Join Lida Citroën for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a perfect elevator pitch, part of Creating Your Personal Brand.
- If you and I met and I looked at you and said, "Hmm. What do you do?" Would you be able to explain your value proposition, your offer, in a way that I would find interesting enough to want to keep talking to you? We call that an elevator pitch. You've got about 60 seconds in that first few moments to shine a light on your personal brand and grab somebody's attention. I remember a few years ago, I went to a networking event and everyone was going around the room, introducing themselves in front of everyone else. About three ladies in, one woman said, "I'm a broker." And it kind of landed like a thud.
And about six people farther, another woman said, "I help clients achieve their life goals by designing financial strategies that make their dreams come true." And then people continue. And I remember thinking, in neither case did I want to go have a further conversation with those women. The first woman didn't seem very excited about what she did. And the second woman really didn't tell me what her job was, just how she approached it. So either case did they make themselves compelling. There are three steps to building a perfect elevator pitch for any situation.
First, start off and tell me what you do. If you are a broker, describe what you do. Are you a financial advisor? Are you a real estate broker who specializes in residential? Take the mystery out of our conversation by quickly telling me what you do. Then the second step is tell me what makes you unique. What is your spin on it or your secret sauce or that twist that you do differently? If you're a residential real estate agent, how is it you approach your business? Maybe you specialize in working with divorced couples? Or you focus on first-time homebuyers? That might be a specialty that makes you stand out and if I'm looking for someone with that specialty, you've got my attention.
Finally, the third recommendation I have is tell me a quick story. Paint me a picture. We remember stories. So if you can give me an example of maybe a recent couple that you helped buy their first home. Then I'm going to remember the story and what you did differently in that story that will stand out in my mind when I'm considering hiring someone. It's important to keep your elevator pitch concise and interesting. Remember, everybody's introducing themselves for the first time, so imagine if you were listening to you introduce yourself.
Would you be interested? It's also important when you're introducing yourself and you're giving your elevator pitch to ask about the other person. Here's a little known secret about people. Your favorite topic is you. My favorite topic is me. So if all we're doing is talking about your career and your history and your story and what you're looking for and I didn't get to talk about my favorite topic. So it's really important in an elevator pitch that you always throw the ball back in the other person's court so they get to introduce themself too.
Use your elevator pitch to start the conversation. It's not a script. You don't put it on an index card and carry it around and read it off an index card. You're going to use it as a launching point. I would have different versions of your elevator pitch. So if you're in an industry event with people who know what you do, then you can be a little more specific about your job. If you're in an environment where people might not know what you do, you're going to create a narrative that's easier to understand. Have an elevator pitch formula that works for you.
Practice it and watch it evolve.