At some point in your career, you have to sell yourself, whether seeking investment for a growing business or pushing for a corporate promotion. It’s best to approach such situations armed with a concise, convincing summary, otherwise known as an elevator pitch.
It’s harder to deliver this pitch in the world of social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t network or promote yourself. The elevator pitch is a performance, whether you’re making a speculative LinkedIn approach or tapping the head of a department on the shoulder, you have to raise the energy and present your case in a memorable way. You can’t always anticipate when elevator pitch situations may arise, so it’s important to spend time preparing for what you might say.
“It’s important to spend time preparing for what you might say.”
What can you bring to the table?
Whether trying to sell yourself to a prospective boss, seeking investment in your company or trying to build connections via email, it will always come back to principles; who are you meeting, what do they care about and how can you help them? The importance of values exchange is the one thing many forget when networking or selling themselves. The best way to make yourself memorable is by solving a problem they have or highlighting ways that you can help. Take the time to think about and prepare for what that person needs and how you or your business can provide a solution.
“The best way to make yourself memorable is by solving a problem they have or highlighting ways that you can help.”
Sometimes you won’t be able to speak to the person you’d like, but that doesn’t mean the other person won’t help if you can demonstrate how you can help them. In reality, the CEO is not always the right person to speak to – so the ‘wrong’ person can put you in touch with the right person. Ultimately people like to help people, always remember this, the conversation isn’t wasted just because you didn’t get the immediate outcome you were looking for.
“The ‘wrong’ person can put you in touch with the right person.”
There are other ways to promote yourself
The nature of the elevator pitch may have to change in a world of hybrid working, but there are always ways to get your name out there and stand out. Volunteer for new projects or responsibilities. Cross-functional projects will bring you face to face with new stakeholders, while projects focused on strategy and the future of the business can be particularly good to get involved with because they often involve some level of presentation to the board.
Being proactive is the new superpower post pandemic. The worst that can happen is someone says no. If you do something valuable for someone, they’ll do something valuable for you. Refine your elevator pitch to be more about how you or your business can help your prospective customer, rather than the typical brain dump overload of words that we see in the movies!
Need help crafting your elevator pitch? Contact us for support and business advice.