your elevator pitch is the appetizer you use to draw people in.
- Make sure you state your name and company. While this sounds logical, many people will forget to do both.
Using the right elevator pitch will separate you from your competitors. In many cases, it will even separate you from others at a networking event. Networking can be fun and if you know how to draw people’s attention, you will find your business growing in ways you never thought possible.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, author of The ABC’s of Making Business Networking Work For You, and success coach. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey