If you’re wondering if your elevator pitch is hitting the right note, you’re halfway there. When taking a look at what makes a standout elevator pitch in Part 1, you know that it should be like a great present:carefully selected, catered to the receiver, and memorable. Consider these concepts your checklist to make sure you’re on the right path. But, now what? The next step is to make sure that your elevator pitch works in your favor without isolating the receiver. Sure, it’s important to highlight your personal brand in a way that will build a new connection or business opportunity. Yet, it’s also about engaging with a potential network and opening the door to learn more about each other. With our checklist in mind, let’s dig deeper into how to effectively present your elevator pitch.
Pin the Pitch on the WIFM
As important as it is to showcase your personal brand, always appeal to the receiver’s WIFM—what’s in it for me. The WIFM principle states you should speak in terms of what your prospect needs or hasn’t heard before. For example, if you’re at a networking event and meet someone in a prominent position at a company you’ve been stalking, (or let’s just say “heavily researching”), your elevator pitch should be catered to the receiver. Don’t get caught up in the opportunity where your pitch comes out like this: “I’m a top HR Recruiter with over five years’ experience and would love to work for a reputable company like yours that’s very much in line with my career goals and desire to move into management.” This person has probably heard that spiel so many times and it speaks to what you want and not what the company needs.
If you want to stand out from others who also have this company on their list, you need to fine tune this pitch. A better approach would be, “I’m a top HR Recruiter with a superior candidate database and 90% placement rate for my clients, which include industry-leading companies.” Although both pitches start out similarly, the second hits the target—what’s in it for me (the receiver). Remember to keep in mind the WIFM so that you increase interest in your personal brand based on your ability to deliver results to the prospect.
Practice Your Pitch
What does a good baseball pitch and elevator pitch have in common? They both start the game and require practice. You won’t get it exactly right each time, but the more prepared you are to deliver your elevator pitch, the better your chances of making a memorable impression. Sometimes it’s easier to get your thoughts out of your head and put it on paper. Write down your key skills and highlights for your elevator pitch and get comfortable with your personal brand. At that point, you can see where you need to make adjustments. Also, think of different ways to express your brand attributes, which are adjectives used to describe yourself. Instead of using words like “excellent communicator”, “problem-solver”, and “team player”, craft a pitch that speaks to those attributes naturally. For example, “I’m an IT firefighter that specializes in putting out technical fires. I work with business and design teams to create solutions for complex issues.” Clearly, for this to be true, you’d have a number of these skills and more. Practicing your elevator pitch gives you the chance to play with different ways to present your personal brand and carefully select the right combination that hits the perfect, and memorable, note.
Know What a Good Elevator Pitch Sounds Like
Have you ever not paid much attention to something and then once it’s on your radar you can’t help but to notice it all around you? Start paying attention to what you say when people ask, “what do you do?” If you’re a life coach and notice that everyone in your industry “helps their clients find themselves and release their inner child,” (after you chuckle to yourself), think of a different approach. Instead say, “I help my clients create a plan to get out of their own way and take accountability for living their best life.” Think out the box and steer away from echoing what everyone in your industry says about their personal brand. A good elevator pitch is original and stands out from the crowd. As an entrepreneur, instead of saying, “My company offers handmade cards for every occasion,” try this: “My company crafts handmade cards with a personalized touch of the right words to capture every occasion.”
As you take in how others present their elevator pitch, think about which strategies are effective and which ones leave the person spending more time getting acquainted with the snack table than actually networking. Your personal brand is a gift because it’s a reflection of who you are and what you have to offer. You may share similar skills, experience, and brand attributes with others, but it’s that touch of you that’s really the bow on top. Give the gift of your personal brand today.
Marietta E. Gentles is a Personal Branding Advocateand Certified Professional Resume Writer for intrapreneurs needing a getaway driver to reach their career destination. With over ten years’ experience climbing through top corporate and government brands as a writer and trainer, her passion is sharing lessons learned along the way.