I have established that networking is not about meeting as many people as you can. Networking is about creating added-value relationships.
Still, to create a relationship, you have to meet people.
And when you meet people, you have to have an introduction.
Thus, the Elevator Speech (or Sales Pitch, or 30-second Biography…).
A successful Elevator Pitch should be:
Short – no longer than 30-seconds.
Focused – stick to one topic.
Practiced – not something that you come up with on the spot; otherwise, it risks being neither short nor focused.
The basic elements of a decent Elevator Pitch for job seekers are:
Who you are.
Speak slowly and enunciate so the other person can hear and understand.
Smile and say your name.
Do not hand them your business card or resume! Keep those in your pocket / briefcase / portfolio (for now, at least).
What occupation you are targeting.
Own it. It is not what you want, but what you are. “I am a…,” not, “I am looking for an opportunity as a…”
Keep it forward-looking. Spend no time talking about what you no longer can or want to do.
Keep it focused to one occupation only. As soon as you say, “I also…,” you have lost your audience.
Why you should be considered.
What are the perhaps two special qualifications that you can share that will differentiate you from everyone else who wants to do what you want to do? Do you have a relevant degree and/or certification? How many years’ experience do you have?
Review your STAR stories (you have already created five to seven STAR / Achievement stories), pick a positive Result, and work it into your Elevator Speech.
What you are targeting / what are the next steps.
Here, your phrasing depends on with whom you are speaking:
- If you are speaking to a hiring decision maker, try something like, “How do you see someone who has my qualifications fitting into your organization?”
- If you are speaking with someone who is not in your target industry, then say, “I am targeting [THREE OR FOUR SPECIFIC COMPANIES], and would appreciate any assistance you can give.”
Again, practice your Elevator Speech so you can say everything you need to say in 30 seconds. You will know that you nailed when they ask you follow-up questions.
I’ll expand on each of these elements in future posts.
Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.