I wrote recently about being ready to win the boxing game. Lot of you wrote to me to expand on the topic. So here is what I have got.
Elevator pitches are quite common in venture capital industry. If you
are an entrepreneur in the valley (Bay Area) one of the first things
that you will get an advise on (after the business model) is the
crafting and delivery of your elevator pitch for your business. Venture
capitalists have very limited attention span so they want to get to the
bottom of what your business is in the shortest possible time. Elevator
pitch in essence is a compelling description of your offer to the
marketplace in the time it takes for you to take an elevator ride (less
than a minute usually)
When you go to a networking meeting remember that people you meet over
there are similar to venture capitalists. Venture capitalists have
money to invest and in a networking event, people have attention
to invest. Both are in limited quantities and both parties will want to
get the highest return for their investment. So, when you meet someone,
if whatever you say in the first 30-45 seconds is not very compelling,
most often your new found acquaintance switches off and decides to
invest his asset (attention) somewhere else where the return on
investment (ROI) is higher.
What could you do – since you get one chance (most of the time) you can
prepare in advance and study a bit more about where you are going
(event) and think about the kind of people that are going to attend the
event. Craft an elevator pitch for yourself that the potential
attendees may find it interesting. What are one or two things that you
want someone who meets you to remember about you? Most often when I
meet someone and I ask them “What do you do?” or “Tell me about
yourself” I get to hear things like “I am a Project Manager” or “I am a
software engineer” with almost no passion 🙁 How do you expect me to
remember another “project manager” or another “software engineer” when
there are so many of them out there. What could you do or say to “stand
out” from the crowd in a short time?
Summary: You are your biggest
asset. It is worth spending your time on preparing an elevator pitch
for yourself. It will pay back big time over a long time.
PS: Your elevator pitch is not set in stone. It changes over time – so please be prepared to refine it at regular intervals.