Introducing yourself professionally and compellingly spells the difference between success and failure in a prospective job application screening, in a professional situation, and when you are trying to market your product or services.
What Are Elevator Pitches?
An Elevator pitch is a short, concise way of introducing yourself professionally about your achievements and how you can contribute to a potential employer organization. It is so named because the time interval you have to make a pitch about yourself is exceptionally brief. The elevator pitch has to be made in less than a minute, the time it will take to travel in an elevator with another person. How you introduce yourself to that person, give him your abridged history and establish a connection makes all the difference.
Elevator pitches find universal applications irrespective of the industry segment or the company you are applying for. It is a short recap of what you are and what you do. An ideal pitch entails 30 seconds. You can deliver around 75 words in length. Your speech has to be compelling, to the point, grabbing the listener’s attention span.
A human’s average attention span is about 8 seconds, so the shorter and more attractive the pitch, the more likely it will make an impact. A pitch need not necessarily be in the text format. In today’s digitalized world, a pitch can be through text, imagery, or video.
Elevator pitches are handy when networking or meeting a potential employer at a career fair or event. It invites a second look at you and your credentials, encouraging the prospective employer to complete the subsequent detailed interview process.
It also helps in your professional meetings at your job when you are required to introduce yourself to prospective customers and introduce the company’s products or services. The whole point of making the elevator pitch is to make your brief points and get your message across to the opposite party. Preparing and practicing an elevator pitch will help you deliver it in a brief, compelling manner. Elevator pitches are the first step to attaining your career or personal goals. Pitches have to be delivered to the right audience, to the right people in your industry segment.
Different Types of Situations Where Elevator Pitches Are Used In General
- Make a professional introduction of yourself when you are a job seeker at career expos, networking situations among professional contacts, job fairs.
- At a preliminary job interview. It answers the prospective employer’s question, “Tell me about yourself.”
- To sell products and services that your company is marketing
- To market your company to either the stakeholders
- To market your company to either potential buyers in a merger & acquisition situation or strategic investors.
Steps In Making An Elevator Pitch
- Introduce yourself: Give a very brief introduction to yourself. Summarize your qualifications and skills. Remember, you have less than a minute to complete your pitch. Your body language and eye contact should show absolute confidence in what you are pitching.
- Explain what you do and your unique selling propositions (USPs). This can be tailored to yourself, your company, or your product or service. What your value proposition is. Explain why you, your product, service, or company is superior to a competitor’s. Explain what you bring to the table is original, unique, and different.
- Communicate your requirements and what you want clearly.
- Add a call-to-action, ensuring there is a follow-up action to whatever you have already communicated. Your pitch should end with anticipating the following steps. The CTA should preferably be framed as a question for the other party to answer. Swap information with the other party so that appropriate follow-up can be done.
- The most important thing to remember is to practice, edit and practice until you are word perfect and your pitch flows naturally. It should not sound stilted and rehearsed.
Potential benefits that you bring to the other party
- The focus areas of your interest
- Unique Selling Propositions that you or your company is in a position to offer
- Practical solutions to potential problems that you can offer. The solution is the most crucial part of your pitch as it explains your value addition.
- A pitch has to be relevant and add value to the opposite party. Personalize the pitch to make it attractive to the other party.
- It has to be provocative to seek and retain your listener’s attention.
Examples Of Elevator Pitches To Be Used In Different Situations:-
A sample template of an elevator pitch looks like this:
Introduction: Hi, I am ______. I am a position title in Company name. It is great to meet you.
Problem statement: Since you are working in the Company name, I thought you might be interested in the Problem statement + interesting fact.
Solution: We are in a position to offer the following solution to that specific problem. You provide a near-perfect solution to the problem.
Unique Selling Proposition: We are the only company in the market offering that type of solution.
Call–to–action: Explain the value addition potential of your solution. When would be a convenient time to talk further on this matter?
Samples: To sell EMR/EHR software to a hospital or a private clinic.
Sample 1: Focusing on interesting statistics
Hi, I am John from Company. I hear that managing patient records with your existing
Electronic Health Records management software has been a nightmare. Our state-of-the-art EMR/EHR software has worked wonders with automating patient records. It also integrates very well with most healthcare payers. Our survey of other companies who use has shown a reduction of close to 20% of the man-hours devoted to maintaining patient records. Follow-up time with insurance companies and private payers has also been reduced by 15%. The financial savings generated is US$ —–. When would be a good time to talk to you and follow up on this?
Sample 2: Focusing on the applicable over reliable
My brother’s private practice was also going through several work-related issues and mismanagement of staff’s time. I persuaded him to use our state-of-the-art EMR/EHR software. It has increased staff satisfaction, and work management has been made seamless. He no longer faces the long wait times in securing the processing and payment of claims from insurance companies and payers. It could prove a workable solution for you. I can provide my brother’s contact details so that he can give his feedback.
Sample 3: Question everything
Does your EMR/EHR software have glitches? Is it unable to handle large amounts of data? Does it cause glitches for your billing and coding staff? Are you facing more claim denials? Consider our EMR/HER software. It provides a one-stop solution to most of the problems you are facing. You can opt for a trial version and switch to a permanent subscription after being satisfied. When can I call you to confirm your subscription?
Sample 4: Short and succinct
However suitable your reputation in healthcare is or however good your revenue streams are, with a good EMR, EHR software, you cannot have good receivable management and claims process. Try our state-of-the-art, tested software that has given excellent results in both receivables management and ensures quick claim processing time. How can I reach you to follow up on your preference for the software?
Sample 5: Relate other customer experiences
Some of our customers have had unique experiences with their software. They have streamlined their business functions, focused on growing the customer base, and developed a more efficiently functioning team that can focus on better patient care. You can also free up your time to focus on strategic areas of your business with the potential adoption of our EMR/EHR software. When would be the best time to reach you to follow up?
Sample 6: Emotionally driven
Our software increases the cohesiveness of the team. It is a seamless and easy-to-understand operation that makes it a delight to work with. As it results in a lower claim denial, it can make for better relations with insurance companies and payers. A win-win on all fronts. Do you want to adopt it for a trial run? When would you like me to call you back about this?
Sample 7: Write out and pitch
If you write out your pitch and proofread it, you will be able to correct glitches in the same. Practice it and even try it out on a sample audience of your friends to see its impact and whether your speech resounds with them. When talking to the potential customer, Hi, I am Robert from ____Medical software. I heard that you are in the market for suitable EMR/EHR software from some sources. Our software is tried and tested and is used by 65% of private practices. Our customer satisfaction survey has indicated a satisfaction rate of 90% +. Would you like to try out our EMR/HER software? It is available on a trial basis for one month. Please register your feedback and your inclination to renew a more permanent subscription.
Sample 8: End with an attention-grabbing one-liner
Receivables processing delays due to claim denials result in opportunity costs of about US$ 25,000 per month. Faulty EMR/EHR software also results in additional staff costs of about US$ 5,800 per month. Can your business withstand the financial risk? Please consider this and decide whether you want to switch to our cost-effective, time-saving, and efficient EMR/HER software. Please find enclosed my contact details. You can contact me anytime if you want to try out a trial version. I am always available at your disposal.
Sample 9: Networking event on video
Your video presentation should be short, succinct, and based on all the ground rules of elevator pitches. It is challenging to make pitches over video. Convey your message and make sure you obtain contacts to follow up on. You need to create a versatile pitch template.
When You Are Hunting For Jobs And Career Opportunities:
- Conceptualize your ideal job or target: be very clear about what kind of field and what job opportunities you are looking for. Otherwise, the particular niche you may ultimately end up in the organization may not be suitable to your aspirations and career goals. Your mind should be clear before you can make a case to convince others
- Write it down to nail down the key points: summarize your skills, accomplishments, and objectives. Unless you see it in black and white, you cannot streamline it. Edit mercilessly until you arrive at the key bullet points. The listener’s attention span is very short so make your words count.
- Format your speech and tailor the pitch to interest your audience: Don’t ramble or speak fast. Avoid mistakes.
- Have two or three versions of your pitch ready to go and choose the most suitable one for the occasion. Don’t sprinkle your elevator pitch with technical jargon. Most importantly, don’t deviate from your pitch.
Hi, I am Charlotte. I have recently completed my internship with the University of Chicago Medical Centre. My area of interest is Anesthesiology. I am looking for openings to complete my residency at the North-Western Hospital in the field of my interest. I have heard that there are some openings available in Anesthesiology at the North-Western Hospital.
I have superior grades during my medical studies and received excellent feedback on my internship at the University of Chicago Medical Centre. I believe that I can make a valuable contribution to your team at North Western. Can I please have your feedback and contact details to follow up later at your convenience?
Hi, I am Vincent. I have been working as a graphic designer with Visualistics in New York for five years. My wife’s job recently shifted to the East Coast. Hence, I am looking for openings with other corporations’ advertising companies or digital marketing departments.
Some of my creative and graphic work for websites and brands has received acclaim in the New York Best Advertising Awards of 2021. I believe I will be a valuable addition to any advertising or digital marketing team. When would it be the best time to contact you to follow up on this meeting? Please provide me with your business card so that I can discuss mutually beneficial opportunities at a mutually convenient time.
Hi, I am John, an M.D with my private care clinic. My operation is streamlined, and my clinical staff, as well as front office and back office, are fully trained. I generally partner with mid-sized organizations that provide essential medical services through corporate healthcare plans. I also have diagnostic equipment and run a full-fledged lab on the premises.
Through my private clinic and additional facilities, I would like to offer your employees a mutually beneficial medical plan. I heard you were in the market for mid-sized medical facilities whose services you could offer your employees through a corporate health plan. My services are economical, fast, and guarantee the personal touch. I think you will not be disappointed by the suite of services I offer. When would be a convenient time for me to follow up to discuss this possibility further?
Hi, I am Sam. I am an endocrinologist and an internal medicine specialist. I work as a primary care physician with a group of doctors who all specialize in treating chronic medicines like diabetes, B.P, and cholesterol. We are based in West Virginia, which has registered one of the highest rates of diabetes of 15.7% in the U.S in 2020. Our clinic provides comprehensive services for treating these ailments, including nutrition, feet examinations, and retinal exams under one roof. We offer diabetes care packages that are economical, comprehensive, and provide all-in-one services. We are onboarding several companies onto our plan, and we would like your company also to join. I would like to touch base with you to present a more detailed package for your perusal at a mutually convenient time. Thanks for the opportunity.
Pitches to Strategic Investors
In pitches made to stakeholders or strategic investors, two elements dominate. The problem statement and your value proposition. Both these elements should be irrefutable, undeniable, and utterly convincing. Important rules include:
- The show, don’t tell rule: Don’t just speak in possibilities. Display your proof through actual, concrete results. They cannot deny what they see.
Investor transparency: Today, we aren’t dealing with black box cultures as far as the investors are concerned. Many venture capital firms encourage their funders and founders to be proactive in getting to know the founders, employees, and operations of a potential investment target. Accordingly, investor pitches can be tailored to meet the exigencies of the situations.
- This facilitates ease in networking with potential investors.
- You can do asynchronous and geo-agnostic pitching through video conferencing. You can also reach large pools of potential investors through this form of pitching. Also, when you create videos of company presentations for investor pitches, you can select your best pitch, unlike a physical investor pitch. This is particularly important as marketplaces become global and you are accessing global pools of capital.
- The world and all marketplaces for capital, goods and services, and employment have become very noisy. There is a multiplicity of choices. Your pitch has to stand out, be convincing, compelling, and brief and make an impact on your audience in the seconds available to you.
We face many personal interactions in all spheres of our life; personal, professional, official, social, and casual. We need elevator pitches that are suitable for different occasions. There are professional organizations like Toastmasters which train you in the art of making speeches. You are given many situations where you have to make impromptu speeches on any topic under the sun.
You are solicited your opinion on any topic. These speeches are both rehearsed as well as impromptu. Your hesitations, the number of aahs are all counted. In the process, you are trained to think on your feet and string together logical, compelling sentences which leave an impression on the audience. Joining Toastmasters is one way of learning the art of making impactful elevator pitches.
All of us are not going to be joining Toastmasters. So let us follow the golden principles: Write, rehearse, and practice either in front of a mirror or your friends. Make your pitches short, smart, and to the point. Test drive it before a new person and see whether it garners his interest. Make your pitches meaningful and value-added to your audience. Your pitch and personality should leave a permanent impression in your listener’s mind. This would make follow-up easier.
To sum up, be always positive, understand the mindset of your audience and keep your goals in sight. Don’t underestimate the importance of elevator speeches. You show your audience a better perspective or a vista where their work pressure is eased or streamlined or how their prospects can be improved.