Fit Focus Flair

Elevator pitch? Hopeless. Try a 3 second ‘tease’ instead

We’ve talked for a few times about ‘elevator pitches’, and as so often happens, we like the idea of having an interesting, short, enticing pitch for all seasons but we don’t ever get round to creating one.

I’m not a great fan of the ‘elevator’ because I think even 30-45 seconds is too long when someone’s asked you, usually more out of courtesy, what it is you do.  Anyway let’s go ‘with the flow’…

So give it 10 minutes and lets’s see what we can come up with.

1-      Take a pen and piece of paper and jot down some first thoughts about-

  • What your business does at the broadest level.
  • A short example of a real life case study and the benefits that has had for the client concerned.
  • A simple, truthful thing that makes you different to the competition.

Here are my notes for me-

  • We offer training and coaching in presentation skills to senior executives, we write speeches, we help design product launches, conferences and training workshops.
  • We helped Mitsubishi Motors launch its last 13 cars to its pan-European dealer network, giving them coherent messages to share with their salespeople, high quality reference materials and consistent brand messaging, also saving them 100,000’s of Euros in duplication of time and effort
  • We would rather not do the work than work for organisations that don’t care.

2-      Then look at what you’ve written and edit it for repetition, pretension and bullshit.  Then simplify the language, to a sentence or two that a real person would say to his or her friends, and see how you’re doing.  My effort now looks like this

  • We offer training and coaching in presentation skills to senior executives, we write speeches, we help design product launches, conferences and training workshops. We help our clients sell their products and services more effectively…
  • We helped Mitsubishi Motors launch its last 13 cars to its pan-European dealer network, giving them coherent messages to share with their salespeople, high quality reference materials and consistent brand messaging, also saving them 100,000’s of Euros in duplication of time and effort- We’ve helped Mitsubishi launch their cars in Europe with a consistency and quality that has helped them achieve their commercial objectives over the last 8 years.
  • We would rather not do the work than work for organisations that don’t care.- self-obsessed, self-reverential bullshit -delete.

3-      Then look at the whole thing again and edit for all of those things again, and say it out loud to yourself.  If you gag, rewrite it; if you vomit , start again- until you can say those words with real sincerity.  Then just check for an element of ‘tease’.  Something implied but not said, that may just prompt the other person to ask for more information. That’s your pitch for all seasons.  Mine?

“We help our clients sell more stuff, whatever they do. “

4-      So in truth my elevator pitch is not 45 seconds long, it’s 3 seconds long.  And it’s designed to prompt questions, to be the start of a conversation driven by the other person.  I don’t want to ‘push’ or ‘sell’, I simply want to engage.

What do you think?

This is a part of my Fit, Focus & Flair model. To be great, a presentation must be a perfect FIT for the situation; the content must have complete FOCUS on it’s purpose and message; and it must have enough FLAIR to stand out on the day, and in our memories. Learn more about developing your Fit, Focus and Flair.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Leanne Hoagland-Smith

    August 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    The human brain can store up to 7 bits or syllables before engaging in further processing. As the purpose of marketing is to attraction attention and begin to build the relationship by that having the other person ask a question such as Tell me more, the keeping it short is good. I suggest to look at the results you deliver and do not confuse the what of what you do with the how of what you do.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith
    Author of Be the Red jacket

  2. Pingback: Your Elevator Pitch / Notes from the War Zone « EdReidYork's Blog

  3. Jim Harvey

    November 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Thanks Leanne, great comment, I think we’re agreeing, aren’t we? Sort of?

    Jim

  4. Ann Hawkins

    February 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head Jim when you said people ask what you do out of politeness – and because they’ve come to expect that that is what networking is about.

    What they really want to know is “who are you and will I like you?” Until we establish that, we’re not going to do business with anyone. It so refreshing to meet people who don’t do any kind of elevator pitch but instead behave like a real human being and actually have a conversation.

    Networking organisations that have taught people how to look for leads instead of how to be charming, sociable and engaging have a lot to answer for.

    • Jim Harvey

      February 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Ann, and I agree about the psychotic tendency in networking. So prevalent in many clubs, authors and speakers on networking.

  5. Claire Duffy

    October 14, 2012 at 7:46 am

    This is neat – I’ve added it to my advice on EPs here: http://wp.me/p2k3hy-jx

    • Jim Harvey

      October 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Claire,

      Thanks for your link, love your work too.

      Jim

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