Tweeting on elevator pitches: Inc.

February 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

via @Inc. (Feb 23, 2012):

“The original idea behind the elevator pitch was to have something that you’d say to a potential customer whom you happen to meet by chance. While the “elevator” scenario is a bit absurd, there’s no question that chance conversations can result in business opportunities.”

The important thing to remember is that an effective elevator pitch “presents you and your offering in a casual, socially acceptable manner. That means no sales pitch. Period.”

image by Flickr user koadmunkee

Here are the steps that Inc. recommends taking when faced with your next opportunity for an “elevator pitch”:

1. Position Your Firm with a single thoughtful sentence. The sentence should “state a quantifiable benefit to your customers that would be relevant to a prospective customer” but still be “pithy enough to be socially acceptable” in the present context.

2. Differentiate Your Firm, if your listener responds with interest to your first sentence. Continue by “revealing one or two facts that prove your uniqueness” in a way that advances your initial positioning statement.

3. Open a Conversation by asking a related open-ended question, assuming that the listener is still engaged. This enables you to determine “whether or not the person you’ve just met actually is a potential customer or just being polite.”

4. Ask for a Meeting in a way that reflects the other person’s enthusiasm or hesitancy. Either way, the goal is “to ask for a meeting to discuss the matter in more detail–so you can drop the business talk and go back to discussing, say, how lovely the bride looked.”The original article by Geoffrey James is available here. By the way, Inc. also has plenty of other great advice on thoughtful conversation in business settings, including the article Smart Talk for Fast Times: 5 Rules.

image by Flickr user deVos

February 23’s daily design idea is business-related conversation can start almost anywhere, as long as your ready to start it.

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Congrats to the winners of the 2012 SEED Competition! Underground green space?

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