Rise or Fall With Your Elevator Pitch

  • Posted by Steve Goldberg
  • |
  • March 24, 2016
elevator pitch

As fast-paced as the Digital Media, Ad Tech, Data and Programmatic world is, you do not want to miss those small widows of opportunity that come to you in random fashion.  Moments that can frankly alter your career, help you close business, bring in a new investor, or simply draw an important contact within your professional universe.

It is for those moments that the “Elevator Pitch” was created.  An elevator pitch is a brief summary used to quickly and simply say what you do, describe your profession, articulate your business, express your goals, and/or share your services product or organization.  The phrase according to Wikipedia, is widely credited to Ilene Rosenzweig and Michael Caruso (while he was editor for Vanity Fair) for its origin. The term itself comes from a scenario of an accidental meeting with someone important in the elevator.  It reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes (try for 1 minute).

Many people confuse elevator pitches with sales pitches, but they’re completely different. A sales pitch is a formal presentation. An elevator pitch is a segue that takes place within a casual conversation (ref: Inc., Jan 2016) or in a brief moment of time that will only allow a minute or two to make a connection.

As you attend Digital conferences, Ad Tech conferences, courses on SaaS and Platforms, or simply by way of a colleague’s introduction or a random after-work party, you will encounter an array of people in our field across the Digital Landscape.  You’ll be introduced to them, you’ll speak to them when they sit next to you, you’ll interact with the sponsors at events, connect with them through a co-worker, and sometimes, you’ll actually be in an elevator.  Consider that the elevator pitch is an ice breaker that will (hopefully) lead into a deeper dialogue beyond the duration of the “ride”.

Bottom line…. Make your minute count.  How?  By being prepared.   In that minute, you’ll want to connect with the person, be enthusiastic without going over the top, include a “name drop” (a well-known person who is a mentor, a big name company you sold to or worked for are examples), leave them with clarity about your goals, give and obtain a way to communicate after the brief encounter is complete (business card exchange for instance), and peak their curiosity (leave them wanting more).

Practice your elevator pitch in the mirror, with friends, then go out into the field and just go for it at the next event, class, course, or any other opportunity that presents.

Here’s another good resource from an article on AlleyWatch.

Bottom line:  Keep it sincere, keep it clear, keep it simple, be engaging, keep it interesting and keep it conversational.