‘First impression is the last impression!’. Yes, we have all heard the ubiquitous saying. But we hardly ever pay heed to it. But in all seriousness, first impressions do have a significant impact on how your brand or product will be perceived in the long run. It’s crucial to create a positive first impression because opportunity frequently begins with one. You often only have 30 seconds to present yourself, a few minutes to make an impression, and a day to answer in meetings. No matter what industry you’re in or what position you have, an important recommendation to everyone is to prepare a strong elevator pitch and be prepared to deliver it. But hang on, what is an elevator pitch?

The simplest and perhaps most minimalistic explanation of the goods or services that a business or person provides is an elevator pitch. The phrase “elevator pitch” refers to the fact that you might only have enough time to introduce yourself and your ideas to potential investors or customers during an elevator ride to the next floor. In other words, if you are desperately trying to get an appointment with someone but are unable to, how will you sell your brand within the 30 seconds in your hand while you are traveling in an elevator with your target or potential client? The core of all of your brand communications and conversations seems to be an elevator pitch. Basically, an elevator pitch is a succinct way to introduce yourself, make one or two main points, and establish a connection with someone.

The fact that it is time very well spent is one of the finest things about polishing your pitch. Your brand identity, marketing strategies, sales pitches, and more may all incorporate your elevator pitch. Use it to update that dated mission statement you haven’t updated in a long time. Let it direct your audience targeting and educate you on the path of your customers. To help your staff grasp the wider picture of what you do and how you assist your clients, you can share your elevator pitch internally. Ask them to create their own descriptions of their roles for both internal and external audiences in elevator pitches. Elevator pitches can be made in accordance with different buyer personas (or customer archetypes). Having understood the basic meaning of an elevator pitch, one wonders why it is so indispensable and important. Here’s why:

1. Save them from getting bored:

Don’t overestimate the level of interest people will have in you or your product, even if you believe you have the best idea ever or are the perfect person for the job. Your elevator pitch serves as a stopgap, providing you with the inside track and demonstrating the worth of you or your concept in the shortest amount of time.

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2. Helps you organise your ideas:

If you’ve ever been asked to describe something to someone without any prior planning, you’ll probably notice that you ramble on, throwing in random thoughts or bringing up earlier topics. This makes an explanation difficult and time-consuming, even if they specifically requested it. In addition to having a script ready for whenever the occasion occurs, creating an elevator pitch allows you to express on paper why you believe you are the best applicant for the position or why your business or product is the best of its kind. It helps you organise your ideas and enables you to critically analyse the crucial elements that, in your opinion, make them or you successful. Since you only have 30 seconds, it’s important to make sure you cover the essential information. 

3. The Age of the Internet:

It has gotten harder and harder to forge new professional connections with the rise of social media, the internet, and the speed of information. You can have a prepared script for establishing new relationships by creating an elevator pitch. After all, the purpose is to encourage networking and allow dialogue to continue after the initial 30 seconds. It’s great to be ready for the little moments when you see someone not reading their Kindle or walking around without headphones.

When they hear the phrase “elevator pitch,” many people think of a brief sales proposal intended to get their foot in the door. While that is partially right, there is a lot more to it than that. Every elevator pitch should convey certain definite points about the product in hand, such as:

4. Introduction:

Make a brief list of how you would characterize yourself. Try to make a customised list that is suitable for the audience you intend to target. For instance, you can choose to leave out information about your love of baking or the fact that you have five younger siblings when networking professionally. Instead, you would emphasise things like your (planned) Princeton emphasis, your extracurricular involvement, your hometown, etc.

5. The Served Purpose:

This is the time to concentrate on one or two things that you want the person to remember (keep in mind, that you only really have around half a minute). What qualifications or experience do you have that direct your professional focus? How can you establish a relationship with the person that will enable them to comprehend your priorities and career goals? The specific points to be addressed could include:

  • Talents: How did you acquire the skills you’ll bring to a job or internship?
  • Values/passion: In terms of your professional objectives, what actually matters to you? What fuels your passions?

6. Ultimately, what do I want?

It’s crucial to conclude with a question. The query could be as straightforward as a request for assistance or information exchange. It might also ask that you stay in touch. Including background information on why you attended the event can be useful at times. Essentially, it is important to conclude with a direct question that conveys to the other person exactly what it is that you are looking for.

Some helpful tips:

  1. Focus on the event you’re attending when making your pitch: Remember to make your pitch keeping in mind the social context of the event.
  2. Practice: The first few times you introduce yourself in this manner, it will probably seem odd. Practice is the only way to improve and feel more at ease. Feel free to even practice in front of the mirror, if you have to!
  3. Always have a request: Offer the person you’re speaking to a way in which they can help. Tell them how they can assist you, whether it be by exchanging knowledge or building a professional connection. Also, subtly remind them that this partnership would also benefit them!
  4. Follow-up: Use LinkedIn or email for this. After the meeting, remind them of the circumstances behind your meeting, express your gratitude for their time, and look for a way to carry on the conversation.

Here’s a sample Elevator Pitch Template for your reference

You’ve prepared your pitch, practiced it in the mirror, and are now prepared for whatever opportunity the world may present. Seizing possibilities frequently makes up half the success of sales, attracting investments, or landing work. Be the person you want to be by perfecting your pitch. Best of luck!

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