If you’ve been networking before, you may have been asked to stand up and ‘pitch’ to the group for 60 seconds. Traditionally known as an ‘elevator pitch’, the idea is that a person entering an elevator (or ‘lift’ if you’re a fellow Brit’), could ask what you do and you’d explain it before reaching the next floor.
Elevator pitches are a great way of getting clear and concise about what your business does but how can you communicate everything in just one minute?
Keep it top level
The first step is to not communicate everything. Keep your pitch top level and distribute the info on a ‘need to know’ basis. Your audience will be taking in a lot of pitches, one after another, so you need to work hard to keep their attention. The key is to keep it simple.
Try using this ‘sandwich’ formula:
Name, job, company / Key info + Referral request / Name, job, company
“Hi, I’m Rob and I’m a landscape gardener for Green Grass Gardens. At Green Grass Gardens we design, build and maintain gardens of all sizes. This week I’m looking for referrals to landlords of large properties. So that’s Rob and I’m a landscape gardener, for Green Grass Gardens.”
If you’d like to use this formula, please feel free to copy/paste it and replace the coloured sections with your information.
Switch it up
It’s good to re-iterate your name, job and company each time you pitch. However, if you’re pitching to the same group of people week after week, repeating exactly the same content can become monotonous. Take a look around the table before you begin. Same faces as last week? In that case, consider switching up the ‘Key info’ section. You might like to give a short case study from a recent project or highlight a more specific area of your offering. Remember – only do this once you’re confident that the room is familiar with your work. If there are a lot of visitors, or you’re speaking to a new group, stick with your original pitch.
Plan it, don’t wing it
Now be honest – how much thought do you give your 60 seconds, before you stand up each week? If you’re attending a regular group, it’s very easy to forget about your pitch from one meeting to the next. You’ve done it a thousand times, why would you need to think about it? The answer: because things change.
Your business offering changes, your business needs change and the world your audience is operating in changes. Your 60 seconds needn’t be 100% revised each time you deliver it, but it does need continuous tweaking to keep it fresh. It should reflect your current offering and your current need. It needs to grab the attention of those who are listening and prompt them to think of new referrals for you, even if they’ve heard you pitch a thousand times before.
So use the template above and give it just five minutes of your time, before each meeting. Figure out what you’re offering, what you’re asking for and go deliver the perfect 60 seconds.