The 60-second sales pitch

Jan 2014
business start-upcommunicationhot topicsskillsnetworking
Reference: TheCareerCoachOnline; Speaking Powerpoint

The 60-second sales pitch aka ‘the elevator pitch’ is pretty much the perfect answer to the “So…what do you do?” question. 

It’s a great discipline for entrepreneurs, needing to put their business life story into a nutshell, but it’s also a useful technique for everybody else, either in networking situations or in an interview. 

It can be used to answer the following interview questions: 
– “Tell me about yourself?” 
– “Why should I hire you?” 
– “Why do you want this job?” 
– “Why do you think you will succeed in this position?” 

When you’re practising your pitch in the privacy of your own home it shouldn’t last any longer than 30 or 40 seconds because it will take about 50% longer in real life. 

The trick is also to not make it sound like an actual sales pitch. 

For the entrepreneur: 
1. Build a personal connection by telling them why you started the business. 
2. Explain the problem that you are trying to solve; demonstrate the scale of the problem with facts and statistics. 
3. Describe your business and how it is going to solve the problem. 
4. Tell them why you are doing it better than anybody else. 
5. Finish with a request or offer of a meeting. 
6. Talk to anyone and everyone. 

For the interview candidate/networker: 
1. Make the first sentence strong, convincing and memorable, even humorous. 
2. Start with your last educational qualification: what you did, why you did it, how it informed decisions about your first job. 
3. Talk about earlier positions and how they led you to this job
4. Describe strengths that match the people and technical skills required by the company; give evidence from your experience. 
5. Use past situations to demonstrate genuine, but also desirable personality traits.
6. Finish with something positive and enthusiastic. 

For both pitches: 
– Be logical, but always passionate.
– Tell a story that the listener will love, but allow for it to become a conversation.
– Don’t use pretentious words or business jargon like ‘optimise’, ‘synergy’ and ‘ROI’. 
– And practise.